The Clever Cleaver
Brothers: Tailgatin’ (Comedy)
Audio: C+ Extras: B- Main Program: B-
What makes for a good cooking DVD? How does one quantify the “good” and “bad”
of a disc that’s essentially a video cookbook?
These are the questions posed by anyone who picks up The Clever Cleaver Brothers: Tailgatin’,
essentially full-length versions of those cooking segments on talk shows pulled
together under the theme of “tailgating” and collected on a DVD.
The Clever Cleaver Brothers are Lee N. Gerovitz and Steve
Cassarino. They are, apparently—that
is, according to their bio—“culinary cut-ups” that have inspired the praise of
such mukety-mucks as Regis Philbin and Leeza Gibbons. Both praise the Brothers for their energy, comedy and fun, all of
which are apparent on Tailgatin’. That does not excuse the fact, however, that
this is a very lazy disc.
There is no program to speak of; rather, a collection of
video demonstrations of the Brothers putting together and preparing some 25
football-themed dishes aimed at making you the talk of the lot on game
day. You do have the option of watching
the recipes individually or all together, but only under their specific
sub-heading—there’s appetizers, salads, beef, chicken and turkey, pork and
lamb, and seafood.
The Brothers show great enthusiasm in what is otherwise a
glitzy, cable-access-esque production.
There is no denying the usefulness of actually seeing someone prepare
the dishes one is about to make, but this won’t appeal to the vast amounts of
people who really aren’t that into cooking.
Everyone else, though, will find this disc a handy-dandy tool, be it
game day or Friday.
The sound and video on this disc are both adequate;
there’s no need for Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1 mixes here—that is, unless, you
like to hear the sizzle of chicken so loud it rattles your back teeth. But, if you do, sorry, you’re out of
luck—only standard Dolby Digital 2.0 simple stereo audio is available. The picture is 1.33 X 1 analog NTSC video.
In the extras category are some admittedly useful things
for the sports fan-cum-master chef.
There are text versions of the recipes, which is handy, as well as
“Grilling Health & Safety Tips” and an extra six recipes for desserts,
again video demonstrations, which look like they were culled from other Clever
Cleaver Brother video experiences.
When all is said and done, you can’t really knock anything
about this disc and you can’t really praise it, either. It’s totally utilitarian if you’re an
armchair chef and totally useless if you’re not. No glitz, no glam, just a couple of guys acting like doofuses in
a never-ending quest to make the world safe for grill-ocracy.
- Dante A.