For a while there, it looked like TV shows about food were falling into a certain formula: some impossibly beautiful celebrity displaying their wares while we licked the screen. But now Viceland has come along and changed all that, with programs like Fuck That’s Delicious and Dead Set on Life, hosted by bouncy, inked-up big man Matty Matheson. We caught up with the Toronto-based legend to talk telly.
A lot of TV chefs look like they don’t touch the stuff they cook, but you’re definitely a man of healthy appetites.
“I think it’s time for some fat guys to get on TV. It's not always the good-looking guy. Everyone can’t be Curtis Stone. And no dis to him, he’s great. A lot of people are like ‘Oh, another fat guy?’ I'm like ‘When was the last time there’s all these fat guys on TV?’ Our time to shine’s right now. I'm like, ‘What the fuck are you guys talking about?’ There should be more females on TV. There should be everyone. Anyone should be on TV.”
That sounds like the Viceland mantra – each of these shows have their own specific flavour. Yours, for example, is very Canadian compared to the more American Fuck That’s Delicious.
“Yeah, that’s a side effect of who we are. There’s Dead Set on Life, there’s Fuck That’s Delicious, there’s Huang’s World. I like the culinary features of Viceland, and they’re all very, very different. I think if people say they are all similar, they’re not really watching them. It’s about food, it’s about people, it’s about me experiencing these moments. Having a good time.”
It’s funny watching Dead Set on Life in terms of how much it’s about you. With another host, it’d be a totally different show.
“I think that’s it. Vice is really good at letting you do what you want to do. They’re like ‘Okay, you work. You work, people like you,’ and then they're like ‘Go make a show.’ That's kind of the stuff we get. I’ll talk to the New York office, be like ‘Hey, what can I do with the show?’ And they’re like ‘Nothing, you’re doing great, just keep making the show. Everything you’re doing, you’re learning, your show is evolving. It’s getting better.’”
Do you ever hang out with mainstream celebrity chefs?
“I think it’s a different lane. People that are on Food Network, it’s like a different type of celebrity chef. I don't think that I’m ever going to be apt to do Food Network, or anything like that. Describing food on television is like the stupidest thing in the world. It’s like ‘Oh my God, this tastes so good!’ or whatever, and I’m like ‘They’re not here, they’re not experiencing it!’ What the fuck – eat the soup and talk about something else. It’s such a weird thing.”
How do you get around those taste- and smell-based limitations of TV?
“You need to be way more about the experience, rather than the food. The food is there, and part of it, and that’s why we're there. But it’s way more about everything else that’s happening. It’s way more about the people, it’s way more about the products specifically. That is what, I think, makes the show.”
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Dead Set on Life airs every Monday night on SBS VICELAND at 9:25pm. Catch up on the show from episode one on SBS On Demand: