Host Adam Richman (and subsequently Casey Webb) travels around the U.S., taking on a variety of local eating challenges involving meal size, spiciness and other daunting factors.
User Reviews: This decade has been a bit of a disappointment in terms of television programs. After a decade of excellent cartoons, sitcoms, and dramas, the 2000s has been quite lackluster in terms of prime time. With few exceptions (My main one being ABC’s LOST) out there, I’ve turned my attention to video games and especially movies for entertainment much more often. However, there’s a television show out there that delivers some of the most entertaining television in recent memory. The Travel Channel has been on a roll lately with rising ratings and whatnot, but thanks to Man vs. Food, the Travel Channel and reality programming in general has reached new quality peaks.
Man vs. Food is easily, hands-down, the best new television show within the last two years. Well-edited, perfectly hosted, and with enough energy to generate Manhattan, this program is a wonderful breath of fresh air for television. While it isn’t for weak stomachs, the content is family-friendly, well-paced, and thoroughly enjoyable. The host is entertaining, caring, lovable, and has a love for food that most of us can only dream of having.
The concept is nice and simple: Adam Richman travels the country in search of food challenges that could make your arteries clog just witnessing the carnage. To add to the mayhem, he also scours the city in search of the more popular and successful eateries in the area. Unlike Andrew Zimmern, Richman doesn’t attempt to really gross out, he tires to expand your horizons as to what you eat and how you actually eat it. Man vs. Food focuses on quality as well as quantity. Richman has already on Season 1 introduced us to a dozen award-winning restaurants as well as over a dozen crazyinsane eating challenges. Along the way he interviews people, and also runs into celebrities from time to timeranging from Gladys Knight to baseball star Kevin Youkilis. The spotlight is never hogged; Richman shares the camera with the scenery, the local folks, and of course the food.
The main appeal in Man vs. Food are the challenges in the end that pretty much prove that Americans are easily among the biggest lovers (and most creative crafters) of food in the entire world. The human versus food battles range from eating a 12-pound pizza to eating a 5-pound burger (plus 5 pounds of fries) to fighting a 7-pound breakfast burrito to even taking on spicy food so hot it can make people bleed. Adam Richman, despite his lack of competitive eating skills, rises to almost all the challenges and the results range from hilarious to gross to perhaps even uplifting. It’s just much too easy to root for him to win them all. Plus, why go against someone that introduces you to slices of pizza larger than babies and donuts bigger than your face? Locations are scattered all over, never limited to any one type of food or one region of the country. He has traveled as far north as Seattle and Boston, and made his way all the way down to Atlanta, and all the way west to Los Angeles and San Jose. But have no fear, with so many lovely cities in the United States, I can guarantee that we won’t find an end to all the pursuing challenges; his main enemies are time, and his health. The only drawback would be if your city has yet to be featured in the program. Give it time, at this rate, he’ll be knocking on your door.
Bottom Line: The best new show on television, hands-down. The concept has been done before, but has never been done with such humor and bubbly energy. Adam Richman is the best host in all of Travel Channel, and remains one of the few modern shows I’m willing to watch multiple times. America is never seen in a negative light, as the subtle and hidden beauty of the diversity and creativity of the country sparkles throughout the all-too-short 30 minutes of the program. I wish this show all the success in the world, because it deserves it, and I’d hate to see another Arrested Development situation develop. Highly, highly recommend.