Guy Fieri hit his big break by winning the second season of the reality show The Next Food Network Star. He is now all over the Food Network. Fieri hosts at least three weekly shows and is all over the advertisements. Among the males, Guy is the number one face on Food Network, and at times even pushes the females on the network for top gun status. Fieri is loud and excitable, and even just sitting at a barstool he draws the viewer to him with a magnetism that most hosts simply do not have.
Fieri’s latest show, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, is a more scattershot version of Alton Brown’s Feasting On Asphalt, in witch Brown drove cross country and ate from back road places. Guy visits an area and tries some of the local flavor, even in some cities Brown purposely avoided on his trip. While Alton more picked and chose his target stops, Fieri more or less carpet bombs an area with the cameras and his personality.
The best part of Guy’s show is of course Guy himself – he integrates himself with the people he visits and even though he does not really allow you to see what the cooks do as far as cooking like them, he gives enough details where you know what kind of flavors the final product is going to have. Guy seems to always have people with him that are willing to talk about the restaurant, the history of the place and other quirks to keep the show moving. There are restaurants that allow him a good bit of the recipe. There are others that almost shield the food from Guy and the cameras. Either way, Fieri is always there and more often than not you have some ideas on how to make the food yourself by the close of the show.
Fieri is the selling point of the show, you cannot imagine Rachel Ray or Alton Brown doing a show like this – neither host has the personality to overwhelm the foods they are cooking. Ray is still all about the food and Alton is more educational in style. Fieri could just as easily be talking about people building a cabinet or a fixing a car with the same style and mannerisms and have the same entertainment value to most viewers.
This show could very easily be on The Travel Channel or even a segment on daytime television. It is not really a cooking show at all. Guy does get into the kitchen and cooks but the whole show is more a backdrop for his larger than life personality. That is what draws the viewer in and makes you care about what he is doing – even as you are Googling the restaurant he is cooking at.