I find the selection of such programmes available here (UK) varies widely, from restaurant-style food with frightening numbers of expensive ingredients and complex methods that few will be able to copy with any degree of success, all the way to a 'This is how to open a can of pet food, slap some bought-in mash on top, and call it shepherd's pie.' approach. I am unsure which is more depressing, but both are bad for my blood pressure and the first time I find myself hurling abuse at the screen then that series gets banned.
Luckily there are some in between these two extremes, where an average cook can pick up the odd idea or bit of inspiration. I see no harm in this practice. I suspect that the proliferation of shows is due mainly to their having relatively low production costs.
The pornographic element to all these shows has to be admitted, in that they are designed to excite a desire without fulfilling it. Unlike some other forms of porn there isn't the degree of coerced participation, making them relatively benign from that angle. I dislike their pandering to the cult of personality but we, the public, are to blame for that. If we stop worshipping idols there will soon be far fewer getting erected.
The celebrity chefs are simply catering (excuse pun) to what the public seems to want, I am sure that many here (me included) would be willing to adopt a silly hairstyle, aggressive personality, excessive mateyness or whatever other quirk seems to work in order to put on the performance that pays so well. Also in favour of some of them is that they manage to provide employment to substantial numbers of people, not a bad thing IMO.
The non-pro "Look how wacky I am, and what a misery I can inflict on a bunch of other deficient personalities." competitive dining with strangers style of programme needs to be ended, and its promoters could usefully be set to something menial.