‘Hooked Up with Tom Colicchio’ Reels You In
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The title sequence for all seven episodes of the Reserve Channel’s “Hooked Up with Tom Colicchio” starts with a voiceover from the host: “I’m Tom Colicchio and I’m in the food business — from restaurants to reality tv — but my true passion is fishing.” And that’s all it is: fishing and conversing with celebrities that, of course, ends with a meal or drink whether anyone catches anything.
Colicchio’s a restauranteur and host of the popular “Top Chef” known for his genial attitude and insightful commentary, but his job on the show wasn’t primarily as an interviewer as much as a judge and a guide. But you wouldn’t know that watching “Hooked Up”; he guides his guests through interesting subjects and rough waters.
The show’s largest barrier might actually be the premise itself, since it’s not the host. Fishing is a game of patience, a sport of repetition. So the main action in every episode carries that background burden: why aren’t the fish biting now? But that same lack of action is really the show’s strength: nothing will force two people to talk like fishing. It’s the king of leisure sports, where anything can happen, but something only rarely does. That means episodes literally involve the host and guest sitting next to each other with nothing to do but talk to each other and hope for another bite. So the action’s slow, but in the background and fast enough to still provide conflict with each tug on the line or shadow sighting.
The videos are also interspersed with either-or questions shot on the dock that provide brief, but equal insight into the interviewee and the conversation out on the boat. Colicchio’s at least met most of the guests, which provides a little bit of a starting point, but he shows a genuine interest in each of his guest’s accomplishments. Despite only lasting those seven episodes, his passion for fishing and discussions with his guests even earned him a 2013 Primetime Emmy nod. He didn’t win, but here’s to hoping that’s enough for another season.