It would be easy to make cheap shots about Mr. Fieri’s appearance (from his Wikipedia page: “Fieri’s signature look combines below-the-knee shorts, suit jacket, arm sweat bands, and jewelry along with platinum blond, spiked hair with black Van Dyke beard, contrasting sunglass tan lines, and flip-flops.”) but we are not in the business of cheap shots. With Mr. Fieri, there are bigger fish to fry.
Fieri is currently the host of several Food Network programs including Guy’s Big Bite and Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. The former is a pretty standard cooking show modified to pander to a certain male demographic. “Whoa dude! His fridge looks like a racecar! He totally made a killer burger and then drank a Tequiza-rita! Cooking isn’t just for chicks and fags anymore!” It is probably isn’t fair to make too harsh a judgment about a cooking show without actually making some of the food, but the fact that we have never compelled to make anything from the show probably says enough about his patented blend of Asian-Mexi-Sports Bar fusion. He also has a disturbing tendency to put blue Curaçao and Midori in nearly all of the show’s cocktails. We are not opposed to the occasional Orange Whip, but it is entirely unnecessary to pair every meal with a neon colored equivalent of Boone’s Farm.
Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives may be the graver offense. On its own it is a tolerable, if unremarkable, show featuring Mr. Fieri visiting locally owned casual restaurants around the country. What makes this show an issue is his prominent role in T.G.I. Fridays’ latest ad campaign. You know why mom and pop restaurants are an endangered species in this country? Because everybody is going to freakin’ Fridays! This truly isn’t meant as a jab against chain restaurant patrons (deadman/party counts at least one Fridays regular among our ranks), but if you have your stock and trade in small local restaurants, you would think you could resist the urge to endorse the enemy. You are a turncoat Mr. Fieri and looks like you are gonna have to be punched.