Even though I think modern television has turned us all into brainwashed, unintelligible lemmings, I still miss it on occasion. In particular, I miss programming on networks like the Discovery Channel, HBO, Sci Fi (or rather SyFy), and even the trashy dating shows of Vh1. Most of all, I miss the Food Network.
I think what makes the Food Network successful is not the cooking shows themselves, but rather the personalities. You have the likes of Bobby Flay (the arrogant Irish-American New Yorker), Giada de Laurentiis (the chesty Italian cuisine connoisseur), Paula Deen(the annoyingly endearing southern home cook), Ina Garten (the Hamptons snob), and Rachael Ray (the annoyingly annoying chick with her fucking stupid mannerisms).
It's interesting how modern cooking show personalities overshadow the actual cooking. I think the overwhelming majority of viewers who watch these shows do so for the sake of watching or making fun of certain personalities, and not because they have an interest in learning how to make xyz recipes. We sure have come along way since the days of Julia Child!
I remember one particular personality, Sandra Lee, and her joke of a show, "Semi-Homemade." The format behind the show was essentially Lee dumping together store bought food items and hocking the final product as homemade to party guests. Besides her overprocessed and artificial food items, Lee was known for her love of cocktails. I'm sure you'd have to be drunk to enjoy her crap.
One of her most notorious pieces of crap she hocked off as food was her recipe for Kwanzaa cake. Even Anthony Bourdain commented on it, calling it a war crime on television.
I think this clip speaks for itself: