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Paula's Home Cooking
Posted to Teevee at 08:14 AM on Dec 14, 2004

Paula Deen is actually a lot like Steve Irwin (aka The Crocodile Hunter).

Both are really in love with what they do; both feature their spouses quite a lot on their shows; and both use hyper-exaggerated accents and mannerisms.

We all know that Paula is from Georgia. Even the title of the show gives us a tiny hint that Paula is from the South. I have no doubt that Paula has a southern accent, but much like Steve's Aussie brogue, I think a lot of it is put on. And that's a shame.

Fewer people might object to Paula if she'd just tone down the southern schtick just a little. She does have a pretty good show. Her holiday shows are so full of good ideas and she really has a knack for making entertaining look simple. I watched her Thanksgiving show and I briefly imagined I could make the whole menu myself, without the aid of her two good-looking sons.

Because really. I lived in the Deep South for over fifteen years and I never met anyone who talks like Paula. She says "y'all" at every opportunity. It makes her look less like a T.V. chef and more like a cartoon character. Hell, Alton Brown is from Georgia, too, and I've never heard him adopt a ridiculous Foghorn Leghorn accent, except for maybe once on his grits show.

Oddly, the thing I like most about Paula is her willingness to use shortcuts without shame. I get indigestion from watching Sandra Lee or certain episodes of 30 Minute Meals because of all the prepackaged high-sodium mixes in use. Paula uses them, too, but she uses them well and in perfect proportion to the fresh ingredients in her dishes.

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