There's no question these two personalities struck the right chord in their respective culinary TV nitches. Their programs invite you into their kitchens where cultural and culinary delights are seemingly evoked just for you. But have you actually been to their "kitchens"?
First off, you'll certainly not find them there, and you'll be lucky if their influences still resonate in the food, its preparation and the service. I have no doubt that Mario or Lidia could come over your house and absolutely blow you away using any of the ingredients that might be lying around your refrigerator, but that's not what's going on here. Mario and Lidia are cooking by proxy (if that) - you're consuming a product created by businesses whose marketing departments are headed by very talented and personable chefs. And I think the uneveness and often underwhelming reviews of their respective and collaborative restaurant operations bear that out.
I'm not sure about you, but after a dissapointing yet quite expensive dining experience at one of their establishments, I've become increasingly fatigued and sceptical of both their on-air and off-air offerings.