Should it be?
You watch Alton Brown make something, and you are told in no uncertain terms that there is ONE RIGHT WAY TO DO IT. You're given an elaborate background as to the science and meaning behind this, so it must be true. Then you are shown the ONE RIGHT WAY TO MAKE IT involving the ONLY GOOD TOOLS YOU SHOULD USE because everything else is a "unitasker." Unitasker, by the way, is Brown-speak for "tool I don't like." If you actually watch him cook, you'll see he's surrounded by "unitaskers" that are somehow blessed, while at least once per episode some kitchen gadget or other is held up to shame and ridicule.
Meanwhile you are given something that involves seven steps all of equal (high) importance and given nothing in the way of a timeframe. So when you set out to make Alton Brown's magic munchies, you find that you've spent three hours making a pie crust that tastes remarkably like wallpaper paste.
I made Alton Brown's turkey two years in a row. The third year, I recognized that the likelihood of my needing to spend $40 on vegetable broth for brining was slim to none, seeing as brine is mostly salt. Guess what? Turkey's just as good if you just use salt. As a ward against evil spirits I throw a bunch of herbs in there but nobody has ever commented. It doesn't even change the flavor of the gravy.
Now, when we see Alton Brown cooking something we look up the reviews online. They're universally terrible. Of course, those are all the reviews not on Food Network, so how much credibility do they have?
Again, I'm a fan of Alton Brown. I think his was the best show on Food Network. But it definitely panders to a crowd that likes to watch cooking, as opposed to a crowd that likes to cook.
You know the Thomas Keller roast chicken? The one that /r/food worships like it's the fuckin' 10 commandments? The one where he waves a sprig of rosemary over the chicken, but out of view of its neck hole so that he doesn't upset the chicken's dear, departed spirit?
Go check out Julia Child's roast chicken and compare and contrast. Better yet, make 'em both.
The point is not that Thomas Keller sucks - the point is that the modern food fetishism - led by Alton Brown - is bad for cooking. Great for TV, sure... but bad for people who actually want to make food.