The key ingredient in Quibi’s cannon-blasted cooking show? Host Tituss Burgess
Since Quibi is all about shows you can consume in “quick bites,” “Dishmantled” may be the one perfectly tailored for the format. After all, it’s about what a chef can distinguish with quick bites of an entree.
Well, with a twist.
“Dishmantled” is a competition in which two cooks, each dressed head to toe in a white, hazmat-style suit and wearing green googles through which they cannot see, are literally blasted by cannons with a dish. They have only a few minutes to identify what they’ve been hit with before being dispatched to a kitchen on set, where they attempt to recreate the dish in 30 minutes. The player who comes the closest to the correct dish wins $5,000.
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Presiding over the food fight is Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), with an energy level that suggests this is the show he’s been waiting to host all his life. “Y’all ready to watch me blow some [expletive] up?” he says with wide-eyed glee as he kicks off the proceedings. Burgess is joined by two judges from the world of food or celebrity (including the likes of his “Kimmy Schmidt” co-star Jane Krakowski and Dan Levy of “Schitt’s Creek”), who get to taste the finished dishes.
With episodes coming in around the six-minute mark, “Dishmantled” fits comfortably in the crowded genre of cooking competition shows, and could have easily have been expanded into 30 minutes. In fact, given its editing and frantic energy, it plays like a trailer for a traditional cooking face-off.
The most unique — and fun — element, of course, is the food blasting, which is shown several times from several angles, including backwards and in slow motion. Watching the competitors licking their arms, walls and the floor trying to make out ingredients is a spectacle that is simultaneously intriguing and disgusting.
For those who’ve come across Tituss Burgess in person and were gravely disappointed that he didn’t go full throttle Titus Andromedon — just know that he’s sorry.
“I don’t know if this is my favorite cooking show or my sexual fantasies come true,” says Krakowski.
It’s also amusing to watch the chefs trying to figure out what they should make. One may sense it’s a spicy dish, while another tastes sweet ingredients. “Everybody loves cheese, so I’m throwing some cheese in there,” proclaims one hopeful.
But ultimately the main ingredient of “Dishmantled” is Burgess, especially as he banters with his fellow tasters and interacts with the contestants. Smitten by one male cook, he says, “Let me go flirt... I mean, check on Lee,” He really does seem like he’s having a ball. And the more over-the-top he is, the more tasty the show becomes.
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