This entire show premise seemed very promising. Take a world-renown chef in Batali, a food writer in Bittman, a local celebrity in Bassols, and then... for some reason, let's toss in Gwenneth Paltrow. From the first episode it becomes painfully clear that Paltrow is really the flat tire of the group. Anytime she isn't with the other three, there is an ease and flow to the series that is quite enjoyable if only it were cut down a bit more to focus on the food and not so much on their idle banter. Batali is great, as usually. Bittman is tough to like as first, but he really grows on you. Bassols is lovely and if her acting chops can stand up to her looks and flair for life, I'm sure she'll start getting more rolls after this. And that's the real problem in that when you put Bassols next to Paltrow and watch Claudia downing the food and drinking the wine, Gwenneth comes across as even less enjoyable while she pecks at her food and sips her wine, apparently fearing weight gain, as she alludes to in the first 10 minutes of the first episode. It makes one wonder as to why she's even running around Spain in the first place with three people who are thoroughly enjoying it?
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