Last year I developed a love for Bravo's hit show Top Chef. I'm not sure when watching cooking shows became some thing I did willingly. I remember watching Julia Child with my Mom back in the day and although I didn't hate it I would have preferred to watch the Six Million Dollar Man. But by the time I was living on my own and paying my own cable bills (usually anyway) I've been watching cooking shows from Emeril Live to Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals. I'm not one of the ones who hate her by the way - I think she's great.
But Top Chef (when it started anyway) offered something that no cooking show I'd seen before (maybe Iron Chef but that's a bit different) namely competition between Chefs done in such a way that I actually plan to watch every week. Yes, although I watched a ton of cooking shows it was mainly due to the dearth of quality TV shows. I find myself rooting for some contestants that because I root for them almost never make it (Howie last season and Dale this season) and hating some other who last till the end (the Jennifer Aniston look-a-like last season and Lisa this year) which is almost the definition of compelling drama.