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Interesting piece by Noel Murray over at The Onion's AV Club. He calls Hell's Kitchen entertaining, but "one of the least transparent of the competitive reality shows." He argues that we always see the personal lives of the contestants on shows like Survivor and Project Runway, but that the players on Hell's Kitchen seem to have no life before or after the show.
But Hell's Kitchen comes from that weird extra-dimensional Fox TV Reality realm, where contestants have no apparent life before or after taping begins-aside from the inevitable glimpse of family members during the finale-and even the game itself seems completely stage-managed. I know Gordon Ramsay's a real dude-I've watched his terrific BBC series Kitchen Nightmares-but I've rarely been convinced that that any of the show's competing chefs have any real interest in cooking for a living, or that their "customers" are anything more than Fox employees and Hollywood extras. (I did see last season's runner-up Ralph on Iron Chef America, though who knows what happened to Michael, who in some kind of shady back-room deal took an apprenticeship with Ramsay over his own restaurant.)
Readers, do you agree?
(S02E10) I think there should be a new rule imposed in the land of reality TV: no more two hour season finales! Seriously, they're sooooo annoying and tedious, because they just rehash everything that has happened and contain all the same predictable twists and turns that we see in other seasons (or, in some cases, other shows). Of course, maybe we could have knocked the season finale of Hell's Kitchen down to about 90 minutes if they just took out the trivial asides and the damn 11 minute opening summary of every single episode from this season. I mean, if you watch the show, you already know everything that happened. I doubt someone is going to tune into the show 10 episodes in and say "hey, I wonder who will win Hell's Kitchen?"
And then, in the second hour, they have a recap of what happened in the first hour! Gah. But I'm getting ahead of myself. It's down to Heather and Virginia...
Hell's Kitchen did pretty well for FOX last year, winning the coveted 18-49 demographic in its time slot. New episodes begin June 12. Will you watch?
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