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Sweet Genius


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#31

FriedButter

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Posted Sep 27, 2011 @ 1:31 AM

I'm still not sold on this show. I think I might be expecting too much. I haven't been impressed with any of the desserts so far.

I was really happy during the first round when Dr Evil wasn't giving those one word critiques but he was right back at it in the second round. Ugh.

Did the chef with the taxi cab door ears who looked like howdy doody when he smiled actually say he was good looking?

I was getting pretty annoyed with MMA chef when he kept saying how he was going to show everyone that someone like him could be a pastry chef. I don't get it. Do people come into where he works, look at him, and say 'You know what. You don't look like a pastry chef so I changed my mind about buying something'?

#32

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Posted Sep 27, 2011 @ 5:53 PM

I think they need more judges or something. Having RBI being the only person isn't really working.

How can a show that is campy and over-the-top be boring? Maybe because Ron Ben-Israel is neither charming nor charismatic. I was actually relieved when it was over because I have no need of returning to watch another one.

One episode was all I could stand.

#33

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Posted Sep 28, 2011 @ 10:59 AM

So, did anybody else notice the way RBI was sitting when he was judging? He had his legs open, which seemed uncomfortable to me.

I figure that when the built the set, the didn't leave room for someone to put their legs under the table, so he had to splay his legs to get close enough to eat the desserts, or sit sideways and turn his upper body.

#34

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Posted Sep 28, 2011 @ 11:07 AM

So, did anybody else notice the way RBI was sitting when he was judging? He had his legs open

I figure that when the built the set, the didn't leave room for someone to put their legs under the table, so he had to splay his legs to get close enough to eat the desserts, or sit sideways and turn his upper body

I....sure hope thats the reason

#35

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Posted Sep 29, 2011 @ 10:17 PM

I've only seen the ads for this show, which gave me precious little idea that this is basically Chopped for desserts, which I might be interested in watching.

Are we sure that the host isn't Paul Schaeffer doing a character?

#36

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Posted Sep 29, 2011 @ 11:02 PM

I thought tonight's winner was adorable. I also thought RBI loosened up a lot, or maybe I just got used to him. I'd still love it if he had a muppet sidekick.

#37

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Posted Sep 30, 2011 @ 1:54 AM

Tonight's winner might have been adorable, but man, I thought he was deluded. But apparently slopping a bunch of chunky goop into a mason jar is championship stuff....

#38

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Posted Sep 30, 2011 @ 6:42 AM

I know that we're supposed to believe that all of these competitions are based on the taste/appearance of the food, but I knew that it would be the spunky immigrant who won. If you show up to these competitions, especially on Food Network, and you're new to America and have a great story about how you're defying the odds and starting out with just a nickel in your pocket, you're pretty much a shoo-in for at least the finals. When he made the "drag queen in a jar" of melted slop covered with cotton candy and passed to the next round, I figured he was the winner right off.

RBI is certainly getting better as the host/judge of this show. His critiques are less enigmatic and he's showing his warm side. I like that.

I think the show is improving, and hope it's getting enough ratings to warrant a second season.

#39

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Posted Sep 30, 2011 @ 8:26 AM

I'm just tired of forcing savory elements into desserts. There's nothing the least bit appealing about bone marrow hot dogs in a dessert, for example.

#40

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Posted Sep 30, 2011 @ 8:41 AM

I was pleased with last night's winner, but I have to admit the appearance of the "drag queen" desert was very strange.

#41

marypoppins

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Posted Sep 30, 2011 @ 10:20 AM

I was pleased with last night's winner, but I have to admit the appearance of the "drag queen" desert was very strange.

I think it would've worked better if it had been in a daintier container. The idea was good, but the execution excessive.

#42

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Posted Sep 30, 2011 @ 1:24 PM

I like weird and innovative but I think the weird factor on this show is just a little bit too much for me. Turtles as an inspiration for dessert? Huh? That's completely unappetizing to me. The last thing I want to think about while chowing down a dessert is a fishy smelling reptilian like creature. And really the inspiration doesn't matter one darn bit anyway. 'Turtles make me think of the beach and that made me think of sunsets and sunsets are red and orange and there is red in my dessert.' What a long trip around the barn that was.

#43

mooncreek

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Posted Sep 30, 2011 @ 11:05 PM

This show caught The Soup's attention, in the same way Iron Chef: America did early on with The Secret Ingredient presentations. I was disappointed it wasn't about the "drag queen" dessert - focusing more on the sci-fi angle of the show and RBI's demeanor. To be fair, it was using last week's episode, so fingers crossed for next week.

#44

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Posted Oct 1, 2011 @ 12:02 AM

The more I watch this show, the more fascinated I become. Ron is a MUCH funnier man in real life than he is playing the role on this show. The contestants are funny enough to be laughable. I think they're chosen for their weirdness, and I sit here and howl over some of them. How Ron keeps a straight face when he looks at (and tastes) those final results is beyond me! This show is almost satire on "Chopped," but for some odd reason, I like it.

On last week's show, I thought the girl with no training was robbed. Her dessert looked and sounded a lot better than the mess the winner put in front of Rob. Each week continues to get better. I couldn't stand the first show, and I watched the second one, then the third. Each time, it was so pathetic and so much funnier. If you think you can't stand it, try it again -- if you can stand to!

Edited by Mlle Poilane, Oct 1, 2011 @ 12:04 AM.


#45

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Posted Oct 1, 2011 @ 1:27 AM

I just don't know what to think of this show. I get that essentially it's Chopped: Desserts.
I like the way the competitor vignettes are shot.
I'm not really into RBI as the host. For a show about sweets, it's not really sweet or fun, to me. Cold host, computerized set up, computer voice... It's about fluffy desserts. Lighten up!
I'd rather RBI have more of a "mad hatter" type vibe than this robotic impersonal thing that's going on. Plus, there's little payoff at the end. The most recent episode ("Hidden Genius"?) showed the win announcement, "yay I won" *smile*, end of show.
This won't be a can't-miss show for me. More like a "well, I'll watch while cleaning up".

#46

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Posted Oct 1, 2011 @ 7:57 PM

I was really happy during the first round when Dr Evil wasn't giving those one word critiques but he was right back at it in the second round. Ugh.


I bet a producer came over and smacked him with a contract, then pointed to a no complete sentences clause during a commercial break.

#47

SnarkyBean

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Posted Oct 2, 2011 @ 11:46 PM

Just caught the episode where the contestants were supposed to be inspired by sparklers and cats and all I can say is... wow. And I don't mean it in a good way. Mr.Snarky and I were in rare form between the Dr. Evil/HAL allusions and what the contestants clearly thought was the Conveyor Belt of Doom. I would love to see this show retooled: have Ron become one of the contestants, with two or three other bakers/pastry chefs. Have him be just as surprised as the others about the ingredients coming down the CBoD while a host and other judges banter and critique. I guess I was hoping more for "Win Ben Stein's Money" than what Sweet Genius turned out to be. Oh well. I gave it a shot.

#48

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Posted Oct 4, 2011 @ 1:02 AM

I guess I was hoping more for "Win Ben Stein's Money" than what Sweet Genius turned out to be. Oh well. I gave it a shot.

I thought that this was what the show was going to be like. I can't believe that Chopped was almost going to be this campy!

Can't decide which show is cheesier--this one or Cupcake Wars.

Edited by niklj, Oct 4, 2011 @ 1:02 AM.


#49

Mlle Poilane

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Posted Oct 4, 2011 @ 10:27 PM

I don't know, niklj,. The similarities seems to be that they're both about baking and both competitions, but beyond that, there are several differences, IMHO. "Cupcake Wars" is all about teams of bakers trying to outbake other teams, and their concoctions are miserable. The tone of the show is deadly serious -- or it tries to be -- while I sit yawning on the sofa. It is thick with hype that is meaningless because the show couldn't be exciting if it tried. I've only seen it once, but once was enough!

"Sweet Genius" begins with three or four rather weird contestants, but most of them have outstanding backgrounds (CIA grads, etc.) who are hoping to further their careers. The challenges are tough -- too tough, IMHO -- but there is an underlying sense of humor if you're in the mood to laugh. Ron puts on a campy act, but he's a renowned pastry chef in his own right. You're right that the show is a distant cousin of "Chopped." I like the endings when Ron becomes himself, finally.

Don't you suspect that the writers of "Chopped," "Cupcake Wars," and "Sweet Genius" are sitting at their drawing boards, side by side, lifting ideas from each other? It seems like some ogre from the FN drops by every few weeks and yells orders to the writers, "We want one more competition show! Get on it!"

Edited by Mlle Poilane, Oct 4, 2011 @ 10:32 PM.


#50

davout1806

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Posted Oct 6, 2011 @ 8:35 AM

Mlle Poilane

I can just see Bob Tuchman (sp?) and his cohorts coming in with their whips and the miserable food that they allow contestants on Cupcake Wars, etc. to make and force feeding them to eat the stuff and then demanding more competition shows, more speed bumps, and more gimmicks to add drama to their shows. Unfortunately, this is the image of what FN has become in many cases.

#51

NextRev

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Posted Oct 6, 2011 @ 11:31 PM

xingcat says:

I know that we're supposed to believe that all of these competitions are based on the taste/appearance of the food, but I knew that it would be the spunky immigrant who won.


This... especially since RBI has said, in interviews, that he's looking for the immigrant angle (obvious personal reasons). And add to that, that he's from Israel? Oh -- and that he says that high heels remind him of drag queens? Really, now, Amos -- just walk up and toss RBI's salad, why dontcha?

I mean, the "drag queen shared dessert" was a hot mess -- and it failed in presentation, too! You want to complain that there was no stabilizer in the one guy's foam? Fine -- but make sure you mention that Amos' cotton candy "hair" heated up and turned into a semi-solid seal on the top of the mason jar, k?

And in the final round, he has the insight to build a "canvas" (cool idea, actually), but his "genius" dessert is a fondue? Really? Maybe his bonbons were technically correct, but that wheatgrass filling was hideous -- something tells me that raw wheatgrass, the way he prepared it, was at least as "grassy" (RBI's complaint against the other guy) as the other preparation.

Nah... RBI comes off flaky, not campy, and this one was obvious after the first round of critiques. I didn't know who he was, before watching this, but I was thinking to myself "New York. Gotta be New York. Nowhere else would he get any play". Did a web search afterward, and yep... spot on. I'll put this one on my "might watch again... but not likely".

#52

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Posted Oct 7, 2011 @ 12:23 AM

The episode I saw tonight had a French chef running out of time, so he took the whisk off his mixer, dipped it in his ice cream, and put it in a bowl. That's the kind of thing I would want to see Conant deal with on Chopped. RBI going "disaster" when looking at it made my night.

#53

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Posted Oct 7, 2011 @ 1:13 AM

The episode I saw tonight had a French chef running out of time, so he took the whisk off his mixer, dipped it in his ice cream, and put it in a bowl. That's the kind of thing I would want to see Conant deal with on Chopped. RBI going "disaster" when looking at it made my night.

And then when another chef started snickering about it, the "Sweet Genius" (who the hell is this guy anyway?) goes all grade school teacher on him. Is there something you find funny? Are you laughing? Please share with the class what you find so funny.

The way they stretch a concept to use the "inspiration" in their dish is hilarious. I'm waiting for something like this: For the inspiration of (insert random noun here) , the first time I saw one I was with my (insert relative here, bonus points if said relative is deseased) and my (relative) loved (insert fruit here), so that's why I used it.

#54

taalsi

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Posted Oct 7, 2011 @ 4:41 PM

Is there something you find funny? Are you laughing?


And my answers would've been "Hell, yes" to both questions. That shit was a trainwreck. All that time he wasted doing nothing could've been used to come up with other components. Oh, how I laughed.

I kind of like the show but they need to ditch the "inspiration." Most people don't even come close to incorporating the theme. The inspiration is candelabra and me and my boyfriend ate red velvet cake for the very first time together and red velvet cake means celebration and somehow I'm gonna come full circle and bring that long winded story back to candelabra. Oh, please. It wasn't as bad as the "butterfly" whisk but it was close.

I liked the girl that won the best but what was with her bursting out with laughter when he gave her compliment? It was a little odd. Maybe it was wonky editing.

#55

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Posted Oct 7, 2011 @ 5:08 PM

My feelings so far about this show are it needs to ramp up the crazy. I know, I know, "it's about the desserts!" But it's not. Hell, I'm not gonna taste this stuff. It could be more sober like Chopped, but why?...when there's already a show called Chopped. This is a pretty cheesy program with a certain ambition, unlike Cupcake Wars, which is a cheesy show with zero ambition.

So here are some ideas. The show visually doesn't have enough movement. Instead of the conveyer belt, have a crew of mimes march in lockstep to plop the mid-challenge new ingredient on their workstations. Assign the chefs their own mimes at the introduction, standing over their shoulders. Have a Metropolis styled Vanna White model to reveal the inspiration. More headmaster sternness from Ron Ben-Israel--"Do you find something funny? What is so very funny, monsieur?"

There should be a mascot. Not a lapdog. Not a cat. A chinchilla (notoriously skittish animals that need a quiet space in the corner). The losing chef's assigned mime needs a role in disposing of the failed dessert. Maybe a beatnik artist can smear it on some canvas, or have a rotating set of characters with their own disposal methods. Or the mascot can be a goat in a pen with a feeding trough.

