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Thursday, April 08, 2010

"Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" Episode 4 Review: The Villain Gets His Comeuppance

Every hero has a villain. And in the case of “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution,” if Jamie is the hero, then his villain is Rod Willis of 93.7 The Dawg.

And in any good hero-villain story, at some point the villain gets his comeuppance. And that point comes this week for Rod…

It all starts when Jamie makes a bet with Rod that he can get 1000 people to come through his kitchen in a week. Rod is confident it won’t happen and when the week starts out it looks like he’ll be right. But then Jamie starts a unique campaign to win his bet, including finding a way to get Rod himself on his side.

The most interesting part of Jamie’s campaign is the flash mob he decides to do at the Memorial Student Center at Marshall. It’s a very elaborately choreographed cooking sequence that looks very cool on camera and makes Marshall look great.

In fact, Huntington looks great throughout this episode as we see Marshall’s campus, the downtown streets, and the crew at Huntington Steel, who get a cooking lesson themselves.

I don’t want to give too much away, but I don’t think it will surprise anyone to know that by the end of the episode, Rod is singing a much different tune as Jamie introduces him to some of the friends he’s made in Huntington and takes him to a Huntington business to give him a different perspective on his mission.

I think the entire hour is the most positive portrayal yet of Huntington…

That having been said, as a compelling hour of TV, it just doesn’t quite work for me. And I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because Rod’s transformation seems to happen so quickly. Or maybe I’m such a cynic I don’t really believe he was ever that opposed to Jamie to begin with. Whatever the reason, I found myself disappointed. And when I should have been cheering at the end, I wasn’t. I really think the show wasted a real opportunity by moving through the story too quickly and not taking the necessary dramatic pauses to increase the impact. It’s even more disappointing coming on the heels of last week’s emotional hour.

Speaking of which, if you missed last week’s episode, ABC will be re-airing it tomorrow (Friday) at 8 p.m. before the new episode at 9. The network is trying to give the new episode a boost after last week’s second episode fell significantly from the week before.

And after you see tomorrow night’s episode, be sure to come back here and post a comment…

Photo Credit: Holly Farrell/ABC