‘Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party’ shambles aimlessly through comedic awkwardness
Margaret Hynds | Wednesday, November 16, 2016
When my roommate Maria informed me that Snoop Dogg (formerly known as Snoop Lion, formerly known as Snoop Doggy Dogg) and mega-millionaire lifestyle-maven-turned-inside-trader Martha Stewart were teaming up for an unscripted cooking and talk show, I had high hopes for the enterprise.
The show is set up as a competition: Martha and Snoop take turns playing mixologist while they — accompanied by a merry band of guest stars — prepare their take on a dish.
Two episodes in, “Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party” has already featured guest stars Wiz Khalifa, Seth Rogen, Ice Cube, Anderson .Paak, Rick Ross and Ashley Graham.
So, yeah. It’s a little strange.
The debut episode begins with Snoop and Martha entering the stage — which is set up as dueling kitchens, hers classic with copper accents and his tricked out and featuring what appears to be assorted potted herbs — sporting matching boxing robes as the DJ announces the challenge … a head-to-head fried chicken contest.
On the line: a comically large “fried chicken championship” belt, which I imagine Martha would have hung in between oil paintings of her pets over her fireplace.
Seth Rogen is the first dinner party guest to arrive, bringing a fire extinguisher as a housewarming gift so “we don’t all set ourselves on fire.” Wiz Khalifa enters stage left, toting a green bag dubiously labeled “secret ingredient.”
“I’m ready to kick your butt, Snoop. I’m feeling competitive,” Martha deadpans, as Wiz and Snoop dance beside her and Seth wonders how exactly he got there.
As a side note for those of you as confused as I was, The Atlantic tells me Martha and Snoop Dogg have apparently been friends since 2008, when they made mashed potatoes (and later brownies) on her TV show “Martha.”
Once the chicken has been fried, the hosts and guests — now joined by Ice Cube — sit down at the table to feast. But first, a party game: a truth and two thighs (a play on the ice-breaking classic Two Truths and a Lie). The segment is painfully awkward to watch, but we do learn that Martha claims to have been struck by lightning three times, Snoop’s best subject in high school was calculus and Ice Cube studied architectural drafting.
And, it only gets weirder in the second episode, as Martha, Rick Ross, Snoop and Ashley Graham cook lobster. Rick Ross shows up with a jewel-studded cheese grater on a necklace for Martha, before proceeding to get a little handsy. Martha also makes sure to provide adequate vodka for the lobsters before they’re boiled alive, which, I suppose, is thoughtful in a sad sort of way.
As a whole, the show is objectively weird and a little forced. It’s truly neither a cooking show nor a lifestyle comedy, rather wandering dazed and confused somewhere in between.
It has moments of comedic brilliance — as strange as it sounds, Snoop and Martha’s friendship seems genuine and leads to some hilarious back-and-forth — but the laughs are accompanied by moments rife with discomfort for those of us following along at home (see episode two, where Rick Ross closely massages Martha’s shoulders for nearly a minute, and Ashley Graham hands Snoop a bra she wore on the runway which “smells like her”).
However, the show would shine brighter if Snoop and Martha were allowed to just be Snoop and Martha — without the guests, the bizarre props and the large studio audience interfering.
“Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party”
If you like: Justin Bieber’s Comedy Central roast, “Martha Stewart Living,” lobster