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Day in Hell

So the new season of Hell's Kitchen has started. I stumbled over it while channel flipping the other day on the Fox Reality Show channel. Turns out it was a re-air of the first episode so the season's just begun and I hadn't missed anything yet.

I can't help but compare Hell's Kitchen to Top Chef. Besides the fact they're both cooking competition shows, there are some huge structural and ideological differences between the two. Top Chef obviously aspires to be something fru-fru and elite. It's no surprise that you'll always find the phrase 'fine dining' used over and over in a the course of a season. Hell's Kitchen, on the otherhand, is the cooking reality show for the rest of us schlubs in middle america. Sure, we might go out once and a while and get ourselves a nice Beef Wellington or Lobster Spaghetti, but you imagine that if most of the people are eating while watching the show, it's Kraft Mac and Cheese that they're more likely to be snacking on. In that way, you can think of Top Chef as being for the elitest coastal cities for the most part and Hell's Kitchen for the wide swath of fly-over USA.

One similarity that the two shows share is that right from the start, you know that certain people have absolutely no chance of winning. It's just clear from the beginning. For instance, if you watch the first episode of Top Chef in any season and hear the words 'Culinary Student' or 'Private Chef', you know that person is boned before the competition even starts. They're simply there as filler so the show has people to toss off in the first few episodes. Still, despite the fact that these individuals have absolutely no chance to win, some of them still seem to come across as being somewhat competent. They can probably make you dinner without managing to poison you (too badly). The also-rans on Hell's Kitchen, on the otherhand, take incompetence to an art form. These are people who you wouldn't trust to handle sharp cutlery, much less actually cook you a meal on their own. I know that I cringe whenever there's a challenge at the start of a season that requires any use of a knife whatsoever since the chances of seeing someone squirting blood across the screen is at worst 50-50.

All I can say is they really scraped the bottom of the reject barrel in finding losers for this season of Hell's Kitchen. Lacey might be the most pathetic and lazy sad sack of shit I've ever seen on tv. How in the world does she manage to wake up each day and not kill herself is something I will never understand. The fact that she seems to, every once and a while, show self-esteem makes me nauseous. Even grading on a very generous curve, she still ranks as being a complete waste of skin and connective tissue.

I'm not trying to suggest that being on one of these shows is easy. The stress must be considerable and I can understand many of the screwups. The problem with Lacey isn't that the tasks she has been set to have been beyond her skills. The problem with her is that she's a worthless human being. If you don't want to be there, then at least have the spine to quit and walk out like you have a pair. Instead, she just mopes and whines and cries. After watching her for 3 minutes, I'd pay money to get the opportunity to slap the fuck out her.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 8th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
I was thinking the redneck guy wanted to tie will to his truck and drive. Glad he got the boot, he was too gay.

Also he looked way too much like Neil Patrick Harris

Edited at 2009-02-08 08:27 pm (UTC)
Feb. 8th, 2009 10:44 pm (UTC)
Ya, the button was perhaps a bit much. I'm happy for him he's gay and all, but I just don't see why it's a big deal to advertise. It's not like he's on the show to find a date or something.

One of the nice things about Hell's Kitchen is you always know, almost from episode 1, who's going to make it and who isn't. On the men's side, the man to beat is Ben. It's a bit harder to tell with the women but I would have bet at least a moderate amount on Ji before she hurt herself.
Feb. 8th, 2009 11:47 pm (UTC)
I think Ji will be beaten by a white chick. Not that any of them seem competent. The black chick seems real serious.

For the dudes its gotta be one of the two guys with the beards. I dont really know the names, but I know the archtypes. Fat guywhos compensating, fat girl whos insecure, asian girl that looks like a dude kinda...
Feb. 9th, 2009 11:59 am (UTC)
Ji's gone for medical reasons.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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