TV + Food = BFFs 4Ever

So I know watching television’s not exactly en vogue, but if you’re anything like me (which, for sake of creating a bond via the Interweb, let’s hope you are), you embrace your nights with food and the complete series of Arrested Development fully, spending your evenings wondering aloud why on earth the show wasn’t picked up for more than three seasons and whether someone might cast you in the upcoming film as Egg’s best friend. Or maybe that is just me.  But coolness aside (because I’m not), there’s a plethora of amazing shows out there, and as someone who prides herself on pop culture knowledge and being able to recite US Office word-for-word, I figure it’s only fair that I provide you with a list of my favourite shows and the appropriate foods to eat along with them.  Because after all, if you’re not snacking like a caricature of a pregnant lady when cursing the likes of Devon Banks, what’s the point?

WORDS: Ms. Anne T. Donahue

30 Rock
Frankly, starring a heroine who eats five donuts a day, the obvious answer to “what do I eat with this show?” is “everything”. (And yes, I was tempted to play it cool and give you a witty explanation of why each food group should be represented accordingly, but if I’m not going to abide by ridiculousness like that, why should you?) When it comes to Liz Lemon and the gang, literally anything goes: chips, Cheezies, shrimp (“I pooped my pants once at an all-you-can-eat steakhouse buffet, and I didn’t leave until I finished my second plate of shrimp”), chocolate of any variety and even hard liquor (since Tracy Jordan must be represented). Clearly, all snack choices should be made while wearing a Snuggie and singing about night cheese, downing bags of M&M’s in the midst of crazy Coke parties (“If by ‘Coke’, you mean the soda” – “I do”), and topped off by a delicious homemade cheese stew (preferably when entertaining the likes of Jon Hamm).


Mad Men

Speaking of Jon Hamm (see what I did there?), if your Sunday evenings aren’t spent hypnotized by the likes of Betty, Joan, Peggy and the super-suave Don Draper, either you need to re-prioritize things or the show doesn’t air the same time as it does where I live. Regardless, if you’re a true fan, eating is basically impossible during this hour of dramatic monologues and sultry stares, but if you’re going to snack on anything, it should be accompanied only by copious amounts of alcohol and a pack of cigarettes. (And I’m actually only half-joking). For authenticity sake, you could go all out and begin making the meals of 60s housewives, but if you share my character traits, you consider cooking to be the worst pastime possible, and believe only pre-packaged foods of the cheap variety suffice. (Unless you live with someone who likes to cook – and in that case, the food they prepare is just as good.) Last season, my date every Sunday was my good friend, Pringles, and if I was bold (read: willing to miss a minute to run to the kitchen and find something else), it was complimented by a hot cup of tea since frankly, trying to sleep after living vicariously through the trials and tribulations of Dick Whitman is impossible sans chamomile.

Parks And Recreation
There are certain shows that are cushioned between awesome and super-rad, and if you’re lucky enough to experience the wonder that is Thursday nights on NBC (if you don’t live in North America, just watch Parks, Community, The Office and 30 Rock in succession), you begin your accumulation of snacks at 8, and you’re good to go for two hours. Where I live, Parks and Recreation kicks everything off, so by the time I begin my hangouts with Leslie, Ron and the Pawnee gang (just realized this particular entry makes me sound like I have no actual friends), I have a buffet of wonder within my reach. (Read: more carbohydrates than consumed by record-holders. . . . And seriously – I usually watch TV with other people. I really don’t eat solo pretending TV characters are my pals.) Like the episode in which Leslie and Tom find themselves spying in a cube van, take a page out of the book of sugar highs and embrace the likes of candy necklaces, candy anything and carrots. (“Are you sure this is marijuana? It looks like the tops of carrots.”) That way, by the time 30 Rock wraps up your marathon of hilarity, your blood sugar will have lowered and going to bed is an actual option. (And for the record – I’m not Jabba the Hutt gorging on junk food in my lair).

First and foremost, if you’ve yet to stumble upon the gem that is Community, I suggest you stop reading immediately and do nothing until you’ve watched at least six episodes. (And I don’t say that because I have a ridiculous crush on all the male characters –including, and especially, Chevy Chase.) Last year, in anticipation of our Thursday night TV marathons, pans of brownies and cookies would be prepared (never by me) in order to fuel the 120 minutes of laughter and inappropriate commentary – which is why I justify only sugar-based deliciousness for anything Community-oriented. Nevermind the fact that we began our TV nights with hot dogs, nachos and various types of steak (not at the same time), it was the peanut-butter Rice Krispie things and shortbread cookies that truly served us and convinced me to give Community a shot (because yes, I was bribed with food). That’s why in the spirit of friendship (get it?! A COMMUNITY – ha!), not only must you consume high-sugar deliciousness during this Emmy-snubbed treasure, but you must eat it amongst pals. Because frankly, cookie dough tastes much better when you’re hiding it from the person who’s actually trying to use it.


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