Wednesday April 3, 2013
Like a boss
By MELODY L. GOH
Some TV personalities think too much of themselves or their programmes.
THERE are so many bosses around these days – on television, that is – that it’s easy to get confused over who’s the “boss” of what show, especially since most of them seem to involve cooking.
The reality programmes Cake Boss and Kitchen Boss (both on TLC) revolve around the life of Buddy Valastro, a self-taught baker who runs the successful family-owned Carlo’s Bakery in New Jersey, the United States. Valastro’s programmes often show him and his siblings fighting over something trivial, or his siblings and the kitchen staff arguing over something ridiculous. Everything ends on a happy note, though, plus some of the cakes and pastries they come up with look really amazing.
The bakery is also always filled with customers, which is an indication of just how successful – and not to mention popular (Valastro has said before that the reality shows more than doubled the company’s business) – Carlo’s Bakery is.
This week, Valastro has another show premiering on TLC. Cake Boss: The Next Great Baker, which kicks off today at 7pm, sees 13 cake “artists” who will compete against each other for the grand prize of US$100,000 (RM300,000). Apart from that, the winner will also get to have his/her story featured in a magazine, and work side-by-side with Valastro and his crew at the bakery.
It may be a bit much for some people to see the same person appear in three different shows every week, but since Valastro is a charming guy, it’s actually not too bad. Unlike the other self-proclaimed “boss” on TV, chef Bruce Lim of The Boss (Asian Food Channel), who is by far one of today’s most arrogant personalities on television.
Okay, so it may be quite a stretch to describe him as such, but Lim does come off as arrogant and a know-it-all on his show. He’s also not that natural when it comes to hosting; everything he says sounds scripted and it’s not a good script to begin with.
One show with a really good script, however, is Boss. And it has nothing to do with cooking or food.
Instead, Boss (HBO) trails the life of Tom Kane, the mayor of Chicago, Illinois who suffers from a degenerative neurological disorder. He doesn’t tell anyone about it, though, because he does not want to lose his power, and feels that there are still a lot of things for him to do while in office. Only his doctor knows about his medical problem, but slowly his family members begin to suspect something amiss.
Multiple Emmy Award-winner Kelsey Grammer plays Kane, an intimidating man who truly believes that he can change the world, even if he has to take a handful of pills daily to combat his illness. If you are used to seeing Grammer in comedic roles – in Cheers, Frasier, Back To You, Hank, Mr St Nick – it may take a while to get used to watching him play it straight.
Sure, he was quite serious as Dr Frasier Crane (his most popular role in Cheers and Frasier), too, but nowhere near as formidable as Kane in Boss.
One character that has no boss is Nikita, of ... Nikita (Ntv7 and Warner TV on HyppTV). Nikita is a rogue agent who’s main goal in life is to take down the agency that trained her to become the assassin that she is today. The show is loosely based on the film Nikita, which had a previous TV edition called La Femme Nikita that starred Peta Wilson. Maggie Q plays the titular role in this new version, and while she had a rocky start – her acting was so bad that it got quite annoying – the actress has since vastly improved. So much so that Nikita is now in its third season, which is what Warner TV/HyppTV is currently showing.
(HyppTV is also showing the Oscar-winning Argo via its video-on-demand package, so if you’ve been dying to watch this movie, then here’s your chance to catch it.)
By the way, has anyone noticed anything new on Fox? A few weeks ago, the channel ran promotional clips about how “a new Fox” was coming. Apart from the station IDs that feature Jennifer Lopez, Cote D’Pablo and some other actors expressing their love for Fox, there’s really nothing much happening on the channel. At least, nothing that’s obvious to a couch potato like me.
■ How cool would it be to watch Who’s The Boss all over again? Tweet us (@MyStarTwo) what other retro shows you’d like to watch on TV.