18 July 2007

[hk2007] Hell's Kitchen 2007.6 and 2007.7: Melissa's End, Et. Al.

875. It's another two-episode recap, and a bit of a realization; blogging HK has become more of a task than a joy.
I'm still going to watch, and I'm still going to remark, but blogging it–not so much maybe. I had hoped that I'd get more than just an increased number of hits from it, but then I realized that people who hit rarely read, and people who read never rewarded my work with a link or even a comment.
So, from here on out, while I'll be watching and getting excited with the other HK fans, I won't be trying to give my reactions to every little thing on it. There's obviously no need or call for it. Additionally, I do need to arrest this 'blog's slide away from matters I really wanted to focus on. Certainly the idea was design as well as what's interesting me in general, but there's too much of "what's interesting me in general", and not enough design commentary (not that too many people are particularly following that, either, alas. Maybe it's time for a (shudder) mission statement?).

The last two episodes: An Overview
  • Viewers a couple of weeks back will recall that nobody was eliminated and Melissa's backside was spared to give her another chance with the Blue team. It seemed a canny move on the Ramsay's part; remember, Melissa had come on early as though she was channelling Heather from last season. She had the toughness and the knowledge, but was so intent on making herself into a leader that she forgot how to operate with the team. Her last day with the team was predictably bad; she'd lost that mojo.
  • Rock is the drama queen nonpareil. When the Red team won the close challenge of episode 6 (the lobster challenge) he and the Blues had to sort out the recycling and he was doing that "internalizing anger" thing that I've seen too many people who are too impressed with themselves do. I found myself losing patience with that schtick. Naturally, that evening, when the dinner service occurred, the Blues screwed the pooch big time, because with that much negative energy, it's impossible to do right.
  • Julia...what can we say about her except that she's as close to flawless as anyone else there. Still, though, they give her the "just a short-order cook" disrespect. That's as maybe; Julia knows more about leadership and actually running a working kitchen than Jen or Bonnie do (or maybe ever will). That's why she's still there. She has a fantastic chance of getting to the final two. I'd be surprised if she didn't.
  • The Blue team is now down to Josh and Rock. Josh isn't that great of a cook; Rock takes himself too damn seriously. I think we probably won't be seeing any of the boys in the final two. The temperament to run a business simply is not there.
  • As far as the remaining surviving Reds, Jen and Bonnie, I'm not too thrilled with them. The way Jen started being dreadful to Bonnie during that last dinner service...unacceptable. Sure, you're competing, but in the gap, you're a team. Bonnie said Jen was acting like a bitch, and you know what...she was.
  • Given the two previous bullet points, I'd go so far to say that the restaurant is Julia's for the losing. Her biggest competition is herself.
  • The elimination of the last show was surprising. I thought that it was Bonnie's time to go; she's a wreck. Brad put himself up for elimination on the Blue side; Ramsay accepted that, surprisingly. Even though I thought that Ramsay's call was wrong, the way he explained it...as he always does...put it right in perspective. Brad was a hard worker, but that's not enough.
  • I also have to take back something I said earlier, about Ramsay favoring the ladies. The winners of the leftovers competition-the Blue team-really accomplished it with panache, and Ramsay rewarded them with a Chef VS Blues paintball session. Well played, and well-earned. But in the three-on-one competition, Ramsay creamed them. Is there anything that man can't do well?
The next week's episode looks suspenseful, but they all do; we see a hint of what looks like Chef Ramsay actually eliminating one of the chefs during the service. Also, with only 5 chefs left, it's time to merge the teams. This should be interesting.

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