[Note from Jillian: I haven't been watching Halloween Wars. Luckily, FNH reader Sabrina has been. She's also been recapping the past few episodes on her site. Here's an abridged version - but head over to her blog to check out the whole thing!]
Hello Boys and Ghouls. I hadn’t intended to do a recap of any Food network show (a bunch of people enter the stage, they make shit, someone gets money and we all feel a bit dirtier for it) but this is Halloween stuff and I’ll happily take the bullet if a spider or witch is involved.
Upon watching Halloween Wars, right off the bat (snicker, I said bat cause it’s Halloween and throwing around terrible puns is the best the FN writers can do), you feel a slight stinging in your eyes, your skin goes clammy, and you get short of breath as an ominous voice echoes across the $20 set they clearly stole from some kindergarten’s play about the Three Little Pigs.
Then, your worst fears are realized. Your own personal death is hosting this show:
It’s the douchebag from Cupcake Wars, a show much like the Black Death that creeps in on grim reaper wings and next thing you know you’re bleeding out of every orifice watching your loved ones convulse, screaming about Red Velvet.
I always wondered what Death looked like. For some reason I never pictured a Sears blazer, spiked hair from a 90′s boy band and some of the most excruciating puns this side of a bubble gum wrapper.
There are, of course, also the requisite judges whom the Network keeps locked up in the closet. There’s the Ice Queen who has to hate everything because that’s her idea of criticism. The Asian Kerry Vincent if you will.
And there’s the “he knows nothing about food or working in the food industry but he did some shit with Pirates. You know, that movie franchise that should have stopped after the first one, so he’s the scary expert” guy.
Finally, because you can’t have an evil triumvirate without three people, they picked up someone’s grandfather who was wandering around a Menards trying to get help to fix his old rotary phone.
Actually, that’s every 6 year old’s favorite author, RL Stine. He mostly sits there, staying as far away from Proto-Vincent as he can, trying to get a plug or two in for some book.
Like every single lame Food Network challenge that the network stretches out into multiple episodes, they get together a random bunch of teams and force them to dance for the eventual payout of $50,000, eliminating one each week and probably making their children watch.
In this case each team has a cake maker, a sugar expert, and a butcher (I mean a pumpkin carver). They’re supposed to combine their talents to make something scary or some shit like that. And because forcing everyone to make just one showpiece a week isn’t enough, there’s always a dumb ass little challenge where the winner gets to rip out the heart of one of their competitors! (Or an extra assistant that never seems to appear because everyone got one).
This week, after screaming at the cameras and stomping off, Team Winnie drowning in Poo changed their cake person for someone kicked off earlier – because nothing screams success like using someone who already failed. Apparently, it’s not embarrassing enough to force grown men and women to run around gouging gourds and spreading sugar for some vague talking points the FN writers scribbled out in-between bouts of diarrhea, so the producers pulled in Rob Zombie… who looked more like some poor vagrant who was digging through the dumpster outside the studio praying for something other than Sandra Lee cast offs.
At the rate they’re going, next week’s guest judge will be the decomposing body of someone who tried to correct Giada’s pronunciation.
Because it’s already been two weeks and thinking is hard, the writers texted in the small challenge and went with Day of the Dead… which culturally has nothing to do with Halloween aside from landing near it on the calendar but since when has anyone at the FN had more than a half a braincell to rub together?
Team “Oh We Know They’re So Going Home Today” took a pumpkin and covered it in white chocolate. I suspect there was some plan but that’s because I still have a glimmer of a hope for humanity:
Once their pumpkin carver was finished, it actually looked like someone dropped a skull in an overflowing toilet, then stuck a sea anemone on top for a dash of elegance.
Team “We Only Have One Talented Person” decided to go in a whole different direction and created the Dia Day Los Muertos for the Alien. They even included an homage to the fact that she loved nothing more than to roll around in cocaine cut with stained glass.
The final “Team Who Will Steamroll Anyone Who Dares To Gaze Upon Them” got a bit confused as to what year it was and decided to honor Johnny Cash by repeatedly saying he’d passed recently. Just how old is this episode, FN? Cash died in 2003. Do you age your shows like a bad wine that only Aunt Sandy will slug back?
You may want to sit down for this shock but the only people who seemed to have a clue about Day of the Dead won.
Te theme for the next challenge was Zombies vs Vampires. Team “Don’t Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out” looked up, down, sideways and back at this incredibly stupid challenge and made a diner. I know I’m your eyes and ears on the ground here but I still have no fucking clue what any of this is. Why is Betty Boop on the top of a red & black wedding cake?
Team “Only One Competent Person” pointed out just how fucking stupid this theme was by having a zombie feasting upon a willing vampire’s brains. Blink.
Doing what they do best, Team “Oh You Already Know They Won This Round” hid the pumpkin guy in a corner while the cake woman bossed everyone around and out popped the most literal interpretation of this asinine theme:
Because Food Network seems to love having the underdog win these competitions, something tells me at the end Team Boo will win the whole thing. At which point the insane cake lady will crack open and a Banshee shall shoot out and feast upon Cupcake Wars guy’s brains or veins.
And I’ll still be here, weeping quietly in the corner begging my once favorite holiday to just move a finger.
I don’t have any pictures but did you catch the Halloween Edition of Chopped last night? You should, nay must hunt that out.
Having no idea who in the hell to torture with probably some of the most random baskets they trolled the asylum and picked up four of the craziest nutters in there who could legally have access to knives.
There was pregnant ex-heroin addict who you may remember from some cake challenges that about half way through always breaks down into a giant sobbing ball screaming about how she can’t do anything.
There was Pie Man. Truly that was in fact his only character trait, just a pie man.
There was Mr. I talk to feathers and collect pez. You know he’s about one burned souffle away from a serial killer spree, as are all Pez collectors.
And my favorite and seriously the reason you must find this episode and watch it now, Tommy Chong. Okay, it wasn’t actually Chong but this is about as close as you get without actually putting cannabis in the basket. When called upon to present his dish he stood there as Ted said his name a few times, grinning like someone who wasn’t certain what decade it was but didn’t much care. After prodding from the judges, the contestants and a few cattle prods eventually he made vague hand motions for what food he made.
Every time each dish ended he seemed just as shocked as anyone else that he’d finished and plated anything much less food that the judges loved. I love Chong. He tosses his arms up, looks around, says “I have no idea what I’m doing” and there’s a finished plate beneath him.
Seriously, Food Network dump your bloated hairy food tourists and get this guy a show. You can just put him in front of a burner with a bunch of random groceries and out will come a five course meal before he knows he’s in front of a camera or even awake.
Hell, you could pay him in Doritos.
Other posts on Food Network Humor:---FNH RECAP: Sandra Lee’s 2011 Halloween Show
---The FNH Cupcake Wars Drinking Game
---What’s In My Inbox: A Rant About Cupcake Wars
---FNH RECAP: Rachael vs Guy Celebrity Cookoff, Episode 2
---DOUCHEBAG OVERLOAD: The 16 Guy Fieri-est Halloween Costumes