Tuesday, June 05, 2007

"And now the saga of Hell's Kitchen continues.": Hell's Kitchen

(Our summer reality cooking extravaganza begins with this solo review of the Hell's Kitchen premiere. In future weeks, Libby will be comparing and contrasting new episodes of the Kitchen and Top Chef -- ed.)

by Libby

Ah, another week, another reality show to review.

Now the difference between reviewing Hell's Kitchen and certain "other" shows I've reviewed in the past is that I actually enjoy watching HK. See, HK seems to revel in all that reality tv should aspire to be. It's empty, manipulative, amusing and disposable. But, most importantly, HK never thinks that it's anything more than light and fluffy filler. In short, it's the perfect summer television.

For those that are unfamiliar, Hell's Kitchen features the ever combustible Gordon Ramsay, who used to be famous for something, most likely restaurants and the like, but at this point is more famous for throwing hysterical hissy fits, swearing like a sailor, and being inexplicably attractive while doing it. Truly, he is the Simon Cowell of cooking, as Fox pimps him. But I digress ... during the run of the show Ramsay pits teams of seemingly hopeless up-and-coming chefs against each other for the chance to win some prize. Eh, a job at a restaurant or somesuch.

Another positive aspect of the HK world is there is no insufferable casting/audition episode to sit through, so Monday night's show was straight to the good stuff. However, that's not to say that HK is immune from the drama casting. There's the requisite overly confident guy, the hot girl(s) (because one is never enough?) and the crazy bitches. Of course beyond these stereotypes are the oddities. For instance, theres the 5-foot-2, 28 year-old guy with the baby face and, my personal favorite, the 48 year-old, overweight Asian nursing home chef who wears a cowboy hat and is perpetually weeping! I couldn't MAKE this stuff up!

After being introduced to everyone, something I won't bother with yet, as more eliminations are pending and I hate to get everyone attached to people only for them to be disposed of prematurely, (Remember Leslie? We miss her, too) Ramsay immediately had the new chefs make up their 'signature dish, and while it was amusing to watch the hooched-out girls clomp around the kitchen in their hooker heels, it was inevitable that this challenge was going to end poorly. Needless to say, Ramsay was less than impressed by the new recruits' offerings and let them know, in no uncertain terms, just how he felt about them. The kids were then broken down into gender-specific groups and left to bond overnight with the hopes of these groups becoming competent teams by morning. This did not go well.

The teams' attempts to serve actual customers the following night was a massive failure (as it ALWAYS is the first six times they attempt this, so I don't know why it's always a surprise?), and there were many a tear, raised voice, spoiled food and swears spoken. Again, exactly the things I'm tuning in for! In the end, the girl eliminated was bland and forgettable, much like her tenure in the kitchen. So ends the first episode of what will hopefully be a passable amusement for the rest of the summer.

Other amusing things in watching this episode:

* So, Top Chef advertises during Hell's Kitchen. How weird is THAT?! For those of you who are unawares, Top Chef is basically Hell's Kitchen's older, sophisticated, pay-cable cousin, so it was a huge shock to see it slumming among the commoners!

* So, Fox is advertising some weird continuing storyline thing for 24 on their website, which honestly just boggles the mind. I mean are there really people out there who want MORE of that last season? *shudders* Gosh, talk about gluttons for punishment.

*Finally, on a completely unrelated note (actually, now that I think about it, it's VERY related), I attempted to watch "America's Got Talent" tonight and freaked out 45 seconds into show and changed the station to "House." Gah. Even I don't have that much self-loathing. (Damn. There goes another summer burnoff we won't get to cover! --ed.)

1 comment:

Spanco said...

Top Chef's are there. After watching some episodes, i becomes crazy to watch more Hells Kitchen episodes and i have seen all episodes.