Thursday, January 25, 2007

In Defense of Marcel

I admit it, I am reality TV's bitch. In particular, I seem to get roped into the Bravo! network shows. Project Runway is easily one of my favorite shows, though I could have done with a lot less meanness and bullshit drama (Jeffrey and Keith, I'm looking at you). Now, while Top Chef is not as entertaining to me, it’s still a really good show, and I really enjoy watching it. But this season has been absolutely dreadful. The drama had very little to do with the competition, and the competitors just seem to be douche bags.

I get that it's a competition, and I don't necessarily expect everyone to love each other and be friends, particularly if different people have grating personalities. Tiffani last season is a good example: as a person, I couldn't stand her, but she was a good chef and that was largely what made her good TV. Sure, Dave couldn't stop crying, and Stephen was obnoxious with his sommelier crap, but still, that was all competition, and it frankly made for a good show.

When this season started, I was looking for Marcel to be this season's Stephen: probably quite talented as a cook, but an obnoxious git. But unless the editors aren't giving him a fair edit because he ultimately wins, he hasn't been that bad. Yes, he is a gigantic dork; his rapping on the roof is as much evidence of that as his bouffant hairdo. But what strikes me as so odd is that everyone else is constantly bitching about how irritating he is, and last night Elia went so far as to say he "cheated" in previous challenges, and we have seen absolutely zero evidence of that. Okay, his personality may be grating in person, but let's take a look at what he's being accused of:

  1. Being disrespectful in the kitchen: Okay, when? Because what we have been consistently shown is that he tries almost without fail to be extremely respectful in the kitchen. He offered to help Betty more than once even though Betty was a complete ass to him. He asked repeatedly for people to keep the refrigerator door closed, which affected them all and was very inconsiderate of who was not doing it. And every team challenge it seemed, Marcel seemed to take whatever course was left over instead of being a bitch and fighting over it. On the other hand, we've got Ilan, who yelled at Marcel for "snapping" at Betty when Marcel really didn't, and the rest of the chefs all refusing to help him until he had apologized. We've got Ilan blatantly insulting Marcel by trying to foam Italian dressing in one of the quickfire challenges just to mock him. And all of the chefs seemed to insist on shunning and bitching about Marcel, both to his face and behind his back.
  2. Cheating: This is such crap. Prove it. Show one instance in which Marcel cheated. Did he accidentally "steal" a case of lychee? No. Did he alter his recipe in the dietetic challenge? No (Betty). He didn't even take a discount he was most likely entitled to because he didn't know if it was allowed. So, sorry, I'm not biting. There were cameras up your ass at all times. You're telling me you can't find one instance of him doing something underhanded? Oh, he moved your pot Elia? When your burner wasn't even on? After he announced he was moving it? How awful for you. Suck it the hell up.
  3. He's irritating: Granted. His personality could very easily come off as irritating. Anyone that you live with is irritating at least some of the time. I didn't see them treating Betty like shit, and she was irritating. Mikey could be horribly irritating, and everyone loved him. All it ended up looking like was "the cool kids" picking on the kid they decided was the enemy. And the funny thing is if they hadn't done it, I probably wouldn't be rooting for Marcel, because he does have personality ticks that bug, and (far more importantly) his food isn't necessarily the first in line I'd like to taste. But that doesn't give these people the right to try and smear him through the mud, physically assault him (Cliff), slam him on personal things and generally be giant dicks.

It'll be interesting to see if we find out stuff in the inevitable reunion special that shines some light on why Marcel was so reviled. I seriously doubt these people can find a way to justify their deplorable behavior, but I have to believe something was going on that we weren't being shown. In any case, when TC3 starts airing, I seriously hope the drama comes on the side or not at all.

No comments: