Pop Culture

Come Dine With Me SA – Knives out, wine glasses firmly in hand

So I’ve been watching Come Dine With Me SA religiously since it started. Partly because I’m a food hound and partly because I’m a huge fan of the UK series. It’s been quite a revelation I must say. Knives drawn, poisoned chalice and sour grapes …I could go wild with the puns because the Saffers, they are a vicious bunch.

Each episode so far has been categorised by boozy, whiny, bitchy comments from contestants and, while some menus have been good, I have yet to see a menu that’s been great in its design and execution. Now, I sound like a boozy, whiny, bitchy food snob myself (the whisky is going down well in this uncharacteristically rainy Cape weather) and for the most part many of my friends have told me that I should have put my money where my mouth is. I don’t know.

Far more fun being an armchair critic…I don’t think I could stand the fake niceties of playing the game (“hon, this steak is divine” and privately to the camera later, “what utter crap”). Or the fact that the other contestants are allowed to take a wander around your house. Uh..no. To do what? Rifle through my drawers and sit in my bedroom. *shudder*

But, it’s fun to watch…to be a voyeur at someone else’s crap dinner party. Or to urge on the underdog and wish the bitchy superior contestants their come uppance. And let’s face it, while the narrator (Dave Lamb, the original Come Dine With Me UK narrator) often comments on the amount of booze at each dinner, don’t we all identify with that? I often cook with a glass of wine in hand.

So, what’s the point of the post? We are so vastly different from our UK counterparts and that is reflected in the way we socialise. In the UK, meals are not discussed and criticised right at the table – the Saffers don’t give a flying fuck. They will tell you your steak is rubbish and your sauce is bought at the local PnP. While the UK contestants love a good old boozy evening as well, they rarely hit the sauce heavily at every single dinner and we really love our spirits and shooters (the English prefer wines. And vodka. Never understood the Vodka thing).

 Basically, I miss the zip and zing of not knowing what’s coming next in the UK series, but the SA series have become predictable as contestants draw lines in the sand very early on and you, at home, unwittingly make that choice as well.

Will I stop watching? Not on your life. Will I ever enter? Not on your life.

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