One cooking show too many
Tonight's TV pickings include a superfluous food fest and a timely probe on uranium smuggling.
How long will the Israeli craze for cooking shows continue? Is this trend ever going to stop? And is it possible that the cooking shows - bigger, noisier, costlier and with ever more glamorous guests - have replaced both the game shows of the 1990s and the talk shows?
These are the questions that flood the mind upon watching "Israel Cooks," a new game-cum-talk-cum-entertainment-cum-cooking show premiering tonight on Channel 10.
"Israel Cooks" is an Israeli adaptation of a format created by Gordon Ramsay, the chef from hell, who is also a guest on the first episode. On the menu is a three-course meal, but this show is not only about cooking. Beside celebrity chef Yisrael Aharoni, actor Guy Loel has been slotted in as a sidekick along with three celebrity guests. There are also broadcast points around the country, a carnival atmosphere in the studio, canned laughter, a judge and jokes. The goal of creating the biggest cooking workshop in real time - without resorting to the traditional "I happen to have prepared in advance" routine - is perhaps cute but, alas, rather exhausting. Apparently there was good reason for cutting the pear into eighths, squeezing the juice of half a lemon and mincing the herbs beforehand on cooking shows of less than one hour long (! ) - the duration of "Israel Cooks." The result feels like a show that tries a bit too hard. Amateur cooks who have not had much practice might delight in this; everyone else will grow impatient.
"Israel Cooks," Channel 10, 9:00 P.M.
The 36th season of the Channel 1 investigative program "Mabat Sheni" (Second Look ) will kick off this evening with a particularly relevant investigation of the market for raw materials for producing nuclear weapons. "The yellow market" is the nickname given to black market deals in which uranium mined illegally in Congo is sold through shady middlemen. The raw material makes its way across non-existent borders in Africa, jungles and provincial towns to be sold to all corners of the world.
Mabat Sheni, Channel 1, 9:45 P.M.