Those who swear by the ancient Mayan calendar like to think of 2012 as the year of the apocalypse. And they may be right, at least where the Food Network is concerned.

On January 1, the network will belch out Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off, a series in which Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri attempt to teach “eight multi-talented celebrities” how to cook. That the celebrities in question include Lou Diamond Phillips, Taylor Dayne, Coolio, and Joey Fatone suggests that “celebrity,” like “cook,” is a generous term on the Food Network. It also suggests that the winner is a foregone conclusion, since Coolio, who self-identifies as “the black Rachael Ray,” has already published a cookbook filled with recipes for dishes that taste “better than yo’ momma’s nipples.”

Although the union of Rachael and Guy may be the most unholy marriage in pop culture since Miss Piggy teamed up with Ozzy Osbourne to sing “Born to Be Wild,” perhaps it was destined to happen. Ray and Fieri are both less famous for their skill with food than for their ability to induce its regurgitation. Both are loved by Anthony Bourdain. Both have lots of teeth. Both are often orange.

Their combined forces will undoubtedly be a sight to behold, if not avoid. But the question is, does this mean food TV has finally and unequivocally reached rock bottom? Or does the show’s format, a mix tape of Celebrity Rehab, Dancing With the Stars, Chopped, and Worst Cooks in America, signal that food television has finally entered its postmodern phase?

That remains to be seen, though we can say with certainty that thanks to double-billing Ray and Fieri, it may be the first cooking show in history to star three boobs.

Image source: Food Network

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