One of my favorite channels on Television is The Food Network. My siblings and I love watching Chopped during summer and winter breaks. During each episode that we watch, we tend to offer our own ideas and improvements to the dishes. Sometimes we even feel inspired and host our own chopped-style competitions in our own kitchen. Our parents usually serve as the judges, and of course my mom never has the heart to pick a winner.
Chopped features personal story lines for each contestant. Each episode begins with the backstories of the contestants, an attempt to add an emotional appeal and more of a plot to the episode. Some contestants are top chefs at restaurants, and others are amateurs. These stories personify the dishes to an extent. For example, there may be a woman of Indian heritage who will incorporate her culture’s cooking style into her own cooking during the competition.
I think it is very interesting that this show is so successful at using this technique, and I believe this is what makes the show so successful. Audiences may get a bit bored watching a television show of people cooking, but since the content is paired with personal stories it becomes more of a narrative, and the food becomes more of a statement for the contestants.
Here is a recent article by foxnews.com that discusses this need for narrative in the cooking show Chopped.