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Archive for Friday, May 18, 2012

Bourdain right on the money about Deen

May 18, 2012

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Tonight’s offerings should have some home chefs screaming at the screen. And I’m not just talking about another helping of Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares” (7 p.m., Fox).

“Who Do You Think You Are?” (7 p.m., NBC) ends its second season of celebrity genealogical sleuthing as celebrity chef Paula Deen examines her family history.

Some months back, a show called “Who Do You Think You Are, Paula Deen?” might have taken on a whole new meaning. For those who missed it, Deen revealed earlier this year that she suffers from diabetes, an affliction that many link to America’s obesity epidemic. And many attribute America’s growing supersized population to the kind of diet celebrated by celebrity chefs such as Deen, who extols the virtues of cooking burgers with doughnuts and other spectacularly unhealthy dishes.

While news of anyone’s health crisis should elicit compassion, Deen’s announcement about her diabetes was accompanied by news that she would be a spokeswoman for a brand-new pharmaceutical product designed to treat that disease. To the jaded eye, it seemed that Paula Deen had made a fortune by hyping recipes that made people (including herself) sick and now wanted to cash in by selling a patented cure.

Chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain, a frequent critic of Deen’s cuisine and television show, made much of his disgust. “How much money do you need?” he publicly wondered. Deen countered that Bourdain was being cruel. But she’s had a hard time convincing anybody that he wasn’t right on the money. In the aftermath of her drug company deal, even Deen’s publicist, a person paid to spin her story in the most positive light, had to quit.

Tonight’s finales

• An entrepreneur unlocks a key development on “Shark Tank” (8 p.m., ABC).

• Nikita takes on Percy on “Nikita” (7 p.m., CW).

• The search for the gold continues as the body count rises in Portland on “Grimm” (8 p.m., NBC).

• Dick Roman is challenged on “Supernatural” (8 p.m., CW).

Tonight’s other highlights

• A casual drink with some rookie cops turns into a perilous moment on “CSI: NY” (8 p.m., CBS). This series will return next season.

• “Great Performances at the Met” (8 p.m., PBS) presents “The Enchanted Island.”

• The crew tries to redirect whales away from hunters on “Whale Wars: Viking Shores” (9 p.m., Animal Planet).

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