"Deno doesn't believe that his customers deserve better."
This would seem insulting to Deno, though Deno pretty much said that his customers don't want better. So we see that Jamie Oliver is battling a wall in getting Deno to come over to Jamie's side.
And this reflects the first half-hour of the return of "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" to ABC. Jamie battles the system, and Jamie is upset. This part of the revolution is becoming boring and tired.
Now this isn't Jamie's fault that we waited multiple weeks for this episode. But this wasn't a fine start for the return of the revolution.
In the other sub-plot, Jamie gets kids at West Adams to cook for 150 students: whole wheat mac 'n' cheese, roasted chicken, and a salad. But Jamie spends more time complaining about not being able to cook for more kids. Hey, teenagers are good at spreading the word. They will tell people if the food tasted good.
Jamie gave hope to the kids who cooked the food. They looked very happy to be there, and were happy at the thought of cooking for more people, even if it only ended up being 150.
The emotional angle Jamie loves to play came into focus when student Sophia meets Deno at Jamie's Kitchen. This had great potential, but Sophia dominated the one-sided talk with how Deno's fast food made her parents and sister diabetics.
If you are looking for an inspirational video on how to convert people, this was not it. I know what the issues are, and I was turned off by the entire conversation.
If you stayed tuned on a Friday night in June in the summer time for the second half, your patience was rewarded.
Jamie Oliver brought back the "where does our food come from" test. We saw elementary school kids not know basic vegetables, and those kids appeared on camera. Jamie asked LA high school kids about where butter comes from, and such type questions.
There were some who answered correctly. But the episode showcased those who got it wrong, and the show protected the identity of those who got the questions wrong. Clearly, legal issues were at work, but those 6-year-olds in Huntington probably wanted that option, too.
Jamie said we shouldn't laugh at these kids, that this isn't their fault. This isn't a laughing matter.
The final moment with students was funny. Jamie teaches a class of kids about sundaes, offering them tons of options to top their sundaes. The kids jump into the possibilities.
Then Jamie brings out the details of the ingredients in those toppings. Now going from people who don't know where butter comes from to the intricacies of what is behind ingredient no. 14 on a label is a gigantic jump. But it does make for great TV.
Jamie talks about shellac, shiny stuff that is a byproduct of bugs. So of course, Jamie brings out bugs. He talks about some cookie dough has ingredients that feature — duck feathers and hair. So Jamie features a sundae with bugs, duck feathers, and human hair. You had to laugh when Jamie points out that you could use synthetic hair, yet human hair is cheaper.
So the kids and the viewers are uncomfortable; fortunately for the kids, they get a reward (we don't). Jamie invites them to try his sundaes made with 9 ingredients (instead of 271 from all the toppings): "milk, cream, sugar, strawberries, eggs, vanilla seeds, sesame seeds, honey, carob gum."
Who wouldn't rather eat that if given a choice?
"If you don't understand the crazy words, don't buy it." — Jamie's advice.
Easier said than done, but makes sense. A variation on that came from one of the students, "Know what you're eating." Much more practical, and a great way to start.
And Deno gets a change of heart and welcomes Jamie's meat into his fast food restaurant. Of course, there is bribery involved. Deno gets $30k-40K worth of sponsored renovation and is offered an interview on the number one show on the number one station. Of course, that number one show is hosted by executive producer Ryan Seacrest, a conflict noted in Episode 1 but not in this episode. Oops, but we aren't surprised.
Seacrest is wearing the same baseball cap "Los Angeles Food Revolution" that Oliver wore during the episode. Maybe the revolution can be financed through selling hats, those the hats could have a better look to them.
We have the beautiful grand opening with coverage and lots of customers. And afterwards, we get that emotional moment Jamie loves. Deno meets Freida, a RN who has patients including a 14 year old with diabetes and a 15 year old with blood pressure. Unlike Sophia, Deno breaks down after talking with Freida. It's not enough for Jamie to break down the wall with Deno, he must also have that emotional moment.
TV is supposed to be about drama, and reality TV knows this all too well. But the producers of "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" should look at most of the first half of this episode, and not duplicate it, and give us more from the second half of the episode. The revolution is serious, but it also needs to entertain.
As we noted earlier, the recaps will air on Mondays and Tuesdays as long as the program runs. The advertising element will be here tomorrow.