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My Kitchen Rules (Over Our Living Room)

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 As someone who doesn’t watch a terrible amount of free-to-air TV, I must have missed the boat on the latest obsession with reality TV. We have always had some form of entertainment about ‘real’ life, Survivor, The Block, Australian Idol, The 7pm Project and the list goes on. Yet something seems evidently different with the latest phenomenon of My Kitchen Rules.

Reality TV and cooking shows have been around for years, yet MKR has found a specific taste (excuse the pun) or element that immediately encapsulates your attention and draws you in. You invest yourself as you watch these people race against the clock and turn against each other, religiously watch and follow the series every night it’s on.  7 Network hit a goldmine with something as simple as a cooking show that generates widespread discussion in the public spheres.
The show has its own hashtag and live twitter feed, Facebook page, magazines with the recipes from the show, it is watched by millions across the country. So why are we all so obsessed with this show? With reality shows? What makes it so worthy of discussions across twitter, Facebook, and even day to day conversation? Is it the superficiality, like tabloids? Something to keep us entertained, ‘mush brain’ TV? Or is it because we can relate to this slightly warped sense of reality? They cook on the show, we cook in our homes! Making the ordinary entertainment worthy, to make us feel like our lives can be like theirs, if we buy what they show/cook our cooking too, can be “to die for” (in a french accent)

But where do we draw the line on reality as entertainment? The promo for next week’s episode showed one contestant cracking under the pressure in their ‘instant restaurant’ competition, clearly distraught and upset.  Is this an invasion of privacy? To showcase extremely private moments for our entertainment? The intense scrutiny these contestants are under clearly is damaging to these people, and all so we can have a good show. Do they push these people too far? 
Watching the show with my family, my father noticed on one of their mad dash to buy ingredients, they were driving without wearing seat-belts. Whether or not they were actually driving anywhere, or it was simply for filming, portraying these contestants driving recklessly is a careless mistake that affects the shows public image.

From all the discussion’s MKR draws, most is critical, as is the nature of the show. It is so much easier to pick out the negatives and complain than to search for something to praise. “Oh Carlie and Tressnae are such ******’s” or “Kelly and Chloe are such smart mouths”.  On the show they portray these people in a certain way, thanks to editing and whatnot, which generates these discussions and fury within us. It provokes us, and invites us to hate them, but at the same time they could make us like them and root for them. Both generate discussion, and thus generate viewers. Any press is good press right? MKR is TV shows that recognizes the importance of social media and the public sphere’s generation of interest in gaining viewers, and is succeeded in doing so. 

 

[image: http://img.mos.aunz.yimg.com/img/-/131128/mkr_pete_manu_plus7_630x354px_b_199dmtt-199dmu2.jpg]

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6 thoughts on “My Kitchen Rules (Over Our Living Room)

  1. I love MKR (although struggle to find time to watch it) and you raised some great points. I have never really considered why I like it so much, I guess maybe it has something to do with the drama and the satisfaction that comes from watching my least favourite team break down and fail (that sounds really harsh I know). Your right though discussion generates views and I’m certainly more likely to make time and watch the episode that everyone is talking about. Awesome blog, very relevant.

  2. I was yet to understand why people would get so invested in cooking shows but I think you’ve just hit the nail on the head. There is definitely too much pressure put on these contestants, and the personas they create for each of them is so obviously a scam to make the show worthwhile otherwise it would just be literally people cooking on a tv show.

  3. True point about how we relate to their reality with cooking but even with their dramas and all. We pick who we like as a reflection of what we are like and the kind of person we are. We get on these discussions on twitter, fb etc to let people know what we think regardless of who see’s it! We even talk about to one another discussing the show all over again haha So yes MKR is a great example of a mediated public sphere because even when the show is over we still discuss and go ok about it

    Great post!

  4. Great title! My Kitchen Rules has a really strange appeal, I agree! My dad complains constantly about it yet still sits and watches, sometimes he even imitating Manue’s French accent… “The oysters are inadequate!” We as a collective choose to follow the journey of those we do not know! Very odd indeed. Maybe if we could taste the taste the food I’d understand the hype! The media does play on the scandalous and knows that bitchy contestants make for entertaining TV. Good work on this blog and goodluck with your results. I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts.

  5. I think it was revealed that there was a lot of copying and editing going on behind the scenes last season right? Would have to have a look for that. You raised some great points, especially in regard to the audience being able to relate directly to the format of the show.

  6. I think your post brings up a good point, and it’s interesting to see how drama on television seems to attract more attention from its audience. I’m not sure if you would recall a show called ‘extra baggage’ it only ran for two weeks on channel nine before it was cancelled. The show was a lot like big brother but had significantly less drama. It’s true what you said, these shows do tend to arise ‘fury’ and provoke us to start discussions, significantly more so then their less dramatic counterparts, Which makes me wonder if we should really blame the media or ourselves for these shows airing. Nice post 🙂

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