Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: gentle competition

Mushy in the middle

I ilke reality shows that I call’ gentle competitions’. I’m more interested in cooperation than cutthroat competition. I watched Cutthroat Kitchen a few times, and I hated it. Not only did I hate the delibearte sabotage, but I got anxious from watching. Since I feel other people’s emotions, I don’t want to deliberately inflict myself with nasty ones, especially manufactored exaggerated ones.

That’s why I prefer the ones that are collaborative rather than competitive. Yes, ultimately, they are competing against each other, but that doesn’t mean they have to be mean. I used to twatch Chopped, but I started hating that it was so manufactured. The one twho said they were not there to make friends/came to win were nearly always out after the first competttion–second at latest. Anyone who was confident that they had done great were the next to go. In almost every foursome, there was usually one who was the heel. I think this is more an American thing, by the way. Britains are culturally more diffident and self-deprecating whereas Americans are more brash. It got to the point with Chopped where I could predict who was going to win with a roughly 85% success rate without knowing anything about cooking. Quite frankly, it got boring after a while.

This is part of the problem with these shows if they go on for a long time–they become samey. Yes, I know, that’s part of the comfort. Every episode is the same and there’s something positive about that. But, on the other hand, it can get boring if there is no innovation. This is a reason I leave groups and stop visiting websites–because there’s no evolution. When it reaches the point where I know who is going to say what in which situation, then I get bored. Granted, I am very good at reading people, but still.

It’s not their fault; truly, I know this. People don’t change on the regular. Or if they do, it’s slow and steady–not dramatic explosions. Of course people can have epiphanies and breathroughs, but that’s a rare occurrence.

Watching the fourth (and current, I think) season of Glow Up, I’m finding myself…not bored, exactly, but wanting more. The MUAs are brilliantly talent as usual, but the competitions are so safe. They talk about creativity and pushing boundaries, but they don’t do that in their own requests. And, because of the nature of these shows, there is a mush in the middle that is not palatable.

Continue Reading

Drink Masters: an underrated gem

In the past few years, I’ve been gorging on what I’ve termed gentle competitions (TV shows). Of coruse, the grande dame is The Great British Baking Show, wmich I used to watch when it  was The Great British Bake Off with Sue and Mel. Once they were pushed out, I was done. I felt it was sleazy and of course Paul Hollywood stayed because that’s the kind of man he is. I lost all interest once they were gone, but that sparked my love of competitive reality shows.

Here’s the  thing, though. I don’t like the ones where people are nasty to each other or snippy behind each other’s back. I used to watch Chopped, and while I liked it in general, I started to beccome aware of the pattern that made it easy to gues swho was going to win. Not only who was going to win, but who was going to be cut after each challenge. If someone said they were confident they were going to win, they were gone. Anyone who exceptionally nasty was gone. But, on the other hand, anyone who was mildly brutish stayed. It got boring by the end, if I’m to be honest.

K and I were talking about these shows because she enjoys them, too. She mentioned that she started watching them once the pandemic hit because she  just wanted comfort and warmth. I agreed with her vigorously. With the world being what it was, there was nothing better with hunkering down and bingeing a competition show. I preferred British over American for the most part.

I have watched so many of them, and now I know what I like and what I don’t like in a show. I will note that it’s different for different situations. If I’m working on something else, then I want a show that is lowkey. That means one that has a set amount of competitors each episode and then just whittles them down a la Chopped. One of my favorites in that genre is Sugar Rush. It’s the epitome of comfort food. You can consume it without much thought, and it’ll keep you satiated for an hour or so. There is nothing brilliant about the show, but it’s just a delight to watch.

The other way to do these shows is to have a group of contestants who last for the whole season. I confess, I prefer this to the different contestants per episode format because I can actually develop opinions and feelings for the contestants.

I will also say that when I see a bunch of diverse people on the show, I’m immediately boosted. It’s become the norm, which makes me happy. It shouldn’t even be a factor, but, sadly, it still is. What do I mean when I sy diversity? POC, obviously, but also gender in the competitions considered masculine (which, sadly, are most of them. Even cooking shows are considered masculine because–patriarchy), sexual orientation, gender orientation, and even age.

Continue Reading

I like a bit of gentle competition

The image I project is that of a tough, wisecracking woman* who don’t take no shit from anyone. It’s mostly fiction, but it’s served me well. To a point. I walked, strode, really, with my sunglasses on and a firm set to my chin. Most people take one look at me and leave me alone. I knew, however, that if someone was serious about attacking me, they wouldn’t be fooled. That’s why I started taking taiji classes. This post isn’t about that, though. It’s about my softer side that I rarely show. This side of me loves plushies and fluffy animals. The latter at a distance, however, because I’m allergic to most of them, including cats. But I love cats so I have one.

I also like cheesy pop music, unapologetically. I don’t believe in guilty pleasures because if you like something, why feel guilty about it? I can cheerfully admit that I have terrible taste in music for example, but I never feel guilty. about it. I boggle some people’s minds by being so matter-of-fact about liking what most people consider is bad music. It’s the same as when I say I’m a terrible driver (which I am). People are nonplused, which is partly because that’s not what you want to hear, I’m sure. but, the reality is that not everyone can be an above-average driver.

My point is that while I appear to be edgy and tough, I have a soft side that people may not know about. I don’t hide it, but it’s not as if I bellow it from the rafters, either.

I don’t watch much TV or movies, but one thing I like is what I call gentle competition shows. The Great British Bake Off is the original one (now The Great British Baking Show, but I stopped watching it after Sue and Mel were forced off). It was a surprise hit and afterwards, it spawned a plethora of similar shows in a category I call gentle competitions. That means people compete against each other, but they’re not trying to crush their opponents. It’s not Cutthroat Kitchen or whatever it’s called–I hate that show. There is no sabotage and everyone is so supportive of each other.

Continue Reading