The summer season of television begins. It is the time when reality shows attempt to pull in viewers that are a little lazy from the heat to do much else. Around our household, we let the DVR capture the broadcast as we enjoy our summer fun. I have stated before that I am not a huge fan of trash television but everyone has to go slumming once in a while to get perspective. One of the shows that we slip off into the low-rent neighborhood gives us our favorite foul-mouthed chef, Gordon Ramsay with Hell’s Kitchen. What better way to relax in the evening than watching contestants belittled, as profanities are thrown at them through a high paced dinner service? Now before we go further, understand this is not one of televisions’ crowning moments but a step into the waste that we call reality television. The competition between the cooking hopefuls is filled with constant stress, conflicting personalities, and a host that pushes them to the limits while rarely handing out compliments. Wait, that sounds exactly like the other reality shows (and a few of my old bosses).
Hell’s Kitchen is in its tenth season in the U.S. and continues to capture audience’s approval. In the competition, the hopeful chefs compete for a chance to continue their hell as the head chef of one of Chef Ramsay’s many international restaurants. In review, you spend the entire competition being humiliated, screamed at, and the prize is … more of the same. Where do I sign up? The show is filled with cleverly edited situations that imply that none of the contestants are competent enough to make a grilled cheese sandwich at a school’s cafeteria.
My only wish for the show is for it to be aired on a cable station, as viewer spend most of the show trying to figure out what nature of profanity was used in each scene. And by each scene, I am not exaggerating. The producers of the show spend hours of overtime bleeping and putting “fuzzy bubbles” over the mouths of Chef Ramsay and the want-to-be chefs. There are so many bleeps that our household created a drinking game where a shot is taken after each foul-mouth epithet. The results were many missed endings and massive next day hangovers. This game should not be played by anyone that wants to keep their liver in one piece. A variation of the game can be played where you have to drink every time Chef Ramsay croaks out “IT’S RAAWWWW!” This might prolong your liver, but not by much.
In order to be on the show, contestants do not need to have a lot of experience but the passion to cook. However, after nine completed seasons, you would think that the hopefuls would figure a few things out before attempting to go for the prize. Let’s help them out with a little Hell’s Kitchen common sense.
- My first suggestion is to watch the damned show! After nine years, you would think that the people who go on the show would actually understand that they are about to be flayed on a daily basis for five weeks. They must endure no sleep, constant abuse, and bitchy team mates. Just look at it as going to boot camp with food. So quit whining about it!
- After seeing the show, you should know that no matter how good you think you are, you are a piece of under-cooked dog shit in the eyes of a professional television chef. That is why we watch the show. It gives a reason to feel better about ourselves while watching you be bullied and abused. Thanks for the pick-me-up.
- If you win a challenge and get a fancy trip to some exotic place, plan on failing the next food service. It is written in the stars that you will find yourself feeling the brunt of Ramsay’s rage. Additionally, refrain from drinking in excess during your time on the show. From personal experience, dealing with hangovers while being screamed at is not conducive to peak performance.
- We are watching you. After you are finished with the filming and head back to your normal life, these moments will be aired for all to see. Some of these not-so-shining moments will be on the season’s DVD. You don’t want to go to a future employer, love interest, or your children and show them how much of a douche you were on national television. Though from our couch, we find it entertaining.
- Learn the basic dishes. Every season, it amazes us that people do not know how to cook the show’s staple dishes. If you can’t cook scallops, beef wellington, or risotto to perfection every time, well, Fuck off!
Armed with these little tidbits of advice from a seasoned observer, you too can go on to be ridiculed by Americans everywhere as we sit on our comfortable couches, playing a drinking game at your expense. Here is little advice for the competitors. After you have had your ass handed to you by Chef Ramsay, the next step in your career awaits, I hear that Denny’s is hiring for the overnight shift. You will be appreciated there.
Until next time…
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