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October 26, 2014

'Hell's Kitchen' - 'Episode One' Recap (Season Premiere)

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 2nd 2010 12:15AM
Hell's Kitchen(S07E01) "I have just one word, and that's 'what the f**k'?" - Jay, contestant

How much you like 'Hell's Kitchen' depends on how much you like to watch a Brit scream and throw things, and even then you might be over it. The first few seasons were a novelty: We got to watch Chef Gordon Ramsay yell at contestants (note: that pic on the right does not show Ramsay pleased with dinner service), throw bad food into the garbage, toss a contestant out of the kitchen. But here we are in season 7 and you know what? It has really gotten old and contrived.

And like most seasons, this season can already be summed up with one word: RISOTTO.

Of course, if you're new to 'Hell's Kitchen,' you might get a kick out of Ramsay doing his thing, yelling at someone when they burn the risotto or put crab in it instead of lobster. But if you're a return customer, you might just find everything a little too familiar. Cocky contestants? Check. Clueless contestants? Check. Contestants with bizarre hair and other quirks? Check. Burnt food? Yup. Cold food? Contestants arguing? Crying? You got it.

There's one surprise moment in the season opener. A mousy American stay-at-home mom cooks her signature dish and Ramsay actually likes it. He likes it so much that he hugs and kisses her, surprising the other contestants (and viewers) with his affection. Then he starts actually making out with her, because Ramsay is cheating on his wife.

Ha! Just kidding. It actually is his wife, in disguise. Not sure what the point of the whole deception was. Maybe they needed something to top the season Ramsay disguised himself as a contestant.

The first dinner service: It's funny how Ramsay throws several contestants out of the dinner service just to make sure his promise of a finished first night's service actually happens. I was waiting for the entire team to be tossed back into the apartment so Ramsay and Jean-Philippe could take over the entire kitchen and dining room.

But honestly, how much of this is actual rage and how much of it is just for the cameras? I don't doubt that Ramsay screams a lot and is kind of a rough guy, but come on. They pick certain contestants for their personalities and then Ramsay puts them into "reality show situations." Sure, let's throw the team into a first night dinner service after keeping them up all night with video lessons. Imagine what would happen if these contestants actually turned out to be normal and talented under pressure and the dinner service went smoothly. We'd be seeing two hours of 'Glee' tonight instead of a new 'Hell's Kitchen.'

You know what? I'd like to see a celebrity 'Hell's Kitchen.' I'm not a huge fan of turning reality shows into a celebrity edition all of a sudden, but I bet Ramsay and other famous chefs wouldn't be able to do some of this stuff perfectly while someone is yelling at them after an hour's sleep the night before, working with people he's never worked with before in a kitchen he's never seen. Sure, he'd do better than these contestants, since he's a more talented cook in general and is used to the cameras and the pressure, but I bet he'd fall behind (he wouldn't want to serve something cold or uncooked so he'd constantly be behind even though the food would be perfect).

Did he send the right person home (Stacy) tonight? Probably. Fran wasn't that great either, but you can tell she likes cooking after 30 years, right? She's not going to win this competition though. No way she's head chef at the Savoy in London. Of course, like most seasons, after the first episode you can't imagine Ramsay giving anyone a ton of cash and the head chef job at one of his restaurants, but hopefully a clearer picture will emerge as the season goes along.

I'm going to keep watching it this season. When you watch a show like this and things get to be stale and predictable, you look for the aspects of the show to savor: The times when the teams actually succeed, the look on the contestants' faces when they get their rewards (or punishments), the times when Ramsay actually calms down and interacts with the cooks on a personal level away from the frenzy of the kitchen. Oh, and there are two people from Boston on this season so I have to see how they do.

Are you going to watch 'Hell's Kitchen' this season or is it (as Ramsay might say) too much of the same old s**t?

[Follow Bob on Twitter.]

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Sir Yuck-Yuck

Chef Gordon Ramsay is the Simon Cowell of pots & pans so I gots to watch this each Summer

June 02 2010 at 5:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave

I think that it has become somewhat repetitive, but I still enjoy watching it. It's the type of entertainment that can put a smile on your face at the end of a hard day... but that's about it.

June 02 2010 at 12:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Leroy

I don't understand how Ramsey gets away with claiming the winner will be the head chef at one of his restaurants. What they get is a job as sous chef with a chance to advance to head chef. I think only one of the previous winners has actually done that, and not for very long.

June 02 2010 at 12:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sarah

it is predictable but i still watch. for the same reasons that i still watch Top Model.

June 02 2010 at 10:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Vincent J. Murphy

You know, all these contestants should have watched the show previously. As such, they have no excuse for badly cooked risotto. It's like showing up to Wheel of Fortune and being illiterate.

June 02 2010 at 9:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy_MO

This season looks to be even more over the top fake than last season, and last season was pretty bad. However, isn't that what makes this farce fun to watch?

June 02 2010 at 9:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
alsam

It has become our dvr'd show. We usually watch the first one and then a few throughout the season. It has become pretty stale. I would like to see a "where are they now" on Gordon's and Trump's past winners. Did any of them make it?

June 02 2010 at 5:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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