By: Jason Smith ~Staff Writer~
The best hour of television I watched this weekend was Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party. It is a new kind of cook-off show that combines hip-hop and Martha Stewart. This is the kind of television that puts entertainment in the surreal category.
The cooking battle show really was born with Iron Chef — the original one, not the American remake featuring William Shatner. America was late to the cook-off shows, but now cable television is besieged by cupcake wars and cake bosses. There are entire channels devoted to giving people three ingredients and an hour to cook. Typically, the judges are famous food critics. Martha and Snoop had actor Seth Rogen and rapper Wiz Kalifa deciding whose fried chicken was the best.
After a rolling DJ intro Snoop and Martha came out. Then Snoop whipped up a pineapple gin and juice drink. Seth Rogen was on Snoop’s team and Wiz Kalifa was on Martha’s as they battled it out for fried chicken cooking mastery. The winner got to claim a championship belt.
There was a general awkwardness that lingers in the air with this show. That’s part of the charm. The sight of Wiz Kalifa mixing up flour with Martha Stewart is something else. The fourth wall was clearly broken and the audience at home and in the studio are all in on the joke.
The really great thing about this broadcast is that it still takes what it is doing seriously. Martha and Snoop could descend into chaos and constant pot smoking references, but it restrains itself. I wonder if the studio audience thought it was really participating in some kind of elaborate practical joke. “Surprise this isn’t real, this is just another Wayne Brady show!”
However, the audience was brimming with excitement for this new entertainment powerhouse combo. Move over Kim and Kayne, there’s a new super duo on television.
The show is fearless in its execution. Snoop’s side of the stage complements his vibe, Martha’s complements hers. There were moments of strange pauses in conversation and pre-scripted jokes, but when the cooking gets rolling, the show really shines.
Watching this taught me that Scottish immigrants brought fried chicken to America. Martha Stewart mentioned that African- Americans contributed to the recipe and made it better, further proof that America really benefits from cross-cultural contributions.
Later in this fine bit of television, Ice Cube arrived as a surprise guest. Snoop said grace, followed by eating and conversation.
Snoop conceded that the brine Martha used gave her chicken a good taste. Martha Stewart even opened up about going to jail. This show crosses generations and heals wounds. The winner of the contest was both of them and television for putting this on the air.
Everything concluded with an Anderson Paak performance. I can’t recommend Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner enough.
We need more television like this. Tune in, have viewing parties. Tell your friends, watch it with your family. Finally, we have reached peak entertainment. Let’s celebrate it.