Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Top TV Wankers

I removed my last post because Rob Ford actually got voted in as mayor of the fine city of Toronto. When I heard the news, I felt like crying. Ford gave CBC Radio's As it Happens a disrespectful interview the other night that was toe-curlingly awful. He was coaching a football game and yelling at the players while the interviewer was asking him questions. He abruptly told her he had to go and hung up on her. This guy is the man that will be running the city for the next few years. I weep for Toronto

Due to Ford's victory, I thought it would be fitting to round up my top TV wankers for your consideration. Feel free to add to my list.

1. Bear Grylls. Alright, if you don't know who he is, he's the Irish-born English adventure seeker on Discovery's Man Vs. Wild. This show is so contrived. Here's how it works: take one man who comes from a well-heeled background, drop him out of a helicopter onto the shores of a land with dangerous territory, allow him to chew the heads off live animals to show the average TV viewer how you can find food in the Namibian bush if you're willing to stun a poisonous snake and eat raw meat, let him show you how to distill water from your own urine and drink it, lastly - let him mingle with indigenous people who actually hunt for snakes a and grubs because they don't have a Discovery expense account. You just know as soon as the camera stops rolling, his personal assistant gets out of the Land Rover and passes him a towel and latté. And what's with his name? It's either phony or just unfortunate. Who calls their kid Bear Grylls? I give Bear a D- for insincerity and killing animals that could either still be living, or food for people who actually need it to survive in ways Bear could never imagine.

2. Next up is the Food Network's Aaron Sanchez. Like most Food Network celebs, he's on way too many Food Network shows and he loves himself. On Chopped, he's billed as "Latin cuisine authority Aaron Sanchez." On this show, he's one of the nicer judges, but he can still be nasty at times to the chefs. If someone makes something remotely Mexican, Aaron is happy to cut them down to size about their use of hot peppers, etc. Watch him on Chef vs. City though, and he's the guy who can't manage to eat a few bowls of chili. What kind of Latin food authority can't eat chili? I give Aaron Sanchez a C for failing to live up to his billing and not being able to connect with the TV viewers.

3./4. While we're on the topic of Food Network celebrity chefs, we have to discuss Bobby Flay and Robert Irvine. I try not to watch any show with Bobby Flay because he's so cocky and unfriendly. He has absolutely zero charisma for television. I'm sure he knows how to work the grill, but I just don't like him. I give Bobby a C-. What about Robert Irvine? Has anyone watched Dinner Impossible? This is another ridiculous Food Network extreme food challenge type of show. Irvine, who looks like he bench presses elephants in his spare time, is given insane instructions - "You must feed 10,000 school children a five course meal only using foods that are purple and you've got two hours to do it." Like Flay, Irvine has no charm and exudes very little warmth. How are we supposed to warm up to someone like that? I give Robert a D for his Rambo-ness way in the kitchen. See for yourself...

5. Last up, Dragon Den's Kevin O'Leary. This is a Canadian show, but I believe it's broadcast in other parts of the world. Basically, a group of budding entrepreneurs try to win over a bunch of super rich business people to see if they'll buy into their product or concept. O'Leary is just nasty. He seems to take great delight in reducing people to tears - especially women - by insulting their ideas. I usually don't even bother watching this show, but we watched it last night and they were profiling the dragons. O'Leary seems to live a loveless life and when he's not wheeling and dealing in the city, he's living out the baby boomer dream by playing his electric guitar on his dock at Muskoka. He doesn't appear to have a network of people around him who actually like him. Maybe it's because his such a misanthrope? Oh look, here's the profile. O'Leary gets an F for being about as appealing as dried out headcheese. Check it out.


  1. I couldn't agree more about Bobby Flay and Bear Grylls. AND, I read that the Bear show is indeed very contrived and made up. your lust was on the money...and I will keep the city of Toronto in my thoughts.


  2. I call Irvine - "No Chin" - he's just a freak of nature. That last guy - he's on an American Show - "American's Next Inventor" or something like that. And, he is a JERK on that show too.

  3. Whoops I kinda like Bobby Flay! I know he is full of himself but he can laugh at himself also. I like Throwdown! oh well....

  4. I'd rather watch Les Stroud as Survivorman than Bear Grylls. You forgot to mention his monotone delivery of his voiceovers. Lack of inflection drives me bonkers.

    I don't dislike Bobby Flay as much as I used to, but agree that he and Irvine do not give off the warm fuzzies. At all. As a rule, I dislike competitive cooking shows, or overindulgent Food Network shows like Man vs. Food. I feel sorry for that guy's arteries. Maybe he should work in a soup kitchen now and then.

  5. Heh. I bumped into Kevin O'Leary outside the Speed Skating Oval during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. I jumped out of the lineup and said, Mr. O'Leary, can I shake your hand? He mustered a smile, but overall, I think he tends to have a look of disdain on his face, even when he's having a great time...

  6. Sorry to slag off one of your shows, Linda. Maybe I just haven't had the Bobby breakthrough. Nevertheless, I stand by my evaluation that these men are Grade A wankers!

  7. I am sorry that you deleted your post. You were expressing your opinion and concerns in your blog, which is public but still your space to do as you wish. I read your post about the Toronto municipal elections and I wish I had posted a comment then, because I totally agreed with your assessment of Rob Ford. I, too supported Joe Pantalone but was torn between staying true to my choice for mayor or casting a vote for George Smitherman in an attempt to block Rob Ford. I voted for Pantalone anyway.
    I remember the provincial elections in the nineties and voted against Mike Harris. When I hear Rob Ford's name or see him on t.v., Mike Harris appears in my mind!
    I only hope that some of the councillors can temper our new mayor.
    I guess we will see soon enough.....
    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that many people held the same viewpoint as you. I only wish that more people had voted last Monday.

  8. btw I love your blog!


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I'm a slightly off-beat Toronto-area teacher who enjoys writing and photography. I come from a family of collectors and now I'm dragging my own family around to yard sales. It's just a bit of fun. Enjoy the scenes.