Apr 29, 2014

MKR Grand Final & 2014 Season Wrap

My Kitchen Rules (MKR) has scored consistently high ratings this year, but with a sixth season on the way will we still be wanting seconds?

Written by Chris Vlahonasios
Edited by Kyri Fuss

It’s finally over. After watching night after night it came down to the WA Well-Travelled Friends, Chloe & Kelly versus SA Mums, Bree & Jessica, who proved in the end to be just too good walking away with the $250,000 prize.

After watching tonight's Grand Final I realised something that shocked me – besides Manu and Pete dressed in velvet and satin, as if going to an Elton John shindig – I couldn’t wait for the show to end. I was sitting there, not really concerned who would win, but watching the last episode so as to get on with my life. I think this began last season but just like MSG-laced junk food, I wanted more. However, now I’m willing to accept it – I’m over MKR.

The show has been playing it too safe. The choice of contestants are a reflection of character-dynamics from previous seasons: two catty girl teams, young Greek guys from Melbourne and the saucy middle-aged couple just to name a few. The one team that took me by surprise was the outing of Carly & Tresne, who turned out to be more than ‘Besties’ – the first time MKR has had a gay couple since season one. Though MKR’s team selection is about having a cross-selection of the Australian public, it needs to think about selecting contestants with more interesting personalities rather than sticking to their current ‘winning formulae’ which can very easily sour once audience get tired of these personas.

MKR lacks seriousness. Unlike in MasterChef, you can’t really call the tasks real cooking challenges. MKR contestants are given plenty of time to cook whatever they want, whilst on MasterChef those contestants are set some pretty tough challenges, making the show far more intense and riveting viewing. Also, MRK is more about popularity than talent. The show focuses very heavily on the internal and external relationships within and between the teams. The cat-fights and snarling going on between Chloe & Kelly and the Victorian Twins (Helena & Vikki) is not only cheap-tv, but evidence that the show sees conflict as more important than the food. Though conflict and drama are part-and-parcel of cooking, yet MasterChef never focused on conflict, but always on teaching the audience. The show would always show difficult cooking techniques and complex recipes. You actually got to learn something rather than being fed tabloid dramas and emotional meltdowns.

So now, congrats to MKR for achieving ratings averaging 1.7 million, but I don’t think I’ll be tuning in again next year. I’m bored of cookie-cutter characters and my brain being on autopilot during the ‘challenges’. I want my culinary horizons to be broaden and expanded – that’s why I’m looking forward to MasterChef 2014.


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