Monday, November 19, 2007


Gluten played a supporting role in last week's episode of the ABC series Cavemen (with Austin native Julie White!).

Thanks to a note buried in this post at Gluten Free Blog, I watched the online capture of the episode, "Rock Vote" (Season 1, Episode 6, November 13, 2007), and (to my surprise) found it amusing, although I have mixed feelings about the gluten aspect.

Here be spoilers: The episode revolves around a state political contest involving perennial loser Caveman candidate Red Goldreyer and his possibly anti-Caveman opponent Jack Whitman. Goldreyer turns out to see gluten ("the stuff that's in bread") as his key issue: "[I]t's not just bread. It's everywhere! Gluten is attacking our immune system! It's poisoning our minds! But you'd never know it because Big Gluten doesn't want you to know it." (Amen to that!) Goldreyer hands out a drink, saying "This water is gluten-free," but really goes over the top when he asserts that only after "purging our bodies of gluten" will "peace between nations" be possible. Impressed, Andy the Cavemen jumps on the anti-gluten bandwagon, stocks up on Glutino pretzels and something from Bob's Red Mill, and starts ridding his home of gluten although there's no indication he even got himself tested for celiac disease. Holding up a jar of peanut butter, he asks, "Gluten? No gluten? What do you think?" (No one really answers that, but of course it's likely that it's contaminated by the process of spreading peanut butter on bread and crackers. Okay, back to the synopsis.) After another caveman brings Andy to his senses, calling Goldreyer "a lunatic," Andy complains about gluten-free cookies, crying "They taste like dirt. Okay? Dirt!"

I kind of like much of the phraseology, which resembles verbiage that comes up often in gluten-free circles. (I can take a little ribbing!) And I don't know how aware writer Chris Kelly might be regarding the historic/evolutionary undermining of a gluten-free Paleolithic diet, but I'm sort of impressed by the idea of a Caveman candidate taking a stand against it. Possibly clever! I just feel a little bummed that, while the storyline offered a reasonable basis for Whitman's too tough anti-crime stance, the very sound basis for being concerned about gluten got shorter shrift, making gluten concerns come across as kookier than crime concerns while also perpetuating the cliché that gluten-free cookies suck. So overall I thought the episode was okay, but not on a par with the movie Sydney White.

Coincidentally, the episode featured the song The Underdog by the Austin band Spoon. I first heard it at Risotteria, which recently received a small shipment of two beers from Green's: Quest Tripel and Discovery Amber. It looks like the restaurant also started tagging pizzas that are gluten-free, for better identification.

Source (3:51)

Photo: David Marc Fischer


Matt said...

I guess we'll just have to follow the Calvin Klein motto of "No news is bad news!"

Erin S. said...

What a coincidence that you posted about Cavemen. I just had lunch with a friend that was recapping the entire episode. I tried to find it online, but you can only watch the streaming episode on Thanks as always for keeping on top of "gluten-free sitings".