Back in my America’s Next Top Model days, I used to settle in with a big old plate of cheese and watch people much taller than me learn how to smize and not look commercial and buy into the myth that Tyra Banks is the best and only model in the world forever and ever, amen. During this week’s two hour official premiere event of Jamie Olvier’s Food Revolution I found myself once again sitting in front of my television, watching Jamie Oliver try to fix Huntington, West Virginia, while eating the most godawful crap (with dipping sauces!) I could get delivered to my house (note: if you are toying with the idea of eating something terrible for you that you can order online, DO NOT call my brother and see what he thinks). And while my dinner has me thinking I’ll change my ways, after Friday’s episode I’ve decided I will, in fact, stick with Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, and not just because I need to mend my ways. While I still think there are elements of the show that are simplified a bit too much (where did he get that pea costume? when and how did he put sneakers on before running through the playground? this stuff keeps me up at night) after reading Tood VanDerWerff’s review at the A.V. Club I did have to admit that there are plenty of interesting things going on on this show, and the most interesting thing of all is that that no one is wholly right or wrong. Oliver is a pesty outsider who clearly oversteps sometimes, but he’s trying to do good while his lispy British toddlers miss him terribly. And for the people who live in Huntington, it’s really easy to see why things are the way they are and why a stranger’s interference – regardless of how well-intentioned – is not always welcome (especially when, in the case of Alice and her tough-as-nails band of elementary school cooks, he’s creating more work and interfering with a system that works and that they do very well). But the real reasons I’m sticking around are these: 1.) I like what Oliver is doing in working with Justin Edwards (aside from teaching that kid how to get ladies through cooking) and 2.) I’m really, really curious to see how, exactly, this all plays out because if it took that long to get those kids utensils for lunch, I don’t know what kind of timeline you need for real change.
Bonus: Stickers ALWAYS work. I’d STILL try something new if I got a sticker for it.