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: , , , ,


Read today's digital video news stories

Quick Breaks: Stampy Cat Launches New Channel; Hulu’s...

Corridor Digital on Ear Biscuits

Corridor Digital’s Perfect Recipe for Sci-Fi: Add a Pinch...

Fuller House

‘Full(er) House': Nostalgia in a VOD Ecosystem

Wong Fu Vimeo

Vimeo Nabs Wong Fu’s Feature Film ‘Everything Before...

AOL Park Bench Steve Buscemi 2

AOL Renews Steve Buscemi’s ‘Park Bench’

Digital video industry news today

Friday 4.24.15: News to Know

VProud partners with indian slam poetry duo

Women’s Video Network VProud Partners with Indian Slam...

NBCDigital

NBCUniversal Hires Xbox Entertainment Studios Exec Ben McLean

Power-Sixer Tile

Introducing the 2015 VI Power-Sixer

Jocelyn Johnson

We are thrilled to announce our second annual Power-Sixer and our inaugural Dealmakers list to celebrate not only the progression of this industry but the people who have shaped its present and set the foundation for the future.

We are in the throes of an exciting time for video as distribution strategies, revenue structures, video technologies, and brand activity continue to disrupt the old Hollywood paradigm. But these changes don’t happen overnight. It takes the shepherding hand of a visionary to guide the flock towards the future and to charge a new path — that is the way of the Power-Sixer and the spirit of the these individuals who join our 2014 class of Sixers.

S… Read More

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Margo Plotkin 2

VI Power-Sixer: CAA’s Margo Plotkin Powers Hollywood and...

Jason Kilar Richard Tom 2

VI Power-Sixer: Vessel’s Jason Kilar & Richard Tom...

Brent_Weinstein_2

VI Power-Sixer: UTA’s Brent Weinstein, the Chief Power...

KerryTrainor 3

VI Power-Sixer: Vimeo’s Kerry Trainor Blazes a Trail for...

Roger_Lynch_2

VI Power-Sixer: Sling TV’s Roger Lynch Is Years Ahead of You

Claudia Cahill 2

VI Power-Sixer: Claudia Cahill, a True ‘Instigator’...

The first video ever to grace YouTube

The First YouTube Clip Is 10 Years Old…and It’s...

Welcome to the Wayne, Nickelodeon's first digital-only series

Nickelodeon to Bring Its First Digital-Only Series to TV

AwesomenessTV

AwesomenessTV to Launch YouTube Network for Moms

Digital video industry news today

Thursday 4.23.15: News to Know

Samsung launches new series on Milk VR

Hang Out with Celebs in Samsung’s New Series on Milk VR

Victorious launches mobile apps with The Young Turks, Ryan Higa

Ryan Higa, The Young Turks Launch Mobile Apps with Victorious

FaceBook1

Facebook Makes Exclusive Branded Video Pitch to Advertisers

Read today's digital video news stories

Quick Breaks: Netflix, Google Investor IVP Raises $1.4B; Allen...

AOL Relativity NFL Draft

AOL Huddles Up with Deion Sanders, Relativity for NFL Draft...

These fantastic web series came out of Newfronts 2014

Web Series Wednesday: Since Newfronts 2014….

Read today's digital video news stories

Quick Breaks: Machinima Brings Back ‘Inside Gaming'; Aereo...

FacebookVSYoutube

Facebook Nabs Exclusive Video Deals with More Publishers

Digital video industry news today

Wednesday 4.22.15: News to Know

Beachfront Media launched mobile video syndication platform

Beachfront Media Launches Mobile-Video Syndication Platform

Nancy Tellem_2 (1)

Nancy Tellem Named Exec Chairman and Media Chief at Interlude

IAB names board of directors for R&D center for digital video

Digital Video Ad Revenues Hit $3.3B in 2014, but Mobile Is the...

azizansari

Aziz Ansari Sitcom Gets Netflix Series Order

Hulu Japan The Last Cop

Hulu Japan Sets First Original Series, a Remake of...

Wenda and Michael_CES

Meet the Most Important Company in the Online Video Business

Daredevil Netflix

Netflix Greenlights Another Round of ‘Daredevil’

MTV

MTV Orders Late-Night Comedy Show from CollegeHumor’s Big...

Read today's digital video news stories

Quick Breaks: Vice Launches Finance Series; Connor Franta...