The Food Network Show So Cruel and Dumb Even They Aren't Re-Running It

Categories: Food on TV
mysterydinerbar.jpeg
The sad bar from Mystery Diners.
Each week we take a quick, cautious look at what's going on with televised cooking. This week: Mystery Diners, a half-hour show you will never see again, on the Food Network or anywhere else, fingers crossed.

The premiere of a new show on the Food Network, even if it's just a taped-together pilot thrown down the hall, causes us to pause and reflect on the brand. For example, say the FN premieres an incredibly bad show called -- oh, I don't know -- Mystery Diners, which would not be out of place following America's Dumbest Criminals. Does that show not gain a certain status, a certain glimmer, by appearing in the house of Alton Brown and Bobby Flay, even Sandra Lee?

Hah!

Mystery Diners is not so great. We had high hopes. We assumed it was secret-shopper-style thing with secret diners -- maybe critics! Famous chefs! -- dropping into restaurants to report back on the food. Instead, we landed in a bar in a strip mall for a undercover sting operation on an employee, in the dead hour of noon.

The target: A sad-sack bartender, to be fired at the end of the show for giving away everything but the bar for love. The agents: Two women, comely, sent in by a secret-shopper outfit making an awful pilot for the Food Network. The bar owner: Just could not fucking ask the sad sack if he was ripping her off. Death is all around us.

The women came on strong, cooing that they had no jobs and wanted to par-tay in an empty strip-mall bar at noon on a Thursday. They told poor bartender Rod he was cute. One had a hidden camera affixed to her glasses, and there were four more cameras hidden around the bar. Rod didn't stand a chance. The ladies tossed their hair. They smiled at poor Rod. And they drank, oh they drank -- actually they poured their booze in a pail at their feet -- but to Rod they just drank and drank and drank.

And our Rod, sad-sacking his way through a noon shift in a bar in a strip mall, thought maybe that this was his time. Maybe he was going to catch a break. Maybe God was finally gonna give Rod one true thing after a lifetime of pain and shit and busted-up bones, and maybe he was going to sleep with one or could be both of these women, maybe right there in the parking lot in his brother's van.

So poor Rod bit and bit hard. He gave them free drinks, he undercharged for other drinks, he put all monies collected into the tip jar. He did everything you could do to get fired, with all of it feeding to a control room where that bar owner and her hired thugs watched with righteous outrage -- those who've never felt pain, those who've never been beaten down, those who've never had drunk women flirt with them at noon in bar in a strip mall after a lifetime of watery soup and tore-up dreams and nice-smelling fancy broads laughing in his face when he looks longingly at the $6 whole roasted chickens in the hot case at Safeway, his face pressed up against the sweaty glass, thinking Maybe tomorrow.

Rod was done for. The owner finally led him back to the control room and the pack of wolves tore him apart and fed on his bones, but not before extracting his tip money that, well, it should have gone in the register, that is true. Rod is a thief, and he is the star of the pilot of the Food Network show Mystery Diners. Why would he ever agree to do this?

--
Previously, Michael Leaverton watched:
Food Jammers
Have Cake, Will Travel
Chef Hunter
Baron Ambrosia
Sweet Genius
Best Thing I Ever Made
Sandra Lee's Hard-Drinkin' Halloween Special of Madness

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29 comments
MichaelYevtuck
MichaelYevtuck

Michael Yevtuck  I am the God of the USA hells angels  . MY hobbies including beating up USA hells angels registered sex offenders , USA hells angels involved in child porn. USA hells angels who beat harm rape molest and murder women and children . 


I also enjoy beating up members and chapters of those gay groupie hells angels support clubs that help support and fiance all the USA hells angels sex offenders.


one of my Goals to to make the rich Hollywood men like @Howardstern Slt stallone and other rich men stop[ dating supporting anfd promoting the USA hells angels. 


How can these rich men that control the USA Zmedia not understand its wrong for USA hells angels in 2013 to still be voting registered sex offenders as USA hells angels gang leaders ? How can these rich media mogols Not Understand it is wrong for the USA hells angels to still to this day hold fund raisers that support decades of USA hells angels involved in sex offences child porn harming raping molesting murdering women and children all across the USA.  


SLY stallone  & Howard stern it appears to stand to side with registered sex offender USA hells angels over the women and child Victims of the USA hells anagels . did you really think Noone would ever speak up and question why you chose to hang and support men involved in gangs that support sex offenders and even Vote registered sex offenders as their gang leaders ? 

parkers21
parkers21

There are so many fake reality shows on but this show is up there with the worst.

I saw a person look right at the camera. Such bad acting. By By

Larz
Larz

Always wondered myself if it was fake or not, then saw the latest episode at Pinas Pizza. There is a scene where the Culprit thief takes a keg from the cooler and takes it to his friends out back. The editing department really screwed up on this one. If you watch them take the keg out of the cooler then walk out the back door, the tap for the keg is sitting on top of the keg as they walked out. They switch cameras to them walking out the door to the back and the keg is mysteriously tapped!!!! Definitely fake!!!!

Dee
Dee

Guess you were wrong on this one, huh?  They have brought it back and I am all for it!  I was barred from a restaurant for complaining about cutting my lip on a glass.  Bring on the mystery diners!  I wish they would do the mystery shopping first, then alert the owners.

drowner
drowner

I was wondering why so many comments here were so angry or off-topic, then I saw I'm on SFWeekly. I live in California, and I hope we get swallowed up by the sea.

Joe
Joe

Nice name, virgin.

DA
DA

MORE PROOF THIS SHOW IS FAKE: In the episode that took place at Groves Bar & Grill, the head chef Dave was caught on camera using dough to make a pizza that he dropped on the floor, stealing his owner’s supplies, and orchestrating a deal to take a prospective client away from his owner to his own smaller catering company.  On his blog (chefdaveitalianeats.blogspot.com), he lashes out at the Food Network and he defends his actions in three different posts in May.  He also said that he only signed the release for the Food Network to air his face because his boss would have withheld his paycheck if he didn’t.  He also said that he has now lost multiple clients from his catering business after this episode was aired.  Then, a few days ago he posts his most recent entry, stating he has had a “rebirth” and apologizes for his actions.   If you go on his blog, you’ll see a number of people, who apparently believe this show is real, bad mouthing him after the entries he made from last month.  They make derogatory comments about him, mock him, call him vile names, etc.  Again, those comments as of 6/22/2012 8AM PST are still there.   Now, after his last post from a few days ago, I provided the following comment: “There is nothing real about this “reality” show. So, you signed the release form needed by the Food Network in order to air your face because your boss otherwise would have withheld your last paycheck. Then, after the show airs, you’re surprised that you start losing clients from your catering business. Did you really think that they would have no problem employing someone who they saw stealing the ingredients in the food you’re providing them? Wouldn’t it have made more sense to have them keep you last paycheck in exchange for you to keep your separate business afloat and your reputation for that matter? If this is real, perhaps you can explain how you never caught the numerous cameras throughout the building that had a clear view of your face at every angle. Or perhaps you can explain how you apparently also missed the numerous microphones hidden throughout the restaurant. This show is so fake. Just place in “mystery diners fake” into google and you’ll find a few blogs where the vast majority agrees with me.”   As you can see on his blog, this comment has been removed by him but as I said before the comments insulting him ARE STILL THERE.  Now, if your incompetence, apathy, and greed were shown on a hidden camera reality show, would you rather keep the comments on your blog from the viewers that questioned the legitimacy of the show or the ones that attack your dignity?  Just as someone said on this site beforehand, if this show was real, it would make more sense for him to go along with my comment and agree it was fake so he could actually save face.  He would have trouble ever finding work again if this show was real but if he said it wasn’t real and was just some acting he did on the side, then he would look much more respectable.  This blog was created just a couple months or so before the episode aired and obviously done to support the authenticity of this show as he admits for the world to see that he is that incompetent.  If you want to verify that I actually posted the comment above, just place the first two or so sentences in quotes into Google and the only site that will appear will be his blog but of course my comment was deleted.  

Youreafaggot
Youreafaggot

this article is a joke. rah rah we are the 99% let poor rob with his highschool diploma steal from his 1% boss because hes better off in life.  

Hoopla
Hoopla

I totally agree it's staged.  It is obvious the way everyone reacts. 

Mandy in TX
Mandy in TX

I call bullshit on this show. My fiance and I both worked in the restaurant/bar biz for over 15 years, and I guarantee you things don't go down like this.  These people are obviously actors, and everything is staged. 

Pmtlewdw
Pmtlewdw

I guess the author can eat his words - they are most definitely running it again - we just watched it a few nights ago. 

Fred65
Fred65

Terrible show. Obviously fake. This article is more entertaining. Mainly because the writer comes across as an idiot. I hold out hope that Mr. Leaverton wrote this sarcastically, but I doubt it.

guest
guest

This show is def fake, you can see the ear pieces in all the "bad guys" ears. 

WhatsUp
WhatsUp

The show is obviously fake. I watched half of an episode and will not be bothered with it again.

Bababooey23
Bababooey23

This show is a total fake. This is no real sting. People don't talk like they do on this show in real life. What a waste of time.

Jzack1
Jzack1

this show sucks and i will never watch it again, ever...it made my blood pressure go up to see how nasty the 'average' worker is!

Sandra Livery
Sandra Livery

I'm sorry, this article is so horribly written that I can't possibly take you seriously. Overwrought much?

Brandi
Brandi

Why is his problems the responsibility of the store owner?  Do you think for one minute he is going to come clean and tell her the truth if she asked him?  It may have been a poor choice to put it on television, but suspicious activity on the part of employees are videotaped for proof all the time.  He obviously had absolutely no respect for authority or her establishment.  What he did was downright stealing, plain and simple.

Alan Scherstuhl
Alan Scherstuhl

Next time someone starts complaining to me about organized labor, I'll remind them that most unions oppose handling personnel problems through hottie sting organizations.

MIKE YEVTUCK
MIKE YEVTUCK

That White Trash Blond Sleeze Sandra Lee looks and acts like a horny alcoholic suburban hick drunk who acts like she is in bad need of my big cock. she aint right in the head she is mentally off.

MIKE YEVTUCK
MIKE YEVTUCK

When are they gonna start the Fat Over Eating American Network? or FOEAN TV CHANNEL. NETWORK.

sj67305
sj67305

They might have brought it back a few months ago but I bet that it is finally done now that all the new episodes have been aired.  I wish it would get renewed as it was just hilarious how fake the show actually was.  In the “Big Earl” episode, the bartender was caught stealing from her employer, drinking on the job, giving away free drinks, lying to the customers, allowing two undercover patrons and a bunch of her friends to stay after closing, and left the bar completely unattended for 15 minutes all in the same night!  Then, she is apparently so stupid that she signs the release for the network to air her face so the whole world can see how incompetent she is.  I’ve worked in the restaurant industry for years and I am sure some of these items happen from time to time but I highly doubt it happens all in one night.  Also, if anyone saw that episode did you notice that all of her four friends and her boyfriend entered the bar at EXACTLY the same time?  Did they all take the bus or something?  Lastly, if this was real then the owner would have lost her liquor license.  It doesn’t matter that she doesn’t know this was going on and probably worse if she didn’t. 

 

You're Wrong
You're Wrong

 Who would have thought someone would get upset if they tuned in to what was billed as a reality show and turns out to be so blatantly fake only the incredibly naive would believe it has an ounce of truth to it?

Peg Wolfe
Peg Wolfe

I saw that show, and was appalled.  That poor guy should hire a decent labor-law attorney, and with any luck (and citing entrapment and non-disclosure with respect to the public showing of this nonsense), he will own that bar, and everything else the proprietress owns.  Terrible.  Her lack of due diligence does not justify this nonsense. 

MichaelYevtuck
MichaelYevtuck

@MIKE YEVTUCK   I am the God of the USA hells angels  . I did not write this comment some registered sex offender child porn viewing gay USA hells angels who dates a hollywood man probably used my name to make this comment 

MichaelYevtuck
MichaelYevtuck

@MIKE YEVTUCK  @MIKE YEVTUCK   I am the God of the USA hells angels  . I did not write this comment some registered sex offender child porn viewing gay USA hells angels who dates a hollywood man probably used my name to make this comment 

Fred65
Fred65

Peg - you're an idiot. Go play in traffic.

Jzack1
Jzack1

really? r u friggin' kidding?? get a job!

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