Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Hell's Kitchen and even more Gordo

The 2nd season of Hell's Kitchen wrapped up Monday night as Heather was chosen over Virginia for the top prize. Heather becomes executive chef in Las Vegas at a casino restaurant, and it seems after having watched every episode this season, the right person won.

Overall, this group of contestants seemed overwhelmed most of the time, and in some cases (sweaty Tom, pants-too-low K-Grease, hairnet-less Giacomo) seemed a lot closer to a health department citation than to becoming an executive chef at an actual restaurant.

My guess is the people at Fox weeded out the people who applied to be on the show that were top-notch chefs in favor of decent chefs that would provide enough drama to keep viewers coming back each week for more.

Let's face it, a show that features a bunch of highly skilled cooks that make good food, work well under pressure, and don't swear, sweat in the food, fart, make obscene gestures, and undercook chicken like this group, might not be that interesting. And the ratings for this season were up over last year by the way.

This show is a hoot. Lots of yelling, crying, insults, knives, fire, bleeped out words, cool theme song, a pompous Brit, it's all there. Sure Ramsay is obnoxious, but that's the point! This is not breaking news. Especially for the contestants. They know what they're getting into.

So thanks, Gordo. And even thanks to you sweaty Tom, slimy K-Grease, ex-con Garret, gassy Sara, buxom Virginia, and the too-often forgotten Larry. The guy that admitted his weakness for "the ladies" in episode 2, and then literally displayed that weakness after a night spent in the hottub with several of the ladies from the show.

His body coudn't handle it, along with the other shows pressures, and he ended up in the hospital with some kind of heart/stress issue, and was never heard from again. Larry joined Dewberry as one of my favorite Hells' Kitchen castoffs ever. Or as Megan calls him, Blueberry.

I already can't wait until season 3.

If you still want your Gordon Ramsay fix, and especially if you'd prefer to see a softer side of the master chef, then try "Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares" on BBC America. It airs Tuesday night's at 8pm.

I've only seen half of one episode, but I really liked what I saw. Ramsay goes around England visiting one restaurant per episode. He observes for awhile, then spends time trying to improve what they do -- the menu, presentation, service, prices, etc.

There's still a lot of the Ramsay attitude, but he's much more nurturing on this show, and for many viewers (Haensel), much more tolerable I'm sure. The good thing is, this show is just as entertaining as Hell's Kitchen. It plays out more as a documentary, then a reality game show. Check it out.

So Heather, congratulations. Larry, get well. Tom, wipe the sweat off your brow. Keith, pull up your pants, Sara, don't forget to take your Bean-o.

Gordon, see you when Hell's Kitchen opens up for season 3.

And Tuesday night, too.

No comments: