Thursday, February 09, 2006

More Craaazy TV

Yesterday was Wednesday, or as I now know it Sui-Ju, and its reputation for wacky TV was well deserved yet again. At around 7ish, I happened upon (surprise, surprise) a food program. But, my fiance was quick to point out, a food program that I would like because the contestants are useless and no-one ever says "oishiiiii!!!"

I noted with interest that the contestants were all young, aesthetically attractive women with rather large chests - my fiance cheerfully told me that they were "softporn idols" and they had to make a Valentine's Day cake for the guests.

Porn stars baking cakes... you know you're in Japan when you start saying sentences like that.

So anyway, slightly reminiscent of Can't Cook, Won't Cook, there was a brief montage of the girls in the kitchen, trying in earnest to do what they evidently have never done in their lives. They really looked like they were taking every care to produce a well-made, delicious cake. That illusion was spectacularly shattered when it came to the presentation, however.

Apart from one girl, who I will refer to later, every girl on the show produced roughly the same thing - an sloppy mud pie of a cake that had been thrown together, uncooked and smothered in every piece of confectionary the girls could lay their perfectly manicured hands on.

Yes, that's right, I did say uncooked. Had the purpose of the show been to throw together a rushed, shoddy trifle then the girls would have been ok. As it was, there were harsh words and cries of "BITTER!" and "IS THIS FROM A RUBBISH BIN?", which made the girls' cute aprons and sugary Valentines cards seem very redundant indeed. It seems that these girls see a cake as something that is put together like a salad and bought from a shop. How my grandmothers would chuckle...

One of the best dynamics of this show was that the panel were sat in a long line, and everyone had to try the cakes. So if the first guy found it disgusting, it was a safe bet that everyone else would as well, and the criticism increased with each successive taster (for one girl, who had arguablty made the greatest effort of all, every single panel member had to run off screen to spit in a strategically placed bucket). Kinda hard on the girl that genuinely thought she was making something of beauty, great for the viewing public.

Now about the girl I mentioned earlier. Immediately taking a liking to her for having an exceedingly cheeky face, I was stunned to see that not only did she understand how the mechanics of baking worked, she went on to make a cake that could sit in a glass case in anyones bakery. The panel agreed, and my pride for cheeky-face was slightly offset by the full-mouth cries of "oishiiiiiii!" and men thinking that they are attractive by shouting with cake dropping from their mouths. Thank heavens for the orange-skinned French pastry chef, usually the harshest critic, who after a discrete nibble said something along the lines of "yes, rather pleasant".

In true Japanese fashion, amidst the celebrations and hysterics (apparently this was the first time that a contestant had made something that was genuinely delicious) the camera shot back to the other girls, who were putting on a brave face but were clearly as dejected and miserable as their awful cakes.

For a show that showed busty beauties baking, this show did have some intellectual substance. That is, it was a clear pastiche on the failings of J-girl fashion - the rushed, haphazard way in which the so-called cakes were thrown together is unerringly similar to the way in which the J-girls approach their coordination of clothes and accessories.

Ah, maybe it really was just porn stars and cakes..


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