Welcome to the Padma Paradox. Last night Ms. Padma Lakshmi was given the ol' soft shoe six-minute-and-change extended glowing review by correspondent John Berman on Nightline. Let's count the sexual innuendos and then discuss.
Video: Padma Lakshmi on Nightline
Innuendos and Double Entendres
JB: Trust me being in the kitchen with Padma Lakshmi....is not a bad place to be.
[NB: Because of the way John Berman says "Trust me."]
JB: Smells amazing.
JB: ...or if you're really lucky eating a burger, not bad at all.
PL: It was in slow motion. anything looks sexy in slow motion in real life
[Cut to Padma feeding John in slo-mo. Not sexy.]
PL: I just love eating burgers. A lot. I take a lot of relish in doing that. [NB: Take a lot relish. That's funny.]
JB: She is a woman of many passions.
PL: All of what i do is pretty similar. it all the same ethos, the same flavor.
JB: What would you say that flavor is?...Easy Exotic?
PL: One thing to do when you have a hard lemon or a hard lime is to roll it on the table like this, that softens it and releases the juices in the pulp so you would have to squeeze less hard.
JB: Hey what do you do?
PL: I make things that give people pleasure.
So those are a lot of sexy talks. But the paradox is this: Obviously this six-minute soft news feature is a hummer to Padma. You can't buy ads this good. And yes, it's irritating to watch. And yes, it's annoying and somewhat demoralizing to think—in a reversal of gender roles—of Padma's Harold and Maude romance with a septuagenarian billionaire. ["I would be remiss in my duty if I did not tell you that the idea of intercourse - the act of your firm, young body... comingling with... withered flesh... sagging breasts... and flabby b-b-buttocks... makes me want... to vomit."]
And yet...Padma herself seems to be all right. Not just alright but all right. She doesn't say anything dumb, is open about her agenda, seems relatively down-to-earth, makes things that give people pleasure, and giggles a lot. But hagiographies are a bore so the dilemma is either ignore her, falsely hate on her, or fall into the galley of Padma worshipping slaves. Trust me, a galley with Padma Lakshmi isn't a bad place to be.