Food can be sustenance, just something to fill you up. At other times it’s comfort, a way of bringing of cheer on the darkest days.
For the cooks on Crazy Delicious (Channel 4, Tuesdays, 8pm), however, food is unicorn dreams with glittery sprinkles, or fairy smiles and candy cane candles, or perhaps cupcake cuddles with rainbow frosting.
In short, everything the three cooks made in this technicolour culinary catastrophe sounded inedible, from the hay and marigold trifle to the cheesecake chicken wings to the parsnip and guava sponge cake.
A cooking competition set in a Wonka-esque edible wonderland must, of course, have judges. Only, in this case, they are called gods, completing the rise of the TV chef to the summit of the Mount Olympus their egos clearly believe they deserve.
In fact, you imagine that any time one of the contestants says the word, they stop filming and a harassed floor manager screams at them: “No Hardeep, no Hannah, they are GODS, not judges.”
One of the judges, I mean gods, is Heston Blumenthal – whose face is being slowly swallowed by his spectacles – who made his reputation with outlandish dishes, like snail porridge, or satsumas that were actually duck paté.
Watching his shows, you got the rationale behind his weird combinations, but here you don’t. There’s no group of contestants to get to know through the series, you can’t follow the recipes, and obviously you can’t taste the food, so there’s no way of knowing if it’s good or bad.
This is a bewildering Instagram story of a show, one in which everything looks great, but the sick bucket’s hidden just off screen. It’s not sustenance, like Ready, Steady, Cook, or comfort, like Bake-Off. And it deserves to go in the bin.
Avenue 5 (Sky One, Wednesdays, 10pm) is a new space comedy from the team behind The Thick of It. The first episode was more scene-setting than laughs, but it showed big budget potential.
The return of Crackerjack (CBBC, Fridays, 6pm and iPlayer) had everything a kids’ show should, from gags to gunge, but it couldn’t tear my kids away from YouTube, and that’s a real problem.