Tonight you'll finally get to see what all the fuss — the Facebook petitions and Ryan Seacrest appearances and bus-and-sand stunts and tomato suits and trailing camera crews — was about. Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, “Maybe L.A. Was a Big Mistake,” premiers this evening from 8-9 p.m. on ABC. Season two — the first season took place in Huntington, West Virginia, called at the time America's unhealthiest city — was filmed in Los Angeles, although, as you probably remember, Oliver was banned from this city's public schools by the LAUSD.
As Oliver told David Letterman on a recent appearance focusing on his Los Angeles show, “who wants someone like me to go through their dirty washing?” Instead of spending the season filming in L.A.'s public schools, Oliver instead worked at a local fast food outlet, mentored kids in other venues, and spent a lot of time talking to parents, the public and the media about his plight.
There are 6 episodes of the Food Revolution's second season, which begins tonight and concludes May 17. According to ABC, not all the episodes have been completed, and Oliver and his crew are scheduled to return to Los Angeles at an as-yet-unannounced time to film additional scenes that will be added to the footage already shot. “It's a very fluid shooting project,” said an ABC representative this morning. Which means, one supposes, that you can still sign Oliver's petition and see if the LAUSD changes its position. How's that for reality television?
According to Oliver's website, the premier episode chronicles the British chef's arrival in Los Angeles with his young family. He opens Jamie's Kitchen in Westwood (now closed and in the process of being relocated), is appalled by the state of Los Angeles public school lunches (“airplane food”), and rallies parents in his effort to reverse the school board's decision. Will he convert the LAUSD to his cause? Well, we probably already know the answer to that one. Tune in tonight to see if the drama holds up, or if, as the title of the series asks, L.A. was in fact a big mistake.