This is gonna hurt.
Alton Brown's new show Feasting on Asphalt is a woeful, over-used, boring as water display. Wait, no, it's far worse than a show on water - Alton's done that via Good Eats, and I was riveted. On the latter, Alton's crazy antics and mad-scientist spoofs are entertaining because he's constrained to his own (studio) kitchen, and it feels like you're in the house of a favorite home-economics teacher. He had a two-part series on the structure, history, and formation of water, and you just couldn't look away. With Feasting on Asphalt, well, I was waiting for the credits from word one.
I wanted to love it. Of course I did. Alton is a hero of sorts - an unlikely food star who remains the only shining light on Iron Chef America. His jokes are bad, he's awkward and goofy, and this is why we love him. He's one of us, only, like, way smarter. But on Asphalt, the premise is all worn-out. He's jetting his way across this great nation with just a motorcycle, a helmet, and an appetite. Are you yawning yet? Everyone's got a travel/food show. Anthony Bourdain, I blame you.
In the premiere episode of Asphalt, Alton went to the south for some soul food. It felt unscripted (a good thing) but without any real point (a bad thing). His gimmicks and silliness just don't work in the construct of a real-word interview with joe-schmo fry cook. There was very little educating and absolutely no entertaining. The antithesis of Good Eats, if you will.
Now, there is a light of sorts - I absolutely loathed Good Eats the first time I saw it. It struck me as kindergarten cooking class - it took me a while to "get" Alton. So maybe I'm wrong about Asphalt - perhaps it is an absolute gem, and it just has to grow on me as well. Tell me that's true. MAKE IT SO. I want to have faith in food TV again. I really, really do.