By Savannah Peykani
Tuesday night, November 8. An election night that, for many of us, brought despair, dread and utter shock. People glued to their news channels, their Facebook feeds, all trying to figure out why and what’s next? How did this happen? And how can we have any hope left?
My friends and I opted out of that vortex of misery, at least for 40 minutes, long enough to watch the debut episode of “Snoop and Martha’s Pot Luck Dinner Party,” which had aired on VH1 the night before. The brilliant show is a joyous hour of swapping recipes with Snoop D-O-double-G and Martha Stewart. Each week, they’re joined by various celebrity friends and then at the end of the episode, they gather round the table and feast together, exchanging all kinds of wild, scandalous stories.
Now, when I first heard the show, I thought it was a bit weird. Of all people to center a cooking show around? Turns out, however, that Snoop and Martha have a long, adorable friendship, starting in 2008 when he appeared on her talk show “Martha.” They made mashed potatoes, drank a lot and laughed about Snoop’s affinity for made-up “izzle” words. Since then, their friendship has developed into several game show appearances, mentioning each other on Twitter and giving shout-outs on talk shows. And this summer, the announcement of their Pot Luck Dinner Party cemented this odd dynamic duo’s undeniable chemistry.
Watching the first episode the night after a watershed election, a night that impacted everyone’s lives, brought a vital glimmer of hope into our hearts. Snoop and Martha embody the practicality, the necessity, of racial harmony. In every episode, Martha is very aware that she is an elderly white woman who has made her fame preparing meals and dinner parties that cater to the privileged. And now she’s showing Snoop Dogg, 2Chainz, Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa and Ice Cube how to cook chicken, lobster and Thanksgiving turkey on TV. All the rappers who come on know this too; they know it’s pretty weird — but they respect Martha. And, more importantly, she respects them.
She makes the most uncomfortable dirty jokes and tries so hard to dance and say the right phrases. But she knows that it doesn’t always work — she just has the right spirit to not care. Snoop and his friends are never laughing at Martha; Martha and her friends are never laughing at Snoop.
They know that they both come from very different worlds, but all of that can and should be put aside when you sit down at the table and enjoy a meal.
The inclusion of all the guests eating and joking at the end of the episodes really is the most profound aspect of the show. No other cooking shows take the time to depict the best part of cooking: eating. You cook in order to provide something delicious and fulfilling for your friends and family. Cooking isn’t a competition or something to divide people. In all cultures, sharing a meal is how you can share love.
Now, every week, my roommates and I can’t wait until the next episode of “Snoop and Martha’s Pot Luck Dinner Party.” Is it absurd? Of course it is. But if we now live in a world where a former reality star can be president, why can’t we live in a world where a celebrity chef and a rapper are best friends who just love to blaze? I mean glaze. Glaze their Thanksgiving turkeys, of course.