Did anyone else watch the "debuts" of these shows this weekend? First was the new TV Diner on NECN at 10AM Sat. with Billy Costa. They were dragging in celebrities to wish him luck: Ming, the Upstairs people, Walter McCarty from the Celtics, etc. Pretty pointless. The theme was something like new hot spots. Seems like they only got to three places, Excelsior, Elements and I can't remember where else. Rating system is 1-5 plates with platinum (I think) being the best and the worst is whatever color and "needs work", so not too critical. Did some interviews including the Bambara chef. Made a comment about how they won't be doing anything with fast food. The one real twist is that a chosen TV Diner will go out to dinner on them to review a place, report back, get another gift certificate that's matched with an email viewer. I'll hop on that. This repeats at 8PM Sun. as Phantom did in the past.
The new Phantom came on at 11AM Sat. on Ch. 38, not sure if it repeats. The theme that day was pizza. New host Dave Robicheau seems like a nice guy but isn't too exciting. The interviews were way too long and they're definitely still dealing with things like best frozen pizza in the "Top of the Food Chain" segment. Then it seemed silly cuz for the "Great 8", instead of doing the best pizza places, they made it Italian in general. Why, when there are enough places in Boston never mind places like Sally's and Flatbread Pizza that they could have easily made a list of 8. You'd think mentioning places like Tuscan Grill and No. 9 Park (?) would be for a completely different show. I'll still watch both cuz I'm obsessed like that, but neither is as good as it could be IMHO (I say as I scratch my mosquito bites from White Farms Ice Cream stand).