The American Barbecue Showdown (Season 1, 2020)
Hosts: Rutledge Wood, Lyric Lewis
Judges: Melissa Cookston, Kevin Bludso
Food competition that follows the country’s best backyard smokers and competitive barbecuers as they compete for the title of American Barbecue Champion. – IMDB
Netflix has been really embracing this whole summer and barbecue theme in its latest food shows. Its latest reality food competition show is The American Barbecue Showdown which gathers up 8 contestants from America compiled of both female and male pitmasters in a series of themes challenges ranging from making different cuts of meats to assorted wild game and also having different requirements of sides and desserts as well as additional challenges announced in the middle of the main challenge. This show does go by very fast as its really one challenge per episode and announcement of one best pitmaster and the lowest one leaves the competition. The structure itself is definitely pretty good as well as the array of challenges set forth.
The judges and host are also pretty on point. Rutledge Wood who has been hosting a few Netflix shows from Hyperdrive (review) (which is definitely in his domain) to Floor is Lava (review) to this food competition. He definitely has a lot of energy that pairs up well with this show. I haven’t seen his partner Lyric Lewis before but she’s pretty fun to watch as well. I’m going to say that I know nothing about barbecue pitmaster competitions so whether the two judges are big names or not really is not in my field of knowledge but they definitely sound like they know their stuff and are very experienced plus they both have their own sort of personality that adds to the show especially Melissa Cookston who is the stricter judge but something about how she reacts added to the show. The discussions between the judges and/or the hosts also bring a lot to the table that adds context to their concerns or whatnot. Barbecue isn’t that much different from general cooking shows since its another cooking technique at least for myself is not that knowledgeable.
There’s not a whole lot to say about American Barbecue Showdown. At this point, Netflix has created a lot of these original reality TV food competition sort of shows and they have this similar structure with little tweaks that pair up with the task on hand that works pretty well and its fun and engaging. At the same time, its a professional barbecue competition so pitmasters are different from normal people who are barbecuing in their backyards and has a lot more knowledge to share as well as strategies whether its about the different cuts of meat and their quality or how it should be made or even the different smokers and such, there’s a lot to learn and as much as the show was fun because the competitors were a lot of fun to watch over the 8 episodes to see their abilities and what they come out with, the show also had a lot of other stuff to offer in terms of educating on the world of barbecue and the complexities of fire and seasoning paired with everything else. Overall, The American Barbecue Showdown is a good time.