It’s all spoilers below. Go watch it at VH1. I’ll wait right here.
Part cooking show, part competition, part variety talk show, Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party has it all, including singing refrigerators. The show premiered online and on VH1 Monday night bringing Hip Hop and Hollywood together.
Full disclosure: I love Martha Stewart with the fire of a million suns. Don’t get me wrong, I love Snoop, too, and have been a long time fan, but Martha just gets me. I’ve been mildly obsessed with both of their public personas for years. Their friendship has fascinated and delighted me ever since Snoop first appeared on Martha’s show in 2008.
The first episode starts off slowly with Snoop and Martha competing to see who makes the best fried chicken. Wiz Khalifa joins Martha’s team and Seth Rogen helps Snoop.
Martha’s preparation of her chicken is infinitely more complicated than Snoop’s and while bathing her chicken wings in a buttermilk bath she comments to Snoop that “If you took a buttermilk bath, you’d be whiter too.” It’s an “oh, shit” gasp moment for all the white people in the room and for me at home. Not well known for her sense of humor, Martha’s “joke” falls flat. Seth comes to the rescue by saying, “If one person knows how to make shit whiter, it’s Martha.”
Snoop remains cool, the comment not seeming to bother him one bit. This is why I think this show can save America. He knows Martha isn’t a racist, and Martha knows she has a lot to learn from Snoop about cultures outside of her own white bread, Connecticut upbringing. They compliment each other to that effect in an interview with Ryan Seacrest.
Their completely different world views and backgrounds create an interesting juxtaposition that the culturally diverse United States could build upon. Let’s talk about what we have in common, not what is different. Fried chicken serves as the perfect panacea for this. As Martha, Snoop, Seth, and Wiz point out collectively in their conversation, other cultures outside the U.S. enjoy fried chicken. Hell, everyone (even Vegans and Vegetarians have soy versions) enjoys fried chicken!
Other crossover conversations include Martha’s experience of going to jail. She says to the surprise of the other guests that it “doesn’t make you tough”. She also admits that she is not religious. These two gems made my heart soar. This is why I love this woman. She’s tough as nails and no bullshit. Aside from these very serious comments on Martha’s part, the show maintains a light and fun vibe with Snoop and Martha balancing each other out in an unexpected way. I love how sweet Martha is with Wiz and how he responds to her. Wiz even picks her chicken in the contest.
My only criticism is that they didn’t just let Martha run with the budget. Low production values lend the show a kitschy feel that does not allow it to take itself too seriously. Maybe, that was done on purpose. Despite budget shortfalls in terms of decor, the celebrity guests remain firmly A-list, including Ice Cube, who serves as the 3rd judge for the fried chicken contest, and Anderson .Paak who performs at the close of the show (minus the Free Nationals, unfortunately).
Overall, the show brings together “Hood and Hollywood,” as Ice Cube puts it, in a charming way. I look forward to seeing what other awkwardly truthful moments the show will reveal and will definitely be watching it again.