I’ll have what he’s having! Some years back, food enthusiast and big-box store manager Daym Patterson created a video in which he enthused about the offerings of a certain hamburger outlet.
One video led to another, and Daym left store management to others. His clips have been seen by some 250 million viewers, earning him Netflix stardom on “Fresh, Fried & Crispy,” streaming today. In this very watchable eight-episode series, he visits cities all over America to sample local delicacies, almost all of them breaded and fried in oil at least 350 degrees.
His first visit is to a traditional Italian joint that serves fried ravioli.
Daym finds himself on the Hill, the Italian section of St. Louis, where they think nothing of deep-frying a tomato to put on top of an already fried and breaded veal parmigiana. Words fail.
His St. Louis travels take him to a vegan soul food bakery, where they also serve savory dishes of the fried variety. Daym treats salads and vegetables like a vampire greets the sunshine, so this is a tall order. Not to give too much away, but the deep-fried faux chicken concoction gets the seal of approval. He even kisses the sandwich.
Deeper into Missouri, he chows down with a hunter/gatherer type who’s literally “game” for anything. Even an unlucky local beaver becomes the center of some fried ravioli. You can feel your arteries harden as Daym tucks into a sandwich of fried bologna topped with pepper-cheese and a runny egg.
It’s hard to watch “Fresh” and not worry about the long-term health prospects of our exuberant host. But you can’t deny that he’s following his passion, a quest that will take him to Birmingham, Alabama, Savannah, Georgia, San Diego and Baltimore over the course of this series.
Daym is neither a food historian nor a cultural guide. The lack of snobbery that contributed to his online celebrity also means he’s not likely to judge some of the questionable buffets brought to his attention. But he is very good at describing the sensation of eating and explaining the ingredients and sensations that stand out after enduring trial by molten oil.
— Less than a week after “Sweet Tooth,” set in a post-apocalyptic hellscape, Netflix streams the horror film “Awake,” set in a future where mankind has lost the ability to sleep.
— Too young to be has-beens and too mature to be breakout stars, nine R&B singers from the 1990s and early aughts are summoned to try to form a new “super” ensemble on the reality series “BET Presents The Encore” (10 p.m., BET, TV-14).
TONIGHT’S OTHER HIGHLIGHTS
— Kane Brown and Kelsea Ballerini host the 2021 CMT Music Awards (8 p.m., CMT, MTV, MTV2, Paramount, TVLand) from Nashville, Tennessee.
— Sophie seeks compensation on the season finale of “A Million Little Things” (9 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
Richard Gere, Laura Linney and Edward Norton star in the 1996 courtroom drama “Primal Fear” (6:45 p.m., HBO Signature).
Tiffany Haddish hosts “Kids Say the Darndest Things” (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) … Marcel’s patient’s condition has a familiar ring on “Chicago Med” (8 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14) … Curtis Stone appears on “MasterChef” (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14) … “Press Your Luck” (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) … A period of adjustment on “Kung Fu” (8 p.m., CW, r, TV-PG).
On two episodes of “S.W.A.T.” (CBS, r, TV-14): a woman in peril (9 p.m.); narcotics (10 p.m.) … An emotional return on “Chicago Fire” (9 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14) … Desserts come first on “Crime Scene Kitchen” (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14) … Improvisations on two episodes of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” (9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., CW, r, TV-14) … Somebody could benefit from everyone’s silence on “Chicago P.D.” (10 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).
Kevin Nealon is booked on “Conan” (11 p.m., TBS) … Samuel L. Jackson and Padma Lakshmi appear on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (11:35 p.m., CBS) … Jimmy Fallon welcomes Kristen Bell, Dane DeHaan and Migos on “The Tonight Show” (11:35 p.m., NBC) … Will Forte, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Brendan Buckley visit “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (12:35 a.m., NBC) … Lisa Kudrow, Clea DuVall and Rostam appear on “The Late Late Show With James Corden” (12:35 a.m., CBS).