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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Food TV: Bobby Deen Has a Show Because His Mom's Food Is Unhealthy and Terrible

Posted By on Tue, Jan 10, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Something she made turned out all right!
  • Something she made turned out all right!

Each week we take a quick, cautious look at what's going on with televised cooking. This week: Not My Mama's Meals, a half-hour psych pop quiz, Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on the Cooking Channel.

In Not My Mama's Meals, the Cooking Channel convinces Paula Deen's son Bobby to remake her death-food in a manner that would kill fewer people in the near term. I should confess to having never watched an entire Paula Deen show, because, well, Paula Deen. But I know what people say about her. They say, "Butter." They say, "You're talking about Paula Deen? Butter." It's like a meme for people who don't know that memes should be funny.

I also know what Anthony Bourdain said about Paula Deen, via TV Guide:

"The worst, most dangerous person to America is clearly Paula Deen. If I were on at seven at night and loved by millions of people at every age, I would think twice before telling an already obese nation that it's OK to eat food that is killing us."

One more time:

"The worst, most dangerous person to America is clearly Paula Deen. If I were on at seven at night and loved by millions of people at every age, I would think twice before telling an already obese nation that it's OK to eat food that is killing us."

In any case, it is of course FUCKING HYSTERICAL that the Cooking Channel brought in her son Bobby to remake her death-food into -- and I quote from the site -- "lighter, lean, yet still delicious dishes." Imagine that conversation:

Cooking Channel Pres.: "Paula, I think we have a plan to counter some of the negative criticism of your -- "


Pres.: " -- show, and we've decided -- "

Paula: "I feel hawt. Is the building on fire?"

Pres.: " -- to bring in your young son Bobby to remake your dishes into [clears throat] 'lighter, lean, yet still delicious -- "

Paula: "Oh, my boy! Is he here? Is he hungry? Here. [Reaches into shirt.] Give him this."

Pres.: "This is a handful of butter."

So, everybody welcome Bobby Deen, the physical embodiment of the Cooking Channel thinking twice about telling an already obese nation that it's okay to eat food that is killing them. How does he look? Surprisingly trim and fit. Living on his own in a nice loft in New York, eating well, running, exercising -- in the premiere episode, he talks about this nonstop, because he is doing a show about how unhealthy and terrible his mother's food is, perhaps by extension how terrible she is, perhaps how she made him sleep in a barrel of lard growing up, and, oh, that's Paula on the phone right now.

Really, his phone rings on the show. Two seconds in, and Paula and Bobby are on the phone chatting about food and motherhood and great childhood trauma.

"Guess what, Mom? I'm making that messed up Krispy Kreme bread pudding crap you tried to kill me with, only I'm NOT GOING TO KILL ANYONE."

"I cayunt wait to try it, Bobby!"

And so it goes. Paula is all over the show; when Bobby is not talking about her death-food and shaking his head over her death-food he is watching her on video or talking to her on the phone.


Even when Johnny Cash's granddaughter comes over with a sweet tea pie, they talk about his mama and watch a video of his mama, and Bobby never makes a play, he never makes a move, he never takes Johnny Cash's granddaughter by the hand and sets off into the hazy late afternoon light in New York City, just two faceless, food-crazy kids in a city screaming with them. Johnny. Cash's. Granddaughter.

No, he finishes cooking his mama's food, then he mails her the food, then he talks to her on the phone when she eats the food, with all of it captured on a Teddy Bear security cam and released as Not My Mama's Meals.

But Bobby, you are so close: You have screen presence, you're witty, you can use a knife, you have the right ideas about food, you live next to Johnny Cash's granddaughter, and the production values are one soft light shy of Giada at Home.

Best of all, you perpetually hover just on the edge of a full-bore Matthew McConaughey impression. Let it out, Bobby. Drawl. Next time tell Johnny Cash's granddaughter she looks like a neat sip of lemonade, take off your shirt, cross your arms, lean against the fridge, and purr, "This is a nice piece of sweet tea pie, sweet pea. Alllriiiight." (That's our McConaughey impression.) Don't tell your mother about any of it.


Previously, Michael Leaverton watched:

Bama Glama, the show all Alabama loves to fight over in comment threads

Guy Fieri's Weird Man Fort

Mystery Diners

Food Jammers;

Have Cake, Will Travel;

Chef Hunter;

Baron Ambrosia;

Sweet Genius;

Best Thing I Ever Made;

Sandra Lee's Hard-Drinkin' Halloween Special of Madness

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Michael Leaverton


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