The producers of Celebrity Masterchef can only dream about having the kind of guests that Paris Hilton had on her bizarre new cooking show on Netflix.
Episode one of Cooking With Paris featured none other than queen of the A-listers Kim Kardashian – so stick that in your stock pot and eat it, Gregg and John.
Actually, having seen Paris’s woeful efforts – which were so bad they gave me indigestion – I doubt very much whether the BBC is lamenting the fact they could only get C and D-listers.
I don’t know if this was an attempt by Paris to forge a new career for herself or to ditch the ditzy persona she’s been clinging to since the start of the century, but either way it hasn’t worked, because Cooking With Paris was as facile as everything she’s done up to this point.
A marshmallow and glitter concoction resembled a Smurf that’s been burned alive and the cornflake-crusted French toast looked barely edible.
“I love cooking but I’m not a trained chef,” she announces to viewers, and I get the second part, but having suffered through the first episode I don’t believe for a minute that first part is true either.
As she bumbles around her glorious-looking kitchen and gets baffled by ingredients and utensils – tongs in particular – you lose hope that the things she’s cooking will be in any way pleasant to eat. A marshmallow and glitter concoction resembled a Smurf that’s been burned alive and the cornflake-crusted French toast looked barely edible.
Who is this show for exactly? Anyone who enjoyed Paris during her heyday is now surely too old and sensible to see this as anything other than embarrassing.
Paris’s baby voice and shtick are well past their sell-by date and this comes off as desperate.
There was one thing that Paris did in her kitchen that I thought was genuinely helpful though – she had TWO dishwashers side by side, one for clean, one for dirty.
Now THAT’S a kitchen tip of hers I might want to nick.
Balanced documentary about a divisive subject
Given the incendiary nature of the subject, I doubt any examination of the riots of 2011 would have satisfied everyone.
Over the course of six days, major cities across England erupted in violence after police shot dead armed gangster Mark Duggan.
The resulting riots – and they were riots rather than protests – left hundreds injured and five people dead.
BBC2’s documentary One Week In August did a pretty good job of capturing event from all sides – and it didn’t shy away from the thorny issues or tough questions.
That doesn’t mean it was biased to one narrative – it simply presented the facts and let viewers decide.
The Untold story behind basket-brawl
One of the best bits of television I saw last year was Netflix’s basketball documentary series The Last Dance.
Even though my interest in sport (of all kinds) is close to zero, it hooked even me.
I think Netflix might have pulled it off again with Untold, a five-part series of standalone sports documentaries that kicked off last week with Malice at the Palace, about the infamous 2004 Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons basketball match which ended in an all-out fight between players and spectators.
Crime documentaries are a staple of Netflix, but when told right, sports ones can be just as gripping.
I can’t wait for the rest of the series.
Last week I was singing the praises of Write Around The World With Richard E Grant (BBC Four) but in part two he did something that made me want to switch off.
While reading from a Robert Louis Stevenson novel he started speaking in a Scottish accent that was so bad it made me wince.
Just read it in your normal voice, Richard. I bet you wouldn’t do that if you were quoting a Jamaican author. At least I hope you wouldn’t.
Film of the week: Fast and Furious 9 (available to rent and buy online)
Since the Fast and Furious franchise improbably became one of the most popular outside of the Marvel universe, the makers seem to have forgotten what made the films so successful in the first place.
I’m not really a proponent of the ‘so bad it’s good’ way of thinking, but the fifth, sixth and seventh films in the series, with their physics-defying stunts and ludicrous levels of macho posturing, seemed to laugh in the face of conventional criticism and had an absolute blast in the process.
But in F9 I think they’re trying far too hard to capture that silliness with action sequences that feel self-consciously engineered to make audiences’ jaws hit the floor. They do hit the floor, but in a bad way.
When our heroes have blasted off into space in rocket-powered cars you do wonder where the series can go next.