You’ve all probably seen an episode of Man v. Food. If you haven’t, stop reading immediately, go to the Travel Channel website, and soak it in…. Done? You’re welcome.
Now let me be clear, this is in no way an attack on the entertainment value of this show. Rather, it is an open question about what it means for us as a people that it’s so popular.
I myself happen to love this show. As disgusted as I am by the fact that it exists, when I see it pop up on my channel guide I just can’t resist. There’s just something so alarmingly engaging about watching Adam Richman fill his shapeless body to the brim with quantities and forms of food that simply shouldn’t be stuffed inside of anyone. The real problem is, I can’t tell if my interest is piqued by how he will finish an 11-lb. pizza, or if it’s something much darker, like the morbid curiosity of what it’s like to watch a man slowly die.
|“Why have none of you people stopped me?!”|
Now in season four, I can’t help but wonder how much time could possibly be left on Mr. Richman’s cardiac clock. And when he inevitably croaks with a gullet full of Dagwood sandwich, aren’t we all kind of to blame? Jumping from challenge to challenge has had a noticeable effect on Adam’s girth, and there’s no denying that in those inevitable mid-challenge moments when his breathing slows and the pallor disappears from his face, that he looks like he’s in the early stages of a massive heart attack (they should seriously consider changing the name of this show to Man v. Mortality, because I swear if you look closely back at the 5-lb. cheesesteak episode, somewhere around minute seventeen you can actually see Death sitting at a table in the corner reading a newspaper). I know, I know, it’s impossible to change the channel when Adam is plowing through “The Devil’s Butthole” hot wings challenge, with his sweat beading so heavily you just know it’s covering every last inch of his weird, lumpy body (that dude must have to wear Sham-Wow underwear), but by staying glued to the screen, aren’t we all just helping to murder him? I think we are, and frankly, I don’t know if I can live with this on my conscience.
As a people, I think it’s crucial that we band together and refuse to watch this program. As fun as it is, I just don’t want this guy’s impending demise falling on me, and neither should you.