From Ben Starr: MasterChef: A Farewell Perspective

Ben has finally given the scoop on why he will not watch MasterChef anymore. And I couldn’t agree with him more. Check out what he has to say here:

For those of you who’ve stuck around and read the recaps that the incredible Michael Chen has been writing about MasterChef since I left for Burning Man…thank you!  To be honest…I haven’t read them.  To be honest, I don’t watch TV at all.  And carving out time to watch MasterChef and blog about it, even though I have a history with it, has been an absolute nightmare.

Yes…I don’t watch TV.  It’s not because I’m some snob who’s too good for TV.  I just don’t have time for it.  It started with my parents…who didn’t really keep a functional TV around when I was a kid.  I didn’t grow up with it.  I filled my time with books, writing, cooking, working in the garden, and exploring the woods behind my grandparents’ house.  TV wasn’t part of my daily intake as a kid.  (In the same way that sugar and desserts weren’t part of my daily intake.)  So, as an adult, TV is about as interesting to me as dessert.  I’ll skip it in favor of the port and bleu cheese…thank you!

But, as the MasterChef brand grows, so does the audience for my blog.  And this year, apparently MORE people were reading who didn’t have a clue who the hell I was, and they were a bit miffed that I would choose to criticize the show for its choice to focus almost solely on conflict and strategy, rather than on food.  And, after I stopped blogging and Michael took over, there were apparently some outright tiffs from blog readers who branded me (and Michael, though I’m not sure they understood that he was blogging in my place) a bitter old man, biting the hand that fed me, spewing naught but negativity about the show.  Most of those folks weren’t on my MasterChef journey with me…they are newcomers to my “brand.”  So I’ll forgive them for thinking what they think.  And I must apologize to those who feel like Michael or I were telling you that you were shallow or ignorant for enjoying the show.  That was never our intent.

Now for once, it’s time for me to link to HIS blog! Read the rest of what he has to say on his website, benstarr.com!

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About Michael Chen

A contestant on season 3 of FOX's MasterChef! Tune in on June 4 and 5 at 9/8c to watch me compete in the top 100 home cooks in America!
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3 Responses to From Ben Starr: MasterChef: A Farewell Perspective

  1. v2squared says:

    Waaaaaaaaaaay back when, I posted this to your blog:

    I just watched the last few episodes of MasterChef. Too bad you had to go so early but at least you didn’t have to suffer through the “Walmart” product placement episode. That should tell you what MasterChef is really all about. Ramsey is going to open a steak house in Vegas, he throws away enough scallops and Beef Wellington to feed a small army in each episode of Hells Kitchen, and he shamelessly pitches a Walmart product placement? Cash, lots of cash, that is the bottom line for MasterChef. If they had thought you fit into a narrative that would have helped generate more cash you would still be there. Count your blessings. You made it out with some dignity. You will recover long before the judges get the taste of the Walmart “mystery box” out of their mouths.

    True then, true now.

  2. Deborah says:

    Gah. The “I don’t watch TV” thing from a person writing about a TV show and occasionally referencing watching other TV shows (e.g. Simpsons) is my least favorite trait of yours, Ben.

    I have never owned a TV in my adult life, and I’m 45 with two kids. When it became easy to check out shows on dvd, I did that. When it became possible to watch them online, I did that. Before those two things, we watched TV only when we traveled. None of them is “better” though all free you from the appointment TV thing.

    We just watched Legend of Korra, a day after it aired, and it remains a damn good story.

    • Michael Chen says:

      Hey Deborah,

      This is my (Michael Chen’s) blog, not Ben’s, just FYI.

      I don’t understand why that “trait” would be upsetting though. I know Ben very well. He doesn’t watch much TV. He turns on CNN every once in a while for big news (like the Boston bombing). He watches some cartoons (simpons, south park, etc) at night after he’s had a bit to drink. But he doesn’t really watch TV regularly, and only kept up with MasterChef because he needed to write the recaps (same with me). He didn’t intent to mean that he doesn’t watch TV at ALL (who doesn’t really, assuming you own one), but he means that he doesn’t watch shows with any regularity, and at any rate watches FAR less than the average person. That’s all. He’s not saying that to appear self-righteous in any way.

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