Look out Duck Dynasty, A+E has a new cast of bearded men doing duck calls… to bleep out foul language. Epic Meal Empire is an unorthodox cooking show based on the popular web series Epic Meal Time that features weird food combinations and zero portion control. They proudly display dubious nutritional information listing tens of thousand of calories and fat. The show has also been super-sized with new back-to-back episodes each week.
“It’s time for lifestyle to show that it can have a sense of humor,” A+E president Jana Bennett told The Hollywood Reporter. “There’s a lot of comedy in life, and yet the old-fashioned instructional lifestyles shows didn’t leave a lot of room for humor.”
The bigger budget show comes with a new and improved headquarters and a food truck called the Hambulance. The guys also get a new cast member named Natalie, who finds them clients. They’re initially skeptical about her but she earns their respect when she forgoes utensils and uses her bare hands to eat their latest creation, a foot-tall block of cheeseburger lasagna with bacon for noodles.
In the premiere episode “Taterbot” (video below), the guys are hired by a kindergarten teacher to make a fantasy meal. They create an edible robot out of food including: Tater Tots head, grilled cheese body, cheeseburger legs, liquorice arms, Shepherd’s Pie feet, and hotdog fingers.
The show’s humorous host doesn’t coddle the kids. Harley pumps them up by asking if they want to live forever, then tells them too bad they’re all going to die. The closest they can hope to come to immortality is the Taterbot, which ironically doesn’t last long. The impatient children scoot their chairs closer and closer to Taterbot before ripping him apart.
In the following episode “The Feast and the Furious” a motorized meal is prepared for a used-car dealer. It’s golf cart adorned with edible parts like pizza hubcaps. The vehicle isn’t street legal as they have to push it on the lot. Fittingly, Harley includes some lemons.
Obviously, the show is primarily for laughs. You’re unlikely to have the means to make or stomach to eat any of these novelty dishes. In fact, the chefs are notably short on steps.
“And then you put it in the oven,” Harley explains how to prepare the cheeseburger lasagna. “How long? Until it’s ready, you idiot! You know how to cook or what?”
Epic Meal Empire premieres Saturday 10 p.m. July 26 on fyi, (formerly Bio).