In all the darkness, in all the mundane of the day-to-day quarantine life, comes a beacon of hope. A beacon of entertainment, knowledge, and a realness that we could all use and need.
That man is Alton Brown.
With the filming of movies and television being nonexistent for months, the source of fresh and unique entertainment has slowly dwindled. Yes, there have been a few high spots in all of this; new content from Doctor Who Lockdown, or the quarantine episode of Mythic Quest, but most attempts from companies and individuals have fallen flat. It’s been disappointing. Below the entertainment value of wrestling events without an audience. Some have even been flat out painful.
However, in this time of lackluster entertainment, civil unrest, and unknown horizons has appeared what has become a Tuesday staple: Quarantine Quitchen.
Alton Brown and his wife Elizabeth have a weekly, live show on Tuesdays where they cook a meal, sometimes sing a song, and set couple goals for many.
Understand, I came into this a fan of Alton Brown. From all his different shows and hosting duties, I’ve watched nearly everything the man has done in recent years (Except for Worst Cooks in America, which I feel he’d appreciate). Brown was once such a staple in my house, he was the inspiration for the first piece of fan art my daughter ever drew.
However, none of that holds a candle for the fan I am now. Not for the host or cooking personality Alton Brown, but for the man Alton Brown, who we’ve seen more of as he interacts with his wife, not held back by regulations or inability to say brand names or slip out an occasional cuss word or sexual innuendo. The man is genuinely entertaining, and watching QQ you get a sense of just how talented and knowledgeable he is.
Everything that there is to love about QQ is based on the fact that it’s unfiltered and raw. It’s life. Shot from Brown’s iPhone and streamed live onto YouTube. Camera work is split between Alton and Elizabeth and if you watch, you get a sense of how much this man knows and understands; from his camera angles to his timely facial expressions, to knowing how to work the feed. Yes, he’s an entertainer at heart and it shows, but it shows that food and entertainment are embedded within the core of the individual.
My favorite part is: it’s genuine. The interactions between husband and wife. The fact that you can see a tinge of annoyance when his wife’s cooking surpasses his portion of the meal. Their timing and back and forth bring you in, and they’re truly entertaining together. (In fact, they’re dynamic is a big part of what caused me to start back into podcasting and doing my best to bring my wife along into it as well)
All in all, the chemistry is infectious to watch. In my opinion, everything Alton Brown has been putting out recently, especially everything during this quarantine (including his Pantry Raid videos) have been some of the best stuff he’s ever done, and it’s simply because it feels like he’s just being Alton. From being ecstatic from just being able to use brand names like Ziploc® and Reynolds Wrap®, to him being hardcore adamant about his paper towel choices, it all feels genuine, coming from a man who can finally say these things because he’s not have to answer to producers or tv execs, he’s doing this all on his own.
If you haven’t yet check it out and you want some fresh entertainment, be sure to head over to Brown’s YouTube channel and check out all the QQ videos. If you’ve been lucky enough to have caught QQ before, then we shall be kindred spirits as you’ll be doing the same as I on Tuesday evenings for as long as this train keeps going!