This season of Masterchef has faced a wide array of criticisms. From viewers calling the show ageist for eliminating older contestants, to conspiracy theories about why audience favourites aren’t making the cut, the ninth season of the popular series has people questioning the integrity of the show.
But these aren’t my issues. Not even close.
My problem, you see, is the larger concept underpinning the entire franchise. It’s with the whole idea of having a reality TV competition about cooking.
Guys, WHY CAN’T THESE PEOPLE JUST GO TO TAFE.
Excuse me. Let me explain my thoughts.
In a climate of more reality shows than anyone can keep track of, and more familiar faces emerging from these programs, it’s easy to overlook the broader questions.
It’s far too much of a breeze to mindlessly watch The Real Housewives of Sydney without questioning the premise of the show, before getting to the end of the series and thinking, ‘did I just watch a grown woman throw glitter on another grown woman? Did that really just happen?’
It’s escapism. A great deal of the entertainment we consume is escapism.
Clare and Laura have some advice for the Masterchef contestants this week on The Binge…
But just take a step back. Masterchef is built on the premise that a bunch of ordinary Australians just really want to be chefs. They’ve achieved everything else they want in life – they’ve had families, bought houses, established successful careers as lawyers and teachers and writers, but what they truly want is to cook. So they give up everything to go on TV, and compete in a series of challenges judged by some of Australia’s most well-known culinary experts.
But surely, SURELY, if these people really wanted to be chefs, they’d be out… being chefs. Wouldn’t they?
You can be a chef. That’s a thing you can do. You can go to Tafe, or get an apprenticeship, or work in a kitchen, and be a chef. There doesn’t have to be a competition, you don’t have to run around a kitchen while dozens of people watch and intimidating judges ask you questions you’re far too busy to answer, and you don’t have to be assessed on national television. You can just… be a chef.