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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 7.69%
Average: 30.77%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 3.85%

3 reviews, 8 user ratings

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KFC Bowl
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by Dawn Taylor

"A heart-stopping ode to American excess ... plus gravy!"
3 stars

Even if a new production offers a number of crowd-pleasing elements, that doesn't make it good entertainment and "KFC Bowl," while certainly serving up a number of delightful moments, is too much of a convoluted mess to satisfy as a whole.

It pains me to say this, it really does. I've been a fan of the Colonel since the days when all the public could expect from him was the same fried-chicken-mashed-potatoes-biscuit production over and over and, at the risk of sounding like an old fogey, we liked it that way. But the Colonel's mastery of the Fried Chicken genre was to build upon the tradition of "Original Recipe" in ways that showed him to be more creative than the competitors who sought to copy him. Sure, he had his flops remember "The Colonel's Got Ribs?" but the man has never been one to shy away from controversy in pursuit of his vision. His release of "Extra Crispy," a sequel of sorts to "Original Recipe," has been dogged by detractors over the years, first by those who were simply unwilling to embrace the Colonel's foray into crunchier territory, and most recently by pesky health nuts like the Center for Science in the Public Interest who've filed a lawsuit against the poultry maestro, saying that his work in the medium of trans fats "recklessly puts its customers at risk of a Kentucky Fried Coronary."

Interestingly, "KFC Bowl" is part of a full-scale comeback for one of the Colonel's less popular performers, Popcorn Chicken. When it first came on the scene in the early 90's, Popcorn was an unimpressive talent, consisting as it did of nothing more than battered and fried chicken skin. After some time out of the fast food spotlight, Popcorn Chicken has staged a triumphant return armed with more actual meat in the eponymous productions "Individual Popcorn Chicken," "Family Popcorn Chicken" and the short subject "Kid's Popcorn Chicken," as well as playing important roles in the popular "Snackers" releases. In "KFC Bowl," Popcorn Chicken finds itself part of a decidedly ensemble cast, playing a starring role but sharing the stage with Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Corn and Cheese.

Unfortunately, as an ensemble the performers suffer from a lack of direction, milling about in a somber black bowl without offering any distinctive or memorable moments. Admittedly, the production looks good as a whole the stark black of the bowl offers a lovely visual contrast to the white-brown palette of the cast and the clear lid provides a clever expository glimpse into the gustatory experience to come. But once assembled, "KFC Bowl" is disturbingly heavy, a potent reminder to the audience of the aftereffects on their health of consuming such a fat-laden chef-d'oeuvre. When eaten, it becomes clear that Gravy, whose work with Mashed Potatoes has always been successful, is simply too gregarious a performer to grace the stage with both his old partner and Popcorn Chicken, and Corn's role is perfunctory at best. Cheese usually a welcome addition has obviously been cast here purely for set dressing, offering neither flavor nor texture to the production.

While it seems at first glimpse that the Colonel has created yet another exciting new way to experience chicken, "KFC Bowl" fails due to a lack of understanding on his part regarding what has made his biggest successes so satisfying. By taking the admittedly top-drawer talents of his dependable stable of performers and throwing them together in one bowl, he's merely made an unappealing pastiche that serves none of them well.

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originally posted: 06/27/06 02:47:51
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User Comments

11/09/06 Sugarfoot It's okay but it's too corny. I know you can get it without but that's my review. 3 stars
6/04/06 jacob tate A-maze-ing 5 stars
6/02/06 San Lamar mmm, ill take seconds please 4 stars
6/02/06 Ole Man Bourbon Popeye's was way better. 1 stars
6/01/06 f*r*o*s*t*y I love you, Popcorn Chicken. 4 stars
6/01/06 Jay Man Not as memorable as Poutine Bowl: The Movie 3 stars
6/01/06 Eric D. Snider The most awesome food since mother's milk 5 stars
6/01/06 Maegs More gravy, less cheese, 100% love in a bowl 5 stars
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