The King of Creole food, Emeril Lagasse, is back with a different kind of cooking show. Well it”s not quite a cooking show at all. Actually it”s a comedy based on the Food Network”s most prized series, “Emeril Live.”

Paul Wong
Emeril Lagasse lends his name to a show that only uses him as a pretty face. There is always the Food Network. Bam<br><br>Courtesy of NBC

Emeril stars in this kooky behind-the-scenes look at how a nationally televised cooking show is run.

“Emeril” is set in New York City and showcases many actors that help the real Emeril Lagasse learn the ropes of acting. His three assistants all play a key role in playing off each other so Emeril doesn”t work too hard to be funny. Cass (Lisa Ann Walker, “The Parent Trap”) is Emeril”s stage manager and B.D. (Carrie Preston, “My Best Friend”s Wedding”) helps him set up the kitchen. These two characters along with Melva (Sherri Shephard, “Everybody Loves Raymond”) make up the three most comedic personas in the cast and the central part of the plot.

The other remaining cast members play smaller roles that just seem to initiate the action and help move it along. Trish (Tricia O”Kelley, the Heartstrings Greeting card creator at Target) represents the Food Network and is always trying to improve Emeril”s show. Her arrogance and disregard for most of the cast makes her the adversary for the entire show, especially the three central women. Jerry (Robert Urich, “Spencer: For Hire”), the agent, engages Emeril with conversation the most and showcases his humorous side by giving a convincing impersonation of Emeril”s Food Network colleague Wolfgang Puck.

“Emeril” begins on the set of Emeril the cooking show. An impromptu meeting ensues with Trish telling the entire cast they need to lose weight for a contest among other Food Network shows.

No one does well in the beginning and they all sneak food on the side until they realize the winners will win almost $5000 each. This revelation breathes new life into the group and they become exercise machines. The entire cast rides exercise bikes in wet suits to sweat off more weight. Cass remarks they look like sperm being punished for being too slow. During the last weigh-in Jerry and Emeril are late and so the rest must stall to win. In the end, they show up without a hair of time to spare.

Even though the show is titled, “Emeril,” the focus on the supporting cast demonstrates the show uses Emeril Lagasse merely for his name to gain viewers. Fortunately for loyal viewers they won”t be disappointed when they turn on “Emeril.” The repartee among the characters is witty and refreshing. Emeril himself does exhibit potential for acting and his stage presence can be felt even though he has little dialogue.

“Emeril” kicks the new sit-com season up a notch and puts his own essence on humor with a BAM of course!

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