The Feed: Empty Calories for your TV Diet

Max Silvestri, Gail Simmons, and Marcus Samuelsson participate in FYI's The Feed.
The Feed (Photo: Karolina Wojtasik / FYI)

FYI explores food trends with the friendly competition series The Feed. That description is far more interesting than the show will ever be.

Show

The Feed airs back-to-back episodes Thursdays at 10pm on FYI.

Premise

Three culinary aficionados—Gail Simmons, Marcus Samuelsson, and Max Silvestri—embark upon food-related challenges, present their findings/wares/whatever, then discuss who “wins” the challenge. The end of each episode features a “humili-eat” where we watch someone eating something sloppy in extreme close-up. Yeah, I don’t know either.

Pedigree

You know Gail Simmons from the various Top Chef franchises and she works at Food & Wine magazine. Marcus Samuelsson has been on Top Chef: Masters so he knows his way around a kitchen. Max Silvestri is a food writer and comedian, so you may have heard him on the podcast circuit.1

Who is The Feed For?

Moms who are overly invested in organizing the school talent show.

What Works

All three participants know what they are talking about and how to function on television.

Um… they wear nice clothes?

What Doesn’t Work

Every single moment of The Feed leaves the viewer asking one question: so what? The name of the show doesn’t mean anything, other than it is food-related. The “challenges” are beyond contrived with no real sense of purpose. In the first episode to air, the first challenge was trying to address the mashup craze, because who doesn’t love talking about cronuts more than a year after everyone was talking about them? This led to three interpretations of mashup which were more-or-less the same and would have been described as “fusion” five years ago.2 There are two “challenges” in one 30-minute episode, which should give you an idea of how superficial this enterprise is.

The strangest part of the show is the presentation. The wraparound segments have the three participants sitting around a table on a stage supposedly in front of a studio audience. We do see shots of an audience reacting to things, but there is no concrete evidence that the two events happens simultaneously. Also, why would you be in that audience? I’m not even going to touch the humili-eat thing, which seems like a decision made at 4:45 on a Friday selected from a pile of worse ideas.

Verdict

Aside from laughing for a good two minutes at the seriousness of “My culture is Canada,” there was nothing to glean from this show you couldn’t pick up from any other food show or the pages of US Weekly. Do not waste your time with The Feed.

  1. Julie Klausner’s How Was Your Week? and Jake Fogelnest’s The Fogelnest Files immediately come to mind.  
  2. We do get Gail waxing philosophical, dropping the gem “my culture is Canada.”  

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About Mike McComb 656 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv