Monday, October 10, 2005

Martha Stewart's Fall

(pictured here making yogurt with Jennifer Garner on her show "Martha")
I have been a big fan of Martha Stewart. There, I said it. I know many of you are contorting your face in disgust and I don’t care. So before I get all the negative comments let me start out by saying that I am not sure if I like her anymore. Why? Two words: The Apprentice.

I first began watching Martha Stewart Living when I was a new mom. Her show came on every week day from 10-11am. I enjoyed watching her show. These were the years before we had satellite—so it’s really Martha’s fault I am a food snob and not the Food Network’s fault. I enjoyed learning new recipes and picking up style tips. Basically speaking, I enjoyed her joie de vivre. She seemed to find excitement in the everyday domestics as well as her field trips like kayaking down the Columbia river and then roasting her freshly caught Salmon on a spit. Mind you, I have never wanted to kayak, but Martha made it look fun! I enjoyed her other field trips to organic Pumpkin patches and small production factories where vanilla is made the old-fashioned way. She was like my Mr. Rogers for grown ups. I started subscribing to her magazine and buying some her cookbooks.

I feel like she helped to make homemaking cool again. My friend Allison would argue, “It’s always been cool!” and while that is soooo true my friends, she helped to bring us out of the 70-80s mentality of the doldrums of domestics. Okay, enough about why I like her.

Even when she went to prison, I thought, “Well, everyone makes mistakes.” Did I want her life? No. Do I wish I lived alone with a plethora of chinchillas, dogs, and well manicured cats? Heck no! But everyone has something to offer—and I thought Martha had a lot to offer.

And then the debut of The Apprentice: Martha Stewart occurred. Mind you—I have never watched a reality TV show. I despise them. I think they are mean and an insult to my intelligence. Shows like Survivior and American Idol I have never seen. Blech.

But I was a bit excited for Martha’s new reality show. I thought it would be some kind of cross between the Pillsbury Bake Off and a sewing contest. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! A bunch of people that are way too good looking (that makes me suspect right there) make up the cast. On the episode I watched they got together to write a children’s book. Huh? They fought and bickered the entire time. If I wanted to see that I would turn off the TV and spend time with my kids. I have no idea how the show ended because I couldn’t bear to watch it. I really expected more from a homemaker. Okay, I know she’s not a real homemaker, but you get my drift. What would have made the show really good is a scenario like this: You only have 20 minutes to get dinner made. Your freezer has some frozen shredded chicken and your refrigerator has tortillas and ketchup. Get going. Now that would be entertaining.

Alas, Martha has fallen prey to all the other garbage nothing-about-reality TV shows out there. I haven't seen her other new show, Martha, but I'll watch it this afternoon and see what I think. This is your last chance Martha. I'm counting on you!


paulw_cpa said...

The new show must be worth something if she got the butt-kicking Jennifer Garner to come on! I personally have never liked Martha--too snooty for me. Alas, that is how I feel about many of the other cooks on TV; that chunky italian lady with her summer "cottage" in the Hamptons, Marion Battali (arrogant), Tyler Florence (pretty boy), I will stop no. I do like Alton Brown and Martin Yan. They are having fun with what they do.

Besides for whatever reason I get Martha Steward and Candace Bergen mixed up. Yes, Cynthia I googled for Candace's name because as you know I am terrible with names. I just knew she was on that lame sitcom Murphy Brown.

abelnap said...

Cynthia, here's what you don't understand about Martha. She didn't "bring us out of the 70-80s mentality of the doldrums of domestics" she created the image that there WAS a doldrum of domestics. She created the mentality that what was being done to that point was in some way insufficient. She raised the sights of women everywhere to a level of perfection that was difficult, if not impossible, to attain and we, being women, suddenly said--aha, I'm not doing well enough. My best isn't good enough. Look at what SHE can do. She's a minion of the underworld and if The Apprentice is helping you realize that, then that is the only reason I can applaud the airing of the show.

cyn the win said...

I want to hear more more more Allison about this! I feel thoroughly whipped and chastised. I never thought about it that way--that she maybe has made women feel that they were not well enough before Martha came along to tell them so. I prefer to think that there is always room for improvement, but I see your angle too. Riveting, my friend! That's why you have a Master's degree and I have a lowly BS. (Sarcasm)

Carly said...

Well, I couldn't disagree more with abelnap. I think Martha made domesticity cool and exciting--at least she did for ME, anyway. Maybe she didn't do that for everyone, but she definitely helped me adjust to being a homemaker (which I had oddly never really prepared myself for). But, to each her own. I will continue to worship at the feet of the underworld minion, and does anybody know where I can get a pretty turquoise necklace like the one she wears in the conference room?

Kacy said...

I am a Martha fan as well. And I remained loyal even through the prison phase. I happen to like The Apprentice. Sure, many of the contestants are losers (namely, Jim and the whole "creative" team)but I have been impressed with Martha on the show. Afterall, it is about running a business--not a home. Clearly we need to go to lunch and discuss this passionately and in great detail. I will bring Carly on speaker phone so she can participate.

Carly, I too was enchanted with M's necklace. There is one like it featured in Real Simple (which I like better, actually, than Living). It can be purchased at MOA store. But where Martha got hers, I can not say.

Carolyn said...

I can't say I like the woman much, but WOW -- now thanks to the company I work for I (and any other red-blooded American) now have the opportunity to purchase a Martha Stewart inspired dream home. Yes, any and all are welcome to our new home showroom where they can pick out countertops, faucet fixtures, rugs, tiles, etc. that all have the Martha stamp of approval. I think you can even try to re-create Martha's humble New England abode. God bless capitalism.

Marie said...

Hi there, I saw your blog on a pattern review site. Since I am not a member I couldn't post a question your way, so I hope this will work. I saw your roman shades in your livingroom and am trying to make some myself. I am puzzled though on how to attach the rings w/out sewing through both layers of fabric. What did you do since I don't see that you inserted dowels either? BTW, thanks for the helpful info on the Pattern site. My e-mail is


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