Monday, April 7, 2008

Hell’s Kitchen - A Mess Of A Show

Notes from a heck of a time watching Hell’s Kitchen:

I’m watching the premiere of Season Four on the Fox Reality Channel. I don’t even know what this channel is. I never heard of it before. The picture is really good though.

I’ve only been watching for 3 minutes and I’m not sure I can sit through an hour of this. It’s such a total combination of misfits and losers and, not to be unkind, but it’s not the most attractive group either...

Anyway, this REALLY ugly guy gets off the bus with the other contestants and…it’s Gordon himself! I have to admit I didn’t see that coming. I just thought he was a particularly ugly guy. He’s been able to hear all the awful things that the contestants have said about him.

He commands them to go into the kitchen and cook their signature dish. Now, this can’t have been a huge surprise to them all, because isn’t this how each series begins? AND how did the kitchen have all the ingredients they needed, if they weren’t told in advance?

Gordon tastes the dishes one by one, savaging each cook as he goes. Where did they get this people? Seriously, this is dumb. If the prize is to be the head chef at his LA restaurant, wouldn’t you need to start with someone who can cook…someone who is a chef?

Gordon hates everybody. He even throws up after one guy’s dish. (Yeah, that’s real.) Matt combined white chocolate with venison, scallops and caviar. Let’s not forget that last week white chocolate, combined with wasabi and served with smoked salmon, was the winning dish on Top Chef.

Ok, whatever…he likes Rosann's dish. Don’t ask me what it was, because I managed to delete all my notes from this part of the episode and I’m working from memory and fumes right now.

There was a Cornish game hen stuffed into a pumpkin that you know the guy was only doing for comic relief. I think that was the dish that was sitting on top of fried grated potatoes. Gordon ranted as he squeezed tons of oil from them. The genius, Petrozza, who made them, volunteered that there butter in there too.

Vanessa had the best dish of the night - halibut - which Gordon said was cooked and seasoned really well. She also has an irritating ring in her lip (face? somewhere gross). I don’t know how someone with an inevitable low-grade infection near or in her mouth can taste anything…

The inmates (oh wait, they signed up for this) are taken back to the dorms. The women (G calls them GIRLS – go get stuffed, Chef Ramsey!) quickly vote on a leader – the pierced Vanessa – and get to work studying the menu and recipe book they’ve been given for the next day’s dinner service.

The men take way too long electing a captain – they finally decide on Bobby, who prides himself on being the black Gordon Ramsey, after he BEGS for the job – and go to bed, not even cracking open a page.

Isn’t this a bit stereotypical for 2008? The women are good little girls, who do their homework and play nice. The guys are dumb louts, who fight like little boys and only care about position and whether they can beat the girls…Oh, wait a second…THAT is kinda true.

Next day, in the kitchen, Chef Ramsay asks the guys to tell him what the entrées are that are being served. DUH, UH, I DON’T KNOW, one after another says, including Bobby, their leader. One of the “girls” has her hand raised and recites them perfectly.

Ok, this is obviously a problem. If they don’t even know WHAT they are cooking, how can they cook? We find out throughout the episode that basically no one can cook. Why are they there then? Why am I here?

Another thing is just eating at me. That sad sack faced Matt looks like someone…I can’t put my finger on it. WHO is it? It’s driving me crazy. OMG, I know who he looks like…I hate to say this, but it’s David Berkowitz. Oh, that’s not good. I’m not kidding. It’s creepy.

Now this is silly. Chef Ramsey has decided to serve an amuse bouche to each table. They can't even cook what's on the menu. AND it's being served as a flambé something or other.
An amuse bouche? Flambéed? At tableside? Am I missing something? Isn't an amuse bouche a little premeal snack that comes from the kitchen?

Plus, I don’t think we ever see exactly what it is. Maybe I blinked and missed it, but it looks like pans are just being set on fire in the dining room for the effect. He appoints 2 of the misfits to handle that, while the others ruin the food in the kitchen.

Bobby talking a big game, but isn’t doing anything. I don’t think I can watch this.

Sharon can’t cook risotto. AND she’s nowhere as good looking as she or the others seem to think. I don’t think I can watch this.

Oh my, the customers are getting restless. IDTICWT.

Jason’s serving the risotto. Let’s hope it’s ok. It’s not. It has burned bits in it. WHY am I watching this?

Jen tries to resuscitate the appetizers. I hope she can.

Rosann becomes the captain and does a better job than Vanessa. Rosann’s accent is nothing short of annoying.

The stay-at-home dad, Dominic, has the most unattractive hair style of anyone I’ve ever seen. This is dumb.

Noone can cook. David Berkowitz is looking at people weird.

Bobby refuses to jump in. He’s obviously afraid to take a stand.

Jen’s risotto is good. Finally the diners are getting their first courses.

Louross, of the weird name and mohawk – there’s always one - becomes the new captain. Bobby is such a boob. Corey (girl team) got her rubber chicken passed around. Louross is getting things together. It doesn’t matter, though, because the customers are leaving.

Gordon has a hard time choosing a losing team. He finally picks the men's. LouRoss is told to pick 2 people to send to the elimination. He picks Bobby because he failed as a captain and Dominic, who admits, “It’s not like cooking for the family”.

Gordon questions them closely. Dominic threw away 30 scallops during service. Bobby is asked directly by Gordon if he did a good job as captain. Bobby says NO, the first straight answer he’s given since he’s been here, says Gordon.

Dominic goes. He looks like a dough boy.

David Berkowitz is staring a little too hard at various people. Jason is particularly unhappy at being beaten by "the girls".

I’m REALLY unhappy I watched this…See you next week.


Heather said...

Noticed the new sous-chef Gloria. Who's Gloria? Where's whats-her-face from the other seasons?

I can never watch this show until it's down to just a few people. They should get rid of more than one on the first show to thin the herd.

Emiline said...

Stop watching this show!!
Just kidding- watch it if you want to.
I have only seen this show a few times. I think I prefer the Kitchen Nightmares over this one. Not that I like KA that much either.

Catherine Wilkinson said...

This show makes me a nervous wreck. Such willful stupidity and's like Congress!

You need to have your own show or magazine column or something! Seriously, your reviews are the best.

Sue said...

You're right, Heather, it was just all too much to take in. Thank goodness Jean-Phillipe (or whatever his name is) was still there.

The English Kitchen Nightmares is good. This show is really horrid.

Hi CW,
YES! I agree completely. You're so right...

Your first paragraph is too.