Food has been bringing people together since the dawn of mankind, but few could have predicted the delightful union of the gangster rapper Snoop Dogg, 45, and the domestic doyenne Martha Stewart, 75. But the reason “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party,” the TV show the cohosts premiered last night on VH1, is so successful is not because the food they cook looks delicious (even though it does) or because the guests they have are so famous (even though they are). The show works because Snoop and Martha are the ultimate odd couple friendship goals, and watching that bromance play out on television is a dream come true.
Judging by the first episode, in which the unlikely pair has a fried chicken-off with guests Seth Rogen, Ice Cube and Wiz Khalifa, “Martha & Snoop” is less Food Network, more a bunch of people in someone’s basement doing stuff after they get stoned. On the surface, it’s light-hearted escapism; but look deeper, and there are life lessons to be learned about how to be a better friend. Here is what I learned about true friendship from Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart.
A true friend knows everything about you. Before Snoop and Stewart hit the deep fryer, Snoop whips up his signature cocktail, The Laid Back. As Snoop starts pouring pineapple into his souped-up gin and juice, Stewart casually quips, “Pineapple is your favorite fruit.” To which Snoop replies, “Top it off with some of your favorite, club soda.” It’s the small things that tell the bigger story.
True friends can always learn from one another. Wiz Khalifa shows off his dinner party manners by bringing a gift to the stage: a generous bag of KK. Stewart graciously accepts the gift, despite the fact that she is not quite sure what it is. (Exotic, hand-dried oregano?) “What’s KK?” she asks, innocently. Snoop informs her that it’s “Khalifa Kush,” the rapper’s namesake cannabis brand. It’s notable that Stewart, an intelligent woman learned when it comes to plants, feels comfortable and secure enough with Snoop to admit what she does not know. In turn, Martha taught Snoop the virtues of brining chicken before frying it.
True friends will start to look and sound alike. Snoop’s unique style and vernacular seems to be rubbing off on Stewart’s own, equally signature aesthetic. Last night, the domestic goddess was wearing “bling,” something she claims she “never” does. It illustrates that, while it’s important for friends to maintain their sense of independence, it’s also important to be open-minded. Even Seth Rogen felt the power of this kinship, complaining that he was the only person onscreen “not wearing a necklace,” which prompted Wiz Khalifa, similarly enlightened, to offer him one of his own pieces.
True friends are not shy about paying compliments to each other. Sometimes a friend needs a self-esteem boost, particularly when they’re out of their element. Since this show takes place in the kitchen and not in the studio, it is ultimately Martha’s domain. Knowing this, she went out of her way to commend Snoop’s tendency to “never stop touching his food.” Later on, the pair umm’d and ahh’d over each another’s fried chicken recipes.
True friends make — and document — memories together. When the up-and-coming rapper Anderson Paak came on the set, Snoop and Martha are the first people to whip out their phones and start taking pictures. What’s the point of living the ultimate friendship goals if others can’t see it on Instagram and Snapchat?
True friends know the value of compromise. Ultimately, the fried chicken-off was a tie, with neither Snoop nor Stewart definitively winning the coveted belt. Not even the strongest of friendships can be entirely devoid of conflict, but as Snoop and Stewart demonstrate, it’s important to find a compromise that flatters both parties. In this case, Snoop took the lead. “It’s gonna be both of our belts,” he says. “But it’s gonna stay at my house.”
True friends juice cleanse together. There’s one last thing to be learned about friendship from Martha and Snoop, but it comes courtesy of Snoop and Wiz Khalifa. When Martha breaks out the cayenne pepper, Khalifa says to Snoop, “Remember that?” before listing off the ingredients in the Master Cleanse. No stranger to juice cleanses himself, Rogen asks if the two rappers did it together. Everyone laughs, sheepishly. And that might be the last lesson of all: True friends are allowed to make fun of each other.