Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I'm constantly in search of quality non-sports HD programming, but it's harder to find than you might think, and since I don't watch most of the network HD shows like "CSI" or "Law & Order" and "America's Got , my choices are limited. So when INHD premiered a new block of original shows, I was intrigued:

A Brand-New Programming Block of Original Shows in Hi-Def
New Episodes Every Sunday
Visit for schedules, videos and more.


These shows, brought to you by British rock magazine MOJO all revolve around drinking, eating and/or music, so they should be right in my wheelhouse. Over the weekend I caught a little of "London Live", which features both good (Editors) and bad (The Automatic) new British bands in a straightforward live performance setting which features great sound & video. Three Sheets is a show about drinking which I've yet to see, but really, how bad can it be (the host is a British comedian, so I'm thinking "Insomniac UK")?

I know this is, by definition, impossible, but I have an answer to that rhetorical question: it could turn out to be a complete stinker, like the one show I caught in its entirety: Beer Nutz. It has what sounds like a foolproof concept: two guys visit various cities and their best beer bars and microbreweries, and try out new and different brews and beer-related dishes. It should be a slam-dunk, but unfortunately the execution is piss-poor. First off, the two hosts are insufferably unfunny ("Hey look, the Freedom Trail, do you think it leads to any bars? Yuk yuk yuk!"), and their commentary about beer is insipid, akin to two ignorant frat boys whose only experience with beer is courtesy of the Coors Brewing Company; they seem jaw-droppingly astonished that beer exists that actually has taste AND color. On top of that, the style of the show itself is completely grating, especially the VH1-esque pop-ups that contain "beer facts" (Did you know Belgian monks make BEER? Who knew?!?). And just like the old idiom that skinny chefs are not to be trusted, the same goes for skinny beer fans.

One other irritating moment from the show: while chatting with the chef of a Boston restaurant that encorporates beer into 90% of their menu item (Publick House in Brookline), they asked why the desserts have been removed from the menu. He said, "That's a long story", and without explanation they moved onto the next topic. Guys, this isn't being broadcast live, you could have edited that shit out. The kicker: one of them didn't eat the restaurant's famous mussels cooked in beer because he's allergic to shellfish. That's fantastic. What were they thinking when they sent this guy to Boston? In the off-chance this is the ONE RESTAURANT IN BOSTON that doesn't serve any shellfish? Better yet, why the hell is this guy even on the show? I've got news for you: if you're on a food-themed show, the last thing you should have is food allergies. Next I'll find out that the host of "Three Sheets" is vodka intolerant.

My review: skip it. Getting the same info from the website is far less irritating. Better yet, just visit Beer Advocate or RateBeer for advice.

(UPDATE: I just found out that the allergic guy is Canadian, so he has more problems than previously thought. And the other guy who is a jerk on the show, turns out to be a jerk in real life.)

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