Man Vs. Food
With Obama on the defensive over the healthcare debate his administration can only pray that conservatives don’t cotton on to the deliciously irresponsible antics of Travel Channel’s Adam Richman, as one look at him will likely kill any chance of universal healthcare in this country for good. Now airing its second season, the eponymous battle is waged weekly as Richman scours the country for the best and most infamous pig-out spots, and in doing so ably illustrates that there is nothing on this Earth that cannot be exponentially improved by the simple application of melted cheese.
The notion that everything is bigger in America is a cliche, but one that is well founded. On Richman’s menu are monstrous portions of the most delectable, delicious delicacies born out of the minds of culinary maniacs and available to those long on courage and short on sense. A Brooklyn native with a background in acting, Richman embarks each week to a different destination and hones in on famed eateries, boasting unique, bizarre, and, above all, BIG signature dishes.
A naturally affable man, possessing a surprising amount of charisma, Richman soaks up the atmosphere getting down to it with the regulars in an effort to assess what makes each particular joint worthy of attention. Always eager for a story, the central theme of the food is garnished with a little history and local color that lends each and every restaurant its own personality. Then of course it’s off to the kitchen where Richman revels in the creative process, detailing each and every ingredient and preparatory step that make these dishes such a labor of love.
So far it seems he’s never tasted a single thing he didn’t absolutely adore, and the cynical might cry foul at a shameless showman playing to the camera in service to the whorish duty of plugging these joints as per contractual obligation. That is until you actually see the food – a 42-inch pizza for example, topped with pepperoni, Italian sausage, ground beef, peppers, onions, mushrooms, olives, and three layers of cheese – I doubt he’s having to pretend very hard. But that’s the least of it. Down in Las Vegas for example, the home of all things sinful, Richman indulges himself with a mountainous sandwich featuring chicken fried steak topped with scrambled eggs and hollandaise sauce, for breakfast.
It’s pure culinary pornography, and it’s not for the faint of heart, nor the hungry. But of course the big draw each episode is the infamous challenge. Each week qualifying the forthcoming idiocy with the comical statement: "I’m not a competitive eater, but…” Richman throws down the gauntlet to a signature challenge in the ongoing battle of Man Vs. Food. Whipping the crowd into a frenzy, Richman proceeds to chew his way through a nauseatingly oversized portion of custom made scrumptiousness, often for little more reward than a blurry Polaroid on the wall and bragging rights. Occasionally he fails, more often than not he triumphs, but always he is hungry for the next location and the next dish, which makes Man Vs. food truly one of the most delicious guilty pleasures on television.
Starring: Adam Richman
Executive Producer: Matt Sharp
Network: Travel Channel
Airtime: Wednesday, 10:00pm EST