Many things I do, I do because of the media. I’ve moved places, I’ve dated people, but I’ve also allowed TV to influence my more mundane choices – what to eat, things to buy. Let’s see how they compare to the television hype.
Seinfeld – Paella
When I was younger, my family and I spent a lot of time quoting Seinfeld at each other. A favorite line was “Have you ever had really good paella?” At the time, the truthful answer was always no, as I was nine and I thought most shellfish was gross. These days, the answer is an enthusiastic “yes!” Really good paella is just fantastic, and the best paella I’ve had is at La Espanola in Harbor City, CA. I had it last weekend and I would seriously consider taking another six hour flight this weekend just to get it. Perfectly cooked rice mixed with homemade sausage and fresh seafood – it is incredible. Possibly better than George’s mother’s.
Sabrina, The Teenage Witch – Flan
At a similar young age, I was introduced to another Spanish food item by television. I was fascinated by the giant flan Sabrina produced for her high school classmates, but didn’t actually experience this delight until my mid 20’s. Like paella, I probably wouldn’t have appreciated it as a kid. Unfortunately I can’t send you for the best flan I’ve had; it was made by a coworker whose name I don’t remember at a place I no longer work. It was normal sized, but giant in its deliciousness.
30 Rock – the Slanket
Yes, I own a blanket with sleeves, and I’m not even going to pretend to apologize for it. A million thanks to Liz Lemon for introducing me to the Slanket (and its wonderful companion, Night Cheese). I bought Slankets for me and several friends ironically, and because they were on 30 Rock, except, it turns out, they are awesome. This isn’t product placement, I just like it! Everything they say in the commercials about avoiding the annoyance of cold arms while you read is totally true. I cannot wait for winter so I have an excuse to get mine out again.
The OC – Cardio Barre
Lest you think all my TV obsessions are about food and lounging accessories, think again! Frankly, my favorite thing on this list is the workout that The OC introduced me to. If you are fortunate enough to live in Southern California, and are looking for a fun, fast paced, all around awesome workout that is one of the things I miss most about SoCal, then get yourself to a cardio barre studio. It does not, unfortunately, involve drinking, as I had assumed it did when hearing about it from Julie Cooper-Nichol, and thought it was “Cardio Bar.” It’s barre, which means it’s ballet based, but I find it more fun and way less painful than other ballet-ish wokrouts I’ve tried.
Arrested Development – Pageant of the Masters
While we’re discussing California, let’s talk about the Pageant of the Masters, in which real live people dress up to recreate famous works of art. I assumed this was a thing that Arrested Development made up as an excuse to get everyone to dress up in ridiculous costumes. It’s not, and is in fact a very real part of the Festival Of The Arts held in Laguna Beach. I cannot speak to the quality of the actual show, only its popularity, as when my friends and I attempted to go, it was sold out.
Bride Wars – International Butter Club
Many things about this movie are bad – the idea that women just want want to compete with each other, the idea that all women are obsessed with weddings – but these are not the worst things about the movie. The worst thing about the movie was it told me about something that sounds awesome, and isn’t real. I was devastated to learn that the International Butter Club is not a real thing, so whether you’re trying to fatten up a rival or you just love butter, save yourself some time. This is not a thing…yet. Paula Deen, consider inventing this please?
Butter club tragedies aside, it turns out TV is not a place full of product placement for things you don’t need; it can actually introduce you to some pretty awesome stuff. What’s your favorite food/product/place that TV taught you about?
Image via The Food Is Out There