Friday, March 13, 2009

the lingnan meets the world

After reading Sharon's post this morning about Food Network Canada's - Family Restaurant, I thought I would add my two cents without filling up her comment box with a long winded response.

Last November I was in Nicaragua and it's where I first encountered the positive side of Family Restaurant. I was hanging out in my hostel and chatting up a Brit. After finding out I was from Edmonton, he quickly responded - "oh, you have a big greek population there don't you?" Not really thinking we do, (2001 census - .31% of Albertans; 9,110) I asked why he would think that. He then went into an elaborate story about how much he enjoyed that Family Restaurant show with the Greek family. His group of friends and family back home, were actually sad that the show was no longer on as they had 'fallen' for the family. Go figure; a totally different part of the world and the item that brings us together is a little show from Edmonton. It made me proud.

So I guess I had high hopes for this series. Could it make the same sort of impact? Would the family be as entertaining? Would we get insights into one of Edmonton's long standing institutions? Having "authentic" food in your restaurant slogan is enough to get me excited, as I'd never been to the restaurant and find authentic food more of a catch phrase than a reality in Edmonton. So while I hoped to get to know the family better, I secretly hoped to uncover some food knowledge.

Looking back at the now complete season, the show was not great. It reminded me of a car crash; I would cringe at times and want to change channels, yet I stuck with it. Hoping for more. Agreeing with Sharon's well thought write up, I just need to add;

  • Amy is so over the top I found it hard to get the motherly vibe. Too much yelling and not enough family emotion. Where is the love?
  • Kinman was probably at his best during the last episode and we can thank the beer for that. It was nice to see him relaxed, smiling, laughing, and having a great time. He even mentioned at one point, "I'm happy". I wonder if the cameras and crew affected him the most.
  • Miles was definitely the driving force, and played the roll well. I can't help but think Amy and Miles are cut from a similar rug. Both use over the top body movements and create a lot of the drama. What happened with Pan-Pan?
  • It was a shame we didn't get more involved with Mandy and her relationship with Ajit.
  • Marty was hilarious, in the fact that he didn't do much. Why are we showing video of him eating at the car dealership.
Agree or not, I think the show needed a larger story line, less drama and more discovery of Edmonton and it's love for Chinese cuisine. I don't think we will see a second season this time around, but that won't stop me from eventually stopping in to see Amy first hand.

1 comment:

shokutsu said...

I watched the previous two seasons with greater regularity but like you, never quite got into this latest iteration. Aside from the various points you raised, especially the sense that everything seemed to be on "highly agitated" and "very loud" mode in terms of the mood of the show, there didn't seem to be a weaving story that kept me engaged. Each episode seemed to not really connect with the other (though I must admit I did not view it all) and didn't have that overall "what will happen next?" anticipation building sensation. I wonder, with the filming/production company behind this series being based in Edmonton, if they will attempt another shot at Lingnan or possibly move onto another restaurant in the City of Champions?

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