Cooking or food programs are always centred around a chef or a region or both. The genre is well catered for and very little changes from its recipe and food presentation format.
It is a popular format with various versions of it being shown on the ABC, SBS and food segments of such popular lifestyle shows as ‘Healthy Wealthy and Wise’ are normally amongst the most watched.
The detective, or police drama series is also one of the most popular. Versions of this genre have been around as long as television itself. We know the lead character(s) well. They normally act tough, talk tough, play hard, drink even harder and in amongst all this, still have time to be really good at their job.
As we very soon find out, they all have major flaws in their character. They’re loners with a sturdy backbone built on a highly resistant moral fibre.
‘Waiter, there’s a Dead Man in my Soup’ places both these genres into a large melting pot, adds a touch of colour, spice and a dollop of comedy to create a fragrant, tasty new television series.
Its hero is one Sidney D’Angelo. A Private Detective who doesn’t wake up with a hangover and in desperate need of a hair-of-the-dog. Instead to him, food is the meaning of life. It stirs lovers, it unites families and even hardens the will of soldiers the night before battle.
Not to mention how it also hardens arteries. Sidney is also loner. But maybe not by choice. Born of Italian parents, his birth place was the Ship ‘Roma’ on the day it docked in Sydney Harbour with its cargo of immigrants from Europe.
To commemorate the occasion, Mr and Mrs D’Angelo named him after the city they would call home. Unfortunately, they misspelt it on the birth certificate. Ever since that day, Sidney has been grateful he wasn’t born in Woy, Woy. A little while after, his parents moved to Melbourne and Sidney gained his appreciation for food among the aroma of fine Italian fare and strong black coffee that wafted along Lygon Street in Carlton.
Seeing his father had been in the Police force in Italy, it seemed a good occupation for a young man. However, the overly sweet taste of iced doughnuts was never to his liking. He left the force and became a Private Detective. His clientele is mainly Italian. And his work concentrates on the kinds of deeds you wouldn’t go to the Police for.
Sure, the work can be seedy, but you have to eat.
This mixture of two such diverse genres works well. After all, isn’t food often associated with love, sex, passion, betrayal, violence and intrigue?
Strangely enough, the same ingredients form the basis of the most popular detective or police dramas. And after all, aren’t the best stories, whether they relate to gossip, intrigue or a comic situation usually told over a table laden with good food, wine and company?
In one American State it is against the law to make love to your wife if your breath smells of garlic, onion or sardines.
This is just one of the many strange ways that the law and food have a very strange relationship.
‘Waiter, there’s a Dead Man in my Soup’ is a new form of television that creates something fresh, strange yet very, very tasty.