PBS’ hit reality series A Chef’s Life has become one of the network’s most popular shows since it first debuted some years ago. The show wrapped its fourth season in 2016 and saw that season released late last November on a two-disc DVD set. For those who haven’t yet seen Season Four, the series’ fourth season is in itself an enjoyable human drama; so much better than all of the obviously scripted “reality” series on television today. The story at the core of the series is once again its cornerstone. However, its home release on DVD does present at least one negative, a lack of printable recipes. Thankfully, it is the only truly noticeable of the season’s negatives in its recent home release. The collective information presented throughout Season Four makes up for the season’s one glaring negative. That information includes the history of the featured ingredients, the stories of the people around Eastern North Carolina and other general information. When all of that material is coupled with the stories at the center of Season Four, the whole of those elements makes up for the set’s one negative, and in turn makes it another mostly enjoyable collection of episodes from this fan favorite series.
The fourth season of A Chef’s Life is a mostly enjoyable new collection of episodes from PBS’ hit reality series. That is due in part to the fact that the stories presented throughout the season continue to keep this series completely apart from all of the clearly scripted reality series on television today. There is no fake drama generated through sharp editing and producers who are aimed only at getting ratings. Mrs. Howard’s struggle to balance her personal and business life and to maintain her humility through it all is clearly something very real. Even as Sous Chef John leaves and has to be replaced, there are no alligator tears shed. It would have been so easy for Howard and others at the restaurant to go that route. But they didn’t. They showed they really cared about John and his wife and wished them the best. Their uncertainty moving forward was just as clearly real. The emotional struggle going on within Mrs. Howard as she works to balance her life is also fully believable. This makes Season Four all the easier to watch from one episode to the next. Speaking of that entertainment that the stories offer, the whole of said stories shows why they are so integral to the season’s presentation in its recent DVD home release. While there is plenty to appreciate in the stories this season, it is just one of the season’s positives. While it clearly has positives, there is at least one negative that can’t be ignored in the season’s home release. That one negative is its lack of printable recipes.
The true reality of the stories in the fourth season of A Chef’s Life is the cornerstone of the season’s enjoyable presentation. It is clear in watching each of the season’s episodes that there is no fake drama at any point in any of the season’s episodes. While the stories do plenty of good for the season’s overall presentation, not everything in this season’s home release is positive. This season’s home release comes without the ability to print out the dishes presented throughout the season. This is important to note because audiences have been able to print out the recipes for the featured dishes at least in the third season. So to not have them available for print-out here is a little disheartening. It forces audiences to either go online to find the recipes or to just buy Mrs. Howard’s new cookbook. The sad reality is that the recipes were likely left out as a means to push her book since it took so much precedence throughout Season Four. One can only hope that wasn’t the case. If it was, then it is not the best way to promote her book. Thankfully though, this issue is Season Four’s only negative. The collective information that is presented throughout this season makes up for that negative.
The lack of printable recipes in this season’s home release is a negative about its presentation that cannot be ignored. It takes away a significant amount from the season’s presentation in its home release. Luckily though, it is the season’s only negative. There is still one more positive that can and should be noted. That positive is the collective information presented throughout the season. The information in question involves the history of the given ingredients in each episode and the stories of and from the people of Eastern North Carolina. Audiences will be interested, for instance, to learn of the lack of respect that catfish has as a seafood option. Just as interesting to learn in this same moment is the southern take on the phrase “more than one way to skin a cat.” The man who explains its root is partially right, but also partially wrong. The root he gives is just one of many roots of the verbage. There are also lessons about the difference between artichokes and sunchokes in “All Sunchoked Up” that will interest foodies and audiences in general. As if that isn’t enough, the lessons on cabbage are just as interesting even for those who aren’t fans of cabbage. When these tidbits of information and others are coupled with the season’s engaging stories, they do plenty to make up for the lack of printable recipes this time out. Overall, they do so much that even with that one glaring negative, the home release of A Chef’s Life: Season Four still proves another enjoyable installment of PBS’ hit reality series.
The fourth season of A Chef’s Life is another enjoyable installment of PBS’ hit reality series. That is even despite the fact that audiences aren’t able to print out the recipes this time. The stories make clearly evident that there is no generated drama from behind lens. Everything that audiences see on camera is clearly real. The information that is shared throughout the season adds even more interest to each episode. Those elements are more than enough to make up for the lack of printable recipes this time out. All things considered, this season proves to be worth at least one watch and gives hope for the series’ fifth season. A Chef’s Life: Season Four is available now in stores and online. More information on this and the series’ previous seasons is available online now along with all of the series’ latest news and more at:
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