29 July 2009

[misc] Hell's