TV Guide

Spain: On the Road Again

I tried to give the show a chance. Several, in fact. How could a show featuring Mario Batali roaming around Spain, eating and drinking, possibly suck?

The answer has three parts: Gwyneth Paltrow, Mark Bittman, and Claudia Bassols. Almost every scene they’re in, they suck out all the interest, entertainment, and enthusiasm. I call it The Eric Stoltz Effect. Also, the editing is lousy, and the constantly-repeated refrain from Willie Nelson’s “On The Road Again” is grating like a three-dollar box grater. And I say this as a Willie Nelson fan since he released “Stardust” thirty years ago.

Oh, and the scenes with just Bittman and Bassols? Every single one is little more than yak-yak-yak interspersed with the least-convincing flirting this side of Mad Men‘s Salvatore Romano.

The editing is mostly awful, showing the four hosts/road-trippers talking about the food and drink, instead of showing us the food and drink.

“On the Road Again” is not without its charms — that would be impossible given the premise. But never before have Melissa and I done more fastforwarding through a Batali show than pausing and oohing and aahing.

Skip it.