#56

Mlle Poilane

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Posted Oct 9, 2011 @ 1:32 AM

Bungalow Joy, you're hired! Report to the programming department at once! :)

Another idea to pep things up: Include something poisonous in each round. For instance, give three contestants squid ink and one of them motor oil. Have each contestant choose a dessert that looks especially good or especially bad, and eat them. The loser would be obvious. Drag him/her out by the feet, and continue to the next round. Have Ron do nothing but raise his eyebrows and make his usual faces until the end, when he stands, throws his arms up into the air and proclaims, "YOU'RE THE LUCKY SO-AND-SO!" Call the show "Deadly Desserts," and watch the ratings!

Edited by Mlle Poilane, Oct 9, 2011 @ 11:00 PM.


#57

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Posted Oct 9, 2011 @ 12:06 PM

This show is just weird - the host is eminently unlikeable - the competition is contrived and silly, and I doubt it can be saved by 'camping' it up further. Keep the crazy -- what is the point? It is not entertaining.

Edited by apricot2, Oct 9, 2011 @ 12:14 PM.


#58

Mlle Poilane

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Posted Oct 9, 2011 @ 11:12 PM

Seriously, this show had potential before the writers stopped for a martini break. It could be a delightful show with some really outstanding desserts coming from the contestants. As it is, though, it goes in all sorts of directions with the contestants having to mix the most god-awful ingredients. It makes one wonder how any of the desserts can amount to anything, much less genious. It often seems like it goes from difficult (which is OK) to impossible (not OK), and that's when we see the horrible results. There are two many weird ingredients they have to incorporate.

i'm not sold on this show by any means. I've given it two or three tries, and if it doesn't get better, I'll abandon Ron and his four baffled contestants for some other show. The only part of the last show that made me sit up was the "Are you laughing?" line. I thought it was hilarious with the offender trying so hard to stop. That was grade school all over again!

#59

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Posted Oct 9, 2011 @ 11:36 PM

One thing I found offensive about the latest episode was the female competitor who called herself a "former opera singer". From the picture she provided, she was in a high school production of South Pacific and then started doing formal music training at college before dropping that for pastry. That does not make you an opera singer. I'm sick of these people going on shows and claiming they "sing opera", when what they really mean is they've learned to sing a couple arias. This happens a lot on America's Got Talent too. Opera is much more than standing in place and screeching out some high notes. If she had just said she was TRAINING to be an opera singer, or called herself a classically trained singer, I wouldn't have had a problem.

I kind of loved the guy who won. His first round dessert with way too many components in a jar, topped off with a cotton candy afro? So wonderfully ridiculous. And then he mocked the other guy in the final round for having too many components on his plate. Maybe it would have been just the right amount if they were served in a jar....

#60

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Posted Oct 10, 2011 @ 5:34 PM

I like weird and innovative but I think the weird factor on this show is just a little bit too much for me. Turtles as an inspiration for dessert? Huh? That's completely unappetizing to me. The last thing I want to think about while chowing down a dessert is a fishy smelling reptilian like creature. And really the inspiration doesn't matter one darn bit anyway. 'Turtles make me think of the beach and that made me think of sunsets and sunsets are red and orange and there is red in my dessert.' What a long trip around the barn that was.


I thought the same thing... turtles and sunsets are unrelated. Her line of thinking went Sea Turtle -> Sea -> Seashore -> Sunsets at the Beach. What? Not that the colors of her dish suggested a sunset anyway...

Same with the guy who saw the high heeled shoe and thought Fashionable Shoe -> Fashion Industry -> Fabric -> Chiffon. Actually his concept was *slightly* better than the Sea Turtle Sunset. I thought that guy was going to be good, but his execution totally sucked. Not only did he put a undercooked, deflated foam on the ice cream, but he piped on regular chocolate, which of course hardened (you could see when RBI's spoon cracked it). Why not chocolate sauce? He shouldn't have even done the foam at all.

Then of course there was Mr. Literal. I will pipe a high heeled shoe. I will make a candy turtle. I will make a chocolate mask. Whatever you give me in inspiration, I will just create in a candy decoration for my dessert.

Then again that was better than the Drag Queen Shared Dessert (would YOU want to share that dessert? Eww.) That thing looked like those things you make at the fair - the stretched-out bottle with the multicolored sand inside, and the muppet hair on top.

I do think RBI is fine by himself (I actually LIKE that it's singular, totally biased judging!), but a muppet would be an acceptable sidekick.