Adam Richman made a name for himself by shoving large quantities of food into his mouth on television. These days it is easy for anybody to get famous, and gorging yourself on deep fried, cheese-drenched, unnaturally spicy food will get you famous. Now Adam is this poster boy for unadulterated food lust which, in a country full of obese people, is the last thing we really need. His primary concern these days is going around the country, trying to find out what the best sandwich in America is, and he’s not going to half-ass this project. He’s chopped up the US into several regions and picking three finalists from each region and by FUCK he’s gonna eat each sandwich until he KNOWS what the best sandwich is from each of those regions. Then those region finalists will get to go to the final round and he will decide ONCE AND FOR ALL what the best sandwich in these United States is. Can you imagine the pressure this man must be under? He has to eat all of these sandwiches! What if he fucks up and picks the wrong sandwich?? THIS IS FOR THE CHILDREN ADAM!!
Look: I love a sandwich. I am a sandwich type of guy. I like a sandwich with several types of meat and cheese and layered with flavorful sauces and smashed between tasty fresh bread. But some of these sandwiches that he is judging look like horrible culinary accidents fueled by lack of sleep, drug and alcohol abuse, and untreated depression. Combining 15-20 ingredients together just because you can doesn’t make you a culinary wizard.
You ever clean out your fridge? Of course you have, and many of us don’t do it often enough so there is this fortress of Chinese takeout cartons and Tupperware containers and aluminum foil wrapped objects of differing shapes and sizes and we can’t get to our beer and condiments. Something must be done, so we drag a chair over to the fridge and start pulling this fortress apart piece by piece. We toss these remnants of past meals into the garbage and they start to pile up to form this hillock of old spoiled food that forms a miasma that would choke the strongest stomached person. All of these seemingly non-compatible foods are now in solidarity with one another: spaghetti, pork chops, sweet and sour chicken, rice, fried chicken, pizza… Got this image in your head? That’s what many of these sandwiches resemble, as if the “chef” just started throwing random foods from the cabinet or the fridge onto a loaf of bread with such reckless abandon that observers had no choice but to accept his judgment. “He must be a genius! He’s piling shaved ham on top of chicken parmesan and then drenching it with hollandaise sauce!”
Will the world continue to turn if we don’t know what the best sandwich in America is? Yes. Will you ever get a chance to eat many of these sandwiches that Adam is sampling? Probably not. The appeal of shows such as the ones that Adam Richman hosts is that we get to live vicariously through the host. We wish we could travel and feast on the culinary delights of distant cities, but we can’t. We’re stuck to our couch or recliner, forced to watch the food orgy on our TVs. There’s a certain masochism involved, watching Adam Richman cram hunks of medium rare steak into his mouth as we stare morosely at our box of Cheese-Its or our bag of potato chips. Our sandwiches are merely lunchmeat and processed cheese on white bread, to be eaten with little relish or desire. We learn to live with this minor disappointments and when Adam does pick his winner, we will nod and change the channel to something else.