Cooking shows do no in fact teach you how to cook. So you are correct when you say you watch them but you still do not feel adept in the kitchen. This is why they have morphed into reality show programs based on celebrity gossip, wild hair, eccentric personalities, and showpiece spectacles. The shows cannot sustain as a cooking demonstrations because it is not working.
Learning is not fun, it is not passive, it cannot be done in your pj’s while eating cereal. Learning takes time, concentration, note taking and information review, the active process of thinking. TV does not make you think, that is the beauty behind it.
Cooking show are not working because things are not done real time. The ingredients magically show up, ready to be tossed in the pot, the final product mysteriously has a twin that has already been cooked or assembled. Gathering ingredients, sourcing, choosing the right one, measuring, chopping, peeling, all around handling, are the hardest parts in cooking. Knowing when something is done or when to check it and determining what heat to apply are the intuitive factors that come with calculation and experience.
The host is not actually handling the raw products which in turn makes them unidentifiable. This creates a distance between you and the knowledge of your food. It makes you not know what to look for at the grocery store, it makes you not know how to eyeball amounts of things, you can’t register the texture or moisture content.
And of course, you cannot smell through the television, so I am not sure who thought this was a good idea. Feeling, smelling, and intuition are large parts of knowing how to cook, instead of merely following a few recipes from Rachael Ray.