First Taste of Tastemade is Less Than Filling
/ Jul 2, 2013

HilahJohnson

We ranked it:

D

From a team of creatives who worked at Demand Media comes Tastemade, which one glib news wonk called “Machinima for food.” The aim here is to provide, via YouTube’s original channels initiative, a series of food-related programs; some of these morsels are created at the company’s 7,000 foot facility in Santa Monica with the others curated (I love/hate that word) by some sort of selection process that shows a lack of subject matter expertise — at least so far, to this fair-minded internet TV pundit.

Let’s be totally up-front here: I have sampled but one program — “Hilah’s Texas Kitchen” —  so either my not-so-random choice is not representative of Tastemade’s vision for quality video fare or I am missing the point of this odd take on one of television’s classic programming genres. I chose Hilah Johnson’s show because she lives in Austin (as do I), one of our nation’s current food hot spots, which boasts a diverse pantheon of grubstake stars including Paul Qui (he of “Top Chef” victory fame) and Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue, deemed by those who know (including me, pre-vegan) as Texas’ (therefore the nation’s) numero uno BBQ joint. I figgered (as we say down Texas way) that some of Austin’s cerebral, yet folksy, food charm would rub off on Miss Hilah, but alas, I was mistaken.

Hilah, who bears a striking resemblance to Lisa Kudrow, talks way too fast, uses recipes that are garbled and when her patter is coherent, she often speaks in non sequitur double entendre (“The squash is hard, the way I like my men”). Was that Julia Child I saw spinning in her grave? I admit Hilah clearly states her videos are for beginners, but anyone whose kitchen skills that are greater than boiling water will find the instructions difficult to follow and just a tick over fair-to-middlin’ take out. If you are looking for fluid skills and a mind for innovative dishes, you’ll need to put that quest on the back burner.

Let me look beyond my snobby point of view related to cooking videos to note that Ms. Johnson, who has degrees in biology and botany, has carefully crafted a web celebrity persona that resonates with many viewers who find her charming and, as one comic would say, “has many other qualities admired by superficial man.” She is also not afraid of controversy, earning a mention in Huffington Post for her funny (but slightly misguided) video poke at Chick-fil-A’s 2012 anti-gay remarks. In a world where YouTube stars emerge from a pool of folks who can master a webcam and green screen while coaxing their cat to purr sweet nothings, the bar for art and science of cooking videos may be lowered to meet our world of snaps and clips.

I am looking forward to taking the chef’s knife to other Tastemade programs which, I hope, are blends of entertainment with food. Think Alton Brown.

 

Tags: , , , ,


aol nate hayden

AOL Ups Nate Hayden to Run Originals Business

Disney Muppets

Disney Debuts Muppets Web Series

unbelieveable_1

Bravo Taps The Gregory Brothers, SoulPancake to Promote New Series

pewdiepie

Maker Studios Launches iPhone App for PewDiePie

Ear Biscuits Devin SuperTramp

Devin SuperTramp: ‘Ready-Made for Sponsorship’

showmobile

Radio Disney Strikes Multi-Channel Content Deal with ShowMobile

judy mcgrath

Former MTV CEO Judy McGrath Joins Amazon’s Board

MediaKraft

Next New Networks Co-Founder Joins Advisory Board at Mediakraft

NewsToKnow

Friday 8.1: News to Know

cracklecleaners2

Crackle Sets Return Date for ‘Cleaners’

cartoon hangover manly

‘Adventure Time’ Crew Members Debut...

ViralGains

Nas Invests in Viral Video Marketing Firm ViralGains

July_Vi_Chats

Recap! VideoInk Presents… Diversifying the Video Ecosystem

HuluRemote

Hulu Makes Full Episodes Available for Free on Android Devices

NETFLIX, INC. BOJACK HORSEMAN

Saddle Up for BoJack Horseman’s Comeback… on Netflix...

dapper_laughs

British Vine Star ‘Dapper Laughs’ Scores TV Show with ITV

Corey_Moss

EXCLUSIVE: Hearst Hires Corey Moss to Grow Digital Video Business

NBCDigital

NBCU Brings USA and Syfy to Xbox for the First Time

spotxchange2

RTL Group Takes Majority Stake in SpotXchange for $144M

NewsToKnow

Thursday 7.31: News to Know

chris_jericho

Chris Jericho Adds ‘Web Series Star’ to List of...

Legendary_pictures-2

Legendary Entertainment’s Tom Lesinski Steps Down

Assassins_Creed

‘Assassin’s Creed: Unity’ Shows Expert Parkour...

Show_collage

Call of Duty and X-Men Top YouTube Trailers Leaderboard

JoePenna Headshot

YouTube’s Joe Penna Makes the Move to TV

elizabeth_banks_1

Elizabeth Banks Books College Comedy Series with Paramount Digital

KevinSpacey_UmaThurman

Filmmaker Competition Ends in YouTube Space LA with Uma Thurman

ted_sarandos

Gotham Awards Industry Tribute Goes to Netflix’s Ted Sarandos

Tune In to #VIViewpoints! We’re Live!

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 11.47.20 AM

Activia’s ‘La La La’ with Shakira Becomes Most...

NetFlix

Netflix Pays to Directly Connect with AT&T

brooklyn decker

Brooklyn Decker, Ethan Embry Join Netflix’s ‘Grace...

FRANCE DAILYMOTION

Dailymotion Adds Content from AOL, Complex Media, Maker Studios, More

ICMPartners

Talent agency ICM Forms ‘O Labs’ with Manatt Phelps...

nerdist

Nerdist Pokes Fun at YouTube Commenters

SD_Comic_COn

Comic-Con Delivers Fan-tastic Celebration of Digital

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 4.58.05 PM

Season Two of ‘ISA Variety Game Show’ Starts Tomorrow

Company_logos

6 Key Takeaways from Just for Laughs’ ComedyPro

Vessel

Jason Kilar’s Vessel Targeting Premium Short-Form Video...

James_Brown

Pluto.TV Set for a James Brown Binge