For years, I avoided The Sopranos because I thought it was a show about high-pitched singers. When I realised it was actually about mobsters, I never missed an episode. Who doesn’t love gangster shows?
Until recently, I also avoided MasterChef, as I don’t much care for cooking shows. Then I learned that it, too, is in fact a show about gangsters. Now I’m glued to the thing six nights a week!
What’s this, you say? MasterChef really is actually a cooking show? Sure. And Kyle Sandilands is a good bloke. Without question, MasterChef is a show about gangsters. Let’s examine the evidence…
The first thing that betrays MasterChef is the way the so-called “judges” dress. No one who earns an honest living dresses like Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston, if indeed that is their real names. Our sources tell us they’re really called “Squidgy, G-Dog and Big Matt”.
On the subject of fake names, these guys have an imaginary friend called Heston Blumenthal. Good one. Like any real person has a name that silly.
Now look at guest judge Matt Moran. While we’re told it’s just a coincidence that he shares the same surname as an infamous Melbourne crime family, you’ll excuse us for pointing out the eerie similarities between this portrait of Moran and the first “whacking” in The Sopranos.
Gangster jargon is another MasterChef giveaway. As we all know, gangsters talk in a weird coded tongue, full of words that mean other stuff. A “whacking” is a killing, a “friend of ours” is a mafia associate, a “marker” is a debt, a dead person “sleeps with the fishes” and so on.
The MasterChef judges do this too. They use strange little made-up words for things we already have perfectly good words for. Chocolate sauce is “ganache”. Garden pests are “escargots”. Soup that smells like wee is “consommé ”. They even talk about a thing called “sabayon”, which probably means some kind of mercy-killing.
Now to the location of the show. When movie mobsters trade illicit goods, the exchange always takes place in an old, empty warehouse. Where is MasterChef filmed? In a big, cold warehouse. We all know how easy it is to wipe food scraps – or blood – off concrete floors, right?
Still not convinced?
MasterChef “contestants” are banned from using mobile phones. Gangsters aren’t too keen on being wired by the cops either.
Many of the “contestants” are “legitimate businessmen”. One is a plumber, the next a carpenter, and so on. Have you ever seen a carpenter make anything more complicated than a cheese sandwich? Neither have we.
Matt Preston has a penchant for elaborate neckwear. So too did the most famous movie gangster of them all, Marlon Brando’s Godfather.
Gangsters eat quickly, efficiently and with ruthless gusto. Ditto G-Dog, Squidgy and Big Matt. It’s a miracle their faces aren’t full of fork marks.
When people are about to get whacked by the mob, they plead for mercy. Have you ever seen how contestants fawn when they’re on the verge of MasterChef elimination? What does “elimination” actually mean, anyway? What’s it really a euphemism for? We shudder to think.
Those sick bastard judges even have a Stockholm Syndrome thing going. When a “contestant” cooks a shocking dish, the judges are ruthless. Then they come on all nice when they’re about to wield the axe, so to speak. This really is one of the cruellest, most duplicitous psychological tricks imaginable.
Gangsters worship their mothers. MasterChef judges worship Maggie Beer.
And of course, MasterChef is full of food nerds. So too are America’s prisons, as this classic scene from Goodfellas amply demonstrates.
And what about the way MasterChef cuts to the ad break with an explosion. Like everything else in this show, it is gangster imagery writ large.
Why has no one else ever gone public with all of this before?
Fear, of course. But here at the Punch, we’re not afraid of a little moral crusading for the benefit of the public. You’ll excuse us if we quietly disappear into hiding for a decade or two, yes?
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