Netflix’s Fresh, Fried & Crispy looks decadent and delicious but ultimately is as empty as the calories of the fried food served. It’s reheated entertainment.
Netflix series Fresh, Fried & Crispy season 1 will be released on the streaming service on June 9, 2021.
Netflix has become the hypermarket version of a streaming service. You can find anything here. Anything from films, episodic entertainment, docu-series, reality shows, even talk shows. Recently, they are breaking into taking on niche channels, like the Food Network brand of travel cooking shows. Last year they came out with The Chef Show as an indulgence, with its mix of experts, stars, and real-world culinary masters. Now, Netflix has gone more traditional with Fresh, Fried & Crispy, a new food series that is your basic Food Network travel show but polished up with that streaming giant’s bank account.
Fresh, Fried & Crispy is hosted by the ultra-charismatic Daym Drops, who came to fame with his fast-food critic reviews on YouTube. The popular Drops (many of his streaming videos have over 10,000,000 views) travels across America to cities that include Las Vegas, St. Louis, Savannah, Cleveland, San Diego, Denver, Baltimore, and Birmingham, to find the most unusual fried foods with fresh ingredients. His personality is almost instantaneously likable. You never doubt that he is himself. The makers know how to utilize his talent set with close-up shots of Drops, enjoying each bite with the type of enthusiasm that made him famous.
Shows like Fresh, Fried & Crispy are dependent on two crucial things: Shots of the finished product and the rapport the host creates with the camera. Netflix pulls out tricks of the trade with glassy views of vegan apple fritters and a deep-fried chicken pot pie, which is inviting; even slow-motion captures of proteins slowly entering a boiling hot vat of oil that stay suspended. The image also includes a short description meant to be mildly instructional but lacks any substantial educational value.
Then there is Drops, who started doing fast food critiques as a hobby that turned into a career. While the show hits most of those cooking show erogenous zones for fans of the genre, what it lacks is culinary expertise and teaching the viewer anything about the food they are eating. He has no background in culinary arts, just a passion for fried food. While that’s hardly a sticking point, you’ll find most critics don’t have a background in what they are critiquing; he does take you to diverse locations and shows dishes that the Food Network demographic won’t make part of their weekly viewing. His line of “We flip it upside down for flavor” does have a chance to be a memorable catchphrase that people remember as well.
However, Fresh, Fried & Crispy doesn’t offer anything new to the genre. It’s polished Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, without the bleached blonde hair and ability to teach their audience about what they are eating or how it is prepared. It’s too reliant on the host’s natural chemistry with the camera, as evidenced by its hundred close-up, mid-bite shots. Frankly, they begin to come off as the equivalent of watching someone repetitively eat without their mouth closed. Sure, it looks decadent, delicious, but ultimately as empty as the calories of the fried food served. It’s reheated entertainment.