Last week was kind of a rough week between the fallout of the election and the continuation of a stressful situation at work. It felt like everywhere I went people were in a bad mood, which does not exactly engender happiness and tranquility. I was trying to find refuge from all the arguing on social media and turned to my DVR to see if I could find some solace. And there, like a gift from above, was a little nugget of silliness to combat the anxiety and anger that seemed to have taken over the world – VH1’s new show Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party.
Now, I wouldn’t necessarily go so far as to say that Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party is a good show; your mileage on it will be heavily dependent on your tolerance for pot related humor, which this show has in spades. But I will say that the show was a fun little diversion from the world. Martha and Snoop’s real life friendship is charming on screen, though that may wane a bit once the novelty of this pairing wears off. I wouldn’t call Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party must-see TV, but it’s an elixir to these confusing times that we’re living in.
The basic premise of the show is pretty simple – Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg cook a different item each week and invite some of their celebrity pals to drop by, all the while sneaking in as many pot references as possible. Despite the presence of Martha, this is really more of a late night show than a cooking show; you don’t really learn how to make anything while watching and they don’t even attempt to share recipes. Rather, the cooking is really a catalyst for what makes this show charming – the banter. And do these two know how to banter. There’s something quietly refreshing about a 70 year old white woman who has made her bones as a lifestyle maven yucking it up with a 45 year old African American rapper. That’s kind of the ultimate odd couple and it’s clear that the two of them are genuinely fond of each other. So far the dinner party guests have been drawn more from Snoop’s world than Martha’s, but everyone has been a good sport. Snoop always leads the group in saying grace before they eat and then the crew plays a different game. It’s silly, but also informative. I now know, for instance, that Martha Stewart has been struck by lightning three times. This leads to one of her funnier quotes of the evening: “Going to jail does not make you stronger. Only lightning makes you stronger.”
I’m not sure that Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party will become appointment viewing for me, but it’s nice to know that it is something that exists when I need a little pick me up. The pot references get a little exhausting, but it’s all in good fun. I’ve only seen the pilot episode so far, which had a longer than usual hour runtime, so perhaps the more streamlined follow up episodes will cure that. It’s refreshing to see two people who on paper have nothing in common and come from very different backgrounds getting along so swimmingly. Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party won’t fix the world, but it does offer a little sliver of hope.
Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party airs Monday nights at 10 pm (ET) on VH1.