Hidden Movie Stars on the Food Network – Part I

Every few years movie stars are purported to have died – Not literally actors passing, as that’s just a fact of life. Rather the idea of a true blockbuster movie star. Many times it’s a just a quick overreaction to flops with big actors. Sometimes, it feels true. There was a point in time where you went to see movies because of the marquee names. Their participation was an instant vetting of the project and that the movie was worth the price of admission.

But at some point in time after Independence Day and before After Earth, we stopped caring about the actors and more about the stories. The audience starting craving stories. And because of that, the studios began to spend more time and energy developing original screenplays. comic books. And toys. And sequels. Especially trilogies with awesome packaging and glitter and shit. Yes, eventually big movie stars were replaced by BRANDS.

Brands are essentially marketing vehicles for printing large amounts of money. See the movie, buy the toys, eat the cereal and by the time you’ve grown tired of whatever the original idea was based on, the sequel comes out and starts the cycle over again. Children and Midwest residents are apparently the most susceptible to this cycle, which research analysts have redundantly described as the Cyclical Consumer Brand Cycle.

Could this man be the next Bond villain?
Could this man be the next Bond villain?

Okay, my tone makes it sound like I’m looking down on brands and money and the Midwest, but I’m not (I have friends from the Midwest, so calm down and I’m using a capital letter to describe it, which indicates a form of respect). I want everybody to make as much money possible.  Which is why I have a plan that enables the industry to create movie stars who with pre-existing conditions brands.

Enter the Food Network.

Now this is a network that’s perfected the Cyclical Consumer Brand Cycle. What once was an 18-24 month cycle, can now be accomplished in less than 30 minutes. Watch Brunch @ Bobby’s, get hungry, look up the recipe that you just watched on Food Network.com, cook the meal in Bobby Flay-approved cookware, then eat said food while watching Barefoot Contessa – The 30 minute cycle then crosses over with a new cycle, which continues with books, magazines, restaurants, diabetes, divorces, and racism. As such, younger/cooler research analysts will soon be calling Food Network’s proprietary cycle the Infinite Brand Fuck ©, whereby consumers are unable to ever break the cycle of constant unprotected brand penetration.

But enough about the brilliance of Food Network, a lowly hundred-million dollar television company. (Does anyone even watch TV anymore?) I’m talking about MOVIES here. And money. Lots of it.

Since Food Network already has a silo full of human brands, why not turn these celebrity chefs into blockbuster movie stars? They might not be “trained actors,” but nobody wants to see actors anyway. What we want is to use the exact same kitchen knife that Giada De Laurentiis uses. We want to spend hours searching for recipes we saw on the big screen. We want to worship celebrity chefs like the golden calves that they are.

And with the film Chef premiering at SXSW, Jon Favreau missed the perfect opportunity to get in on some of that Infinite Brand Fuck © action. This dummy cast himself,  Robert Downey, Jr. and Scarlett Johansson. Last time I checked, Robert Downey, Jr. didn’t have a line of oven mitts at Kohl’s. Nor does Ms. Johansson have a chain of Carnival Cruise ship burger joints. Clearly Jon Favreau is not a business man.

In Part 2 we’ll look at the stable of the celebrity chefs and which roles they could fill for big-budget Hollywood movies.  Could Alton Brown be the next Bond villain?

Spoiler Alert:  Yes, he could.

Evan Shaw

Evan is an alumnus of the 2013 Taliesin Nexus Filmmakers Workshop and writer of sitcoms, screenplays, and blog posts about food/film/popculture. His sitcom pilots "Faculty & Staff" and "Mergers & Accusations" have previously won Silver Prizes in the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards. His work has also made it to the second round of the Austin Film Festival and the semi-finals of the L.A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival. When not writing, Evan can be found chained to a desk in Virginia, working for a commercial finance company.