Seen Ratatouille?

My wife’s seen every Pixar film several times over; we own most of them on at least one format. To be honest, it’s the only cinema worth seeing these days, with a few exceptions. If you’ve seen Up and you didn’t get a lump in your throat after the opening 10 minutes, after the biographical setup of the main character and his wife, then you might be a serial killer.

This post isn’t about Pixar, though; it’s about Chef Gusteau’s Frozen Foods. And the episode of No Reservations entitled ‘Heartland.’ And it’s about this.

Once you get past the ‘follow your heart’ cliche in Ratatouille, the real message becomes apparent: global domination is overrated. (Not to say that it doesn’t come with a heaping side order of irony coming from Pixar, but that’s another post.) Gusteau spends his entire life building one restaurant, taking it to the top of of the Parisian culinary scene. Then he dies, and the new head chef, exhibiting all the symptoms of the antagonist, is not content with just this little corner of the world; a plan is hatched to go all corporate, plaster Gusteau’s image all over frozen entrées, and go global with them. The short of it is, it doesn’t work, the head chef loses his position one way or another, and the protagonists end up running a successful small restaurant in a remote town, quite content with simply putting out the best food they can in one place. Less up up up; more out.

It’s a sentiment that resonates as a sort of cosmic background radiation through pretty much the entirety of No Reservations to date; constantly present, coming to the forefront every so often, clearly evident through what they choose to put on the show. It’s a drumbeat that subliminally pounds home the notion that the best of anything is produced not by massive corporations and brand-name chains, but by indivdiuals or small groups of people with an intense devotion to a single craft. In the episode I linked above, it’s one of the times where they quite literally come out and say it. When asked whether ‘world domination’ is on his radar, a chef/owner sitting down for a meal/interview with Anthony answers it with a quick ‘no,’ that the breadth of his ambition is to constantly challenge himself and his patrons with great dishes they wouldn’t find elsewhere. One kitchen, small staff, one town.

Quaint, or massively important?

Lofty ambitions quite often lay in direct conflict with producing something of quality; putting big before good. Resolving nothing more than just putting out something great, all day, every day, is also resolving to accept wherever that takes you, however large that allows you to become or not become; putting good before big.

Look, I’m not Wheat’s biggest fan. Hell, I’m not even really a fan; but, I am man enough to admit that he’s earned his audience. His personal brand is quite strong within gaming, and has arguably been the strongest over the longest stretch of time. And that’s why the announcement of the last thing linked above has me scratching my head.

OneMoreGame puts a layer of abstraction over top Wheat’s shows. Why? Haven’t been able to find anything to provide a good answer for that question.

The only thing I can posit is that there’s going to be room for shows under the ‘omg’ umbrella that Marcus doesn’t produce, that this is intended to be yet another clearing house for gaming shows. As far as I’m concerned, that would be a mistake. There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to go around that individual streamers and content producers are way more memorable and recognizable than large content syndicates with quasi-abstract names, where you never really know what you’re going to get on a given evening.

People are clearly quite attached to the Wheat ‘brand.’ To think that attachment would carry over to things that he isn’t actually producing, simply because he would give it his blessing, is folly.

And if it’s not the case, then really what’s the point? Why put another name on top of the whole thing? If Wheat’s doing every show, four shows a week, why diverge from what they already had rolling? If that’s not the case…then I just don’t get it when viewed from any angle.

Does it make sense that I don’t get this?

Hey, at least it didn’t get the living hell hyped out of it prior to its unveiling. No sarcasm, it didn’t.