“I’m not high right now,” Snoop says. “But whoever gave us this show must’ve been!”
VH1’s newest reality series, “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party,” could not have come at a better time. The day before America heads out to vote for the 45th President — after suffering through one of the most controversial elections in lifetimes, in which the world as we know it seems almost apocalyptic — here comes a series which brings nothing but joy.
Partnering up Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg, a youthful 75 and 45 respectively, is like putting sea salt on top of a chocolate chip cookie. Such a poignant savory garnish with a sweet dessert sounds like a terrible decision, but it only takes one bite in order to realize, “Eureka!” — it’s genius! These opposing flavors bring out the best in each other, and such a juxtaposition makes each entity way more interesting than on its own.
Such is the pairing of the Californian hip hop veteran and the domestic queen hailing from Connecticut. When Martha asks guest Seth Rogen “Is this a sausage party?” during the premiere, he and Snoop — along with Martha’s cooking teammate for the episode, rapper Wiz Khalifa — burst out laughing. She’s keenly aware what she said is a joke, and it’s obviously a scripted moment — but Snoop, Rogen and Wiz are laughing with Martha, not at her. It’s good-hearted fun — it put a surprised smile on our faces, rather than the jaw-dropping we expected.
This approach to friendly, honest diversity on TV is a total delight. Martha, at 75, is comfortable and unapologetic in her perfectionist domestic style — but fully appreciates Snoop’s fly by the seat of your pants approach to cooking. Snoop’s genuine excitement to share a kitchen with Martha, someone with whom he’s been friends for over 10 years, is infectious.
This is not first time they’ve appeared on TV together. Snoop first appeared on “Martha” back in 2008, when they discussed the best way to prepare mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. He returned a year later to bake with Martha for “The Christmas Cookie Special,” in which Snoop, current producer of the MTV series, “Mary & Jane,” made what else? Green-colored brownies.
The two reunited in 2015 for “Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber,” and this past summer competed as a team on the reboot of the “$100,000 Pyramid” series.
They have a long history and an easy chemistry — so even though “Potluck Dinner Party” is mindless entertainment, its existence is inspiring — and cheering: Watching Snoop put up his 13-minute chicken wing recipe (the secret ingredient is mashed up Masterpiece BBQ chips!) against Martha’s 3-day marinated, buttermilk-bath soaked thighs — well, it’s both educational and hilarious.
During the one-hour premiere, surprise dinner guest Ice Cube joins to judge the two recipes, and the entire cast plays Two Truths and a Thigh. Or Is it Two Truths and Lie? Perhaps, it’s actually Two Lies and Truth? Are we supposed to guess which statement is a lie? Or which one is the truth? No one really cares: The conversation flows without pretension. When Martha starts a sentence with “Well, when I was in prison…” — which you can’t help but hope will come up, it’s okay — it’s as casual (at least as Martha would define the word) as when she asks Snoop to pass the hot sauce.
Everyone likes to break bread with friends — the table is the place where we can be unapologetically ourselves, if we’re lucky. Martha and Snoop, together, are that lucky — and it’s hard not to feel like all you want to do is join in.
“Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party” premieres Nov. 7 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Vh1.