I have come late to YouTube, and even later to this great BBC documentary series from 2007-2009. Except for the very occasional quick short someone tipped me off to, I’ve never gotten the YouTube bug until now. It came about through a tip from a co-worker a few weeks ago, and now I’ve had to upgrade my mobile data plan because I can’t stop watching the series, “Supersizers Go“…(name a historical era: ancient Rome, Medieval, Regency, Restoration, Elizabethan, Victorian, Twenties, Seventies, for instance). They follow an intrepid modern-day duo (he a real-life restaurant critic, she a comedienne/performer in hilariously incongruous eyewear) as they re-enact bygone eras from a foodist point of view. There’s a fair amount of helpful historical context (down to costumes and decor), and they bring in modern-day chefs to recreate many of the foods of the era, which in some cases seem pretty revolting to modern-day sensibilities. They are quite funny (often slyly so), even downright antic, and sometimes just plain gross. As a sideline, a physician or healthcare specialist checks their vitals before and after each week’s stint of eating in the bygone era’s mode. Since they’re both young and healthy, though, this part is a bit anticlamactic. (It can’t always be about the medicine, folks.)
These social histories (as my colleague put it), were orignally run as hour-long shows on the BBC, and then the Food Network cut them into commercial-ridden 10 minute segments for the US market. Fortunately, if you seach around YouTube, you’ll find the un-interrupted 59 minute commercial-free shows.
Check them out if you’ve never seen them, they’re providing me with hours of late night entertainment.