Montreal Radio Blog

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Why Hell's Kichen is a Riot

I do watch it, only because I know nothing about cooking and thus find it amusing. I discovered the British version of Kitchen Nightmares a few years ago, and found it to be quite entertaining. It is far less contrived than the American version, where someone is always set up as the bad guy and all is nicely wrapped up in a matter of a few days... Of course, it can't be that simple. Not that the British show doesn't also try and give the impression that any failing restaurant can be turned around in a jiffy if the owners are only willing to listen by Ramsay - who apparently is never wrong...

Hell's Kitchen also started in England. I've never seen it, although I guess the premise is the same. The American version is very "Hollywood". I have no idea if the patrons of the "restaurant" are invited or actually pay to get in. It seems to be a pretty exclusive ticket...

It's obvious that the show wouldn't be very much fun if most of the participants were excellent cooks. There wouldn't be much entertainment value in that, would there? Let's face it, most people tune in to watch Gordon Ramsay go ballistic. It's strange really, why would he be so mad about a TV show? He knows what people want to see. The thing is, either he is a fantastic actor, or he has a very severe split personality. He doesn't seem to be acting...

I don't know what it is like to work in a famous restaurant's kitchen, but I kind of doubt that any head chef could get away with treating his staff the way Ramsay treats the contestants. I doubt anyone could get away with treating their employees that way... But then again, you can be sure Ramsay probably has some people watching his back in case one of the wannabe head chefs inevitably snaps.

Hell's Kitchen is a great show in its level of over-dramatics... The narration is just too much! Every single episode is a can't miss with something happening that you just won't believe! Of course a lot of so-called reality shows say the same thing. They'd like to give you the impression that the unthinkable happens next week, when in reality, it's not much of anything. Add to that the very dramatic background music, and you'd think they were about to reveal the cure to some awful disease instead of who has the best risotto.

Then there are the standard contestant comments, that are thrown in to every reality show. You know, where they pretend to spontaneously confess their feelings to the camera? What you never see is the guy out of view or in the control room asking them questions. The Office does a brilliant parody of this style that has been copied on just about every single reality show since Survivor. Obviously, contestants are also encouraged to trash talk and insult each other, because that is supposed to be entertaining.

The best part about this show is the silliness of the whole thing. You've got Ramsay ready to decapitate a contestant for having burnt the scallops... When asked why one person was put up for elimination, another contestant responds: "Because she ruined the mash potatoes!" It's just so funny.

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