IFC's Dinner With the Band (Yawn)
It's hard to decide whether Dinner With the Band represents the end of reality cooking shows, or the end of indie rock. Or both.
The show features chef Sam Mason--formerly of the Soho restaurant Tailor, who looks like the devil incarnate--woodenly explaining how to make a few simple recipes, which are apparently formulated with the indie-band-of-the-evening in mind. The band stands nervously around, cracks a few canned jokes ("I guess you're never too old to learn" quips Sharon Jones), and dutifully files into another room to do a few songs, interrupting the cooking action on cue every five or six minutes.
The band isn't setting the world on fire. It plays a pastiche of older and much finer funk and soul. Predictably, Sam does a mixologist turn, concocting a martini out of simple syrup and coffee crystals. Can anything made with coffee crystals be any good?
Oddly, the show is exactly 23 minutes long. This is a blessing, since it may enable you to watch another episode. After the tepid conclusion of the show, an artsy commercial for Blue Moon beer (made by Coors) gives way to a contest that they hope will leave you wagging your tail back and forth like a contented dog: The prize is two tickets to "an indie rock show." Wow!
Watching Dinner With the Band is like watching Brussels sprouts grow.