Film and TV

5 Food Network Shows That Need to Go

If you give me the remote and tell me to choose a show to watch, nine times out ten I will turn to the Food Network. I'm addicted to the Food Network...which is probably why I'm so hungry all the time.

I love watching chefs battle it out on Chopped. I love watching Bobby Flay surprise regular cooks for a throwdown and watching the culinary giants of America compete on Iron Chef America. But there are some shows that I just can't stand. Over the past few years, Food Network has acquired some shows that are downright annoying and boring and simply don't belong on the network.

Here's my list of five Food Network shows that just need to go.

5. Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian

The concept of the show is wonderful. Making a $10 meal for your family is a genius idea, but with Melissa d'Arabian as the host, it just doesn't work. I never really enjoyed watching her on The Next Food Network Star and was disappointed that she won that season. This show is boring, quite frankly, and should be filled with a different series in the morning. I love to watch Food Network when I work out in the mornings (yes, I'm the girl who watches cooking shows while she runs), and watching this show is such a downer.

4. Mystery Diners

I am not a fan of undercover shows that try to bust employees who are suspected by their bosses of not performing their jobs adequately. It's like an episode of Cheaters, but instead of a cheating spouse or partner, the employees are stealing, being rude to customers or are simply not working. Food Network doesn't need to add shows like this to their lineup. After watching it one time, I couldn't take it seriously; the interactions of the manager, employees and host of the show seem fake and set-up. Maybe the Food Network could try concentrating on people who cook food in restaurants instead of watching employees who steal money from restaurants.

3. Sweet Genius

The first time I watched this show, it honestly weirded me out. The host, Ron Ben-Israel, had contestants fighting to be a "Sweet Genius" by preparing conceptualized desserts with specific ingredients and sometimes another ingredient to be added halfway through each round. Compared to all of the other competition shows on Food Network, this one just doesn't fit with the rest. If I am going to watch a sweets competition, I will watch Challenge. At least that show has non-creepy judges and doesn't use some of the strangest ingredients you could add to a dessert.

2. Restaurant Stakeout

Here's another undercover restaurant show that needs to stop airing on Food Network. Restaurants on the show have cameras set up throughout their establishments to find out why their business is failing and what problems need to be fixed. It's a good idea, but the host of the show is just a wannabe Gordon Ramsay or Robert Irvine. Those guys know how to be tough and fix a restaurant's problems. Restaurant Stakeout's host, Willie Degel (whoever that is), does not come close to the entertainment value Ramsay or Irvine offer when yelling at a manager who doesn't see it their way.

1. Semi-Homemade Cooking

I have never enjoyed Sandra Lee's shows. She matches her background and tablescapes, for crying out loud. But Lee's cooking show, where she makes meals that are "semi-homemade," is one I would love to see leave Food Network. Why is there a show that tells you to use already-made food? Isn't that what the back of cake-mix boxes is for? Sure, her tips and recipes are convenient, but this alone shouldn't merit it a spot on the Food Network.

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Molly Dunn
Contact: Molly Dunn