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Gordon Ramsay's Cookalong was half fun, half terrible

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 16th 2009 12:29PM
Gordon RamsayThis was not what I was expecting.

I don't think I've ever been as confused by a TV show while I was actually watching it. Maybe because Gordon Ramsay's Cookalong was live or maybe it was because Chef Gordon Ramsay had to move at such a frantic pace to get everything done in an hour.

Whatever the reason, I found myself hating the show at first, then kinda liking it, then hating, then liking it, then finding it a little stupid, and then kinda liking it. On a scale of 1 to 10, which 1 being "I hated it" and 10 being "I loved it," I'll give it a 5.

How's that for a politician-like decision?

But as I said, it wasn't what I was expecting. I thought regular people were going to come on stage and Ramsay was going to teach them how to cook. But it wasn't that. Instead, we got celebrities like Alyson Hannigan, LeeAnn Rimes, and Cedric The Entertainer cooking along with the frantic Ramsay (which I'm now trademarking as the name of a new dance I'll invent).

And while that gave us the only real fun of the night, with Cedric getting off some good quips and Hannigan almost burning her hair off when they poured alcohol into the pan), I was expecting ordinary folks getting help from Ramsay. I was wondering if he would try to teach these ordinary folks how to cook and get frustrated and FOX would have to bleep him, but this was celebs so the whole night was more relaxed. Not that Ramsay would have sworn. This was the kinder, gentler Ramsay, not the guy who barks on Hell's Kitchen.

Though I did notice that the sound on the show dropped off for several seconds twice in the first half of the show. Was that because of something that was said or a tech glitch on my end?

As for the cooking, I don't know if anyone at home really learned anything. I was getting antsy just listening to Ramsay talk really fast and with a higher-pitched voice than usual. Sure, he had people cooking via Skype (I think he had someone cooking in every state in the union), but there was very little interaction beyond Ramsay looking at the food on the screen and yelling "Alabama!" and "Missouri!" He did focus on two women whose husbands were in the military, but we also got Whoopi Goldberg and her daughter cooking via Skype and that was one celebrity too many.

So the show has potential as a once-in-a-while special with different celebrities (and let's get regular citizens in the mix next time). Last night's show could have acted as a good drinking game though. Every time Ramsay said "amazing!" you'd have to take a drink. You would have been drunk very, very early.

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#1) I usually love anything he does..his bbc shows are really good...this mess last night, I had to change the channel after 15 minutes...way too frantic

#2) I really wish he hadn't had any work done to his face..he's a gorgeous man with character...whoever talked him into surgery should be shot

December 16 2009 at 10:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sir Yuck-Yuck

since a new dance craze is sweeping the nation, I am off to learn the "frantic Ramsay" so when future episodes of this cookalong air, I can go out to the clubs and dance my hour away ;)

December 16 2009 at 8:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Helmut Scheiss

Normally any show with the Whoopee is an instant channel changer. I'm glad he focused more on the Marine wives than a hack. Has potential.

December 16 2009 at 8:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Really a bad show. Made me uncomfortable to watch it. Creepy the way he laughed and came on to Leanne ("do you like it thick?"... "are we dating?" yuk!!!. Too frantic and over the top. Why was Whoopi on a remote TV at all. Skype was a gimmick. Didn't learn anything about cooking. Looked like a 3 ring circus with a few extra rings and a side show added in. Felt bad for Cedric who was lost in it all and could have been funny. No mas!!!

December 16 2009 at 5:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

just watch the F Word, the show that it was basically ripping off.

December 16 2009 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

LeAnn Rimes lied about her accidents and her first thought about liking a "thick" desert was about sex. What has come of this woman?

December 16 2009 at 3:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I enjoyed seeing Alyson Hannigan. And Alexis Denisof, her husband, eating her meal. The rest were... a blur.

December 16 2009 at 2:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I watched an episode of the english version a while back. It had a recipe of a spicy and sweet fried banana dessert that was pretty good.

But other than that, I hate the format. If I want a cooking show, there's 24 hours of it on the food network.

December 16 2009 at 1:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah, I agree... it was dumb, but I found myself watching it because there were a few things that I did enjoy.

December 16 2009 at 1:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would say the terrible was more 70% than 50%. It was painful to watch Ramsay pretend to be funny; it only made him sound even more fake.

This is just a bad concept for Ramsay.

December 16 2009 at 1:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jimmy_MO's comment

Agreed. Found it distracting, disjointed and then highly irritating when Alyson Hannigan thought it was cute to mock her former vegan diet with quips about being a "cutetarian" and craving meat after her pregnancy. That's a door-opener for Ramsay's scorn about plant-based diets, which he's apparently too immature to respect. I'm vegan, a cookbook author and would normally enjoy watching a chef instruct others, but
this fiasco was an utter failure at all things.

December 16 2009 at 2:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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