Matt Smith's End of the Spectrum

Melbourne-based writer and journalist. Purveyor of finally crafted radio plays. A Muppet of a man.

Filling the Masterchef void

First published on The Punch on 30th July, 2010

I was spending some quality time with channel 10 the other night. It was blathering on about how good it’s life is now, and I was only half listening. But I did hear it accidentally say Masterchef’s name when it was talking about its new friend, Jamie Oliver’s Road Trip.

You see, Channel 10 needs us, guys. In recent times it was on top of the world: Masterchef was the most watched non-sporting event in Australian television history, with the finale reaching a peak of over four million viewers.

It was raking in sponsorship and commercial money, there’s book royalties to look forward to, it seemed like things could never go wrong.

Those were happier, innocent times, and we all saw that the end was coming. Now that Masterchef is gone, Channel 10 is going through the classic signs of a breakup, and needs us more than ever. Sure, it’s trying to convince us that it’s fine with newly imported Undercover Boss, and back-to-back episodes of The Simpsons… but we all know that it’s just trying to be brave.

It’s even trying to convince us that it can still be friends with Masterchef, which is why Adam and Callum can turn up on other shows and remind us of the good times it spent with Channel 10.

This is a textbook act here, and they’ll probably keep it up for a while. Heck, I’m sure they even occasionally ‘accidently’ call Matt Preston to see what he’s doing… just to casually enquire if he’s moved on and found someone else.

It’s not just Channel 10, people all around Australia are finding themselves just a little bit lost. I myself got a little bit caught up in the hype towards the end, and now find more time in my evenings than I’ve had in a month.

A friend of mine finds herself wandering the streets at night trying to peer through people’s window to watch them cook, and is trying to use A Farmer Wants a Wife to fill that hole left by Masterchef. It’s a coping tactic I’m sure many Australians are resorting to. Life moves on.

In time, Channel 10 will recover. It won’t be quite the same for a while, but that’s where it needs us, as it’s viewers, to be patient and understanding. We’ve been there for the good times, but we need to be there for the bad times as well – because that’s what viewers are for.

We might begin to lose a bit of patience when in a few months time it will start turning up to parties with it’s newest show on it’s arm, Junior Masterchef. This show is notably younger and has more to offer, but will bear an uncanny resemblance to Masterchef.

If that isn’t a sign of a mid-life crisis, I don’t know what is.


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This entry was posted on August 2, 2010 by in television and tagged , , , .
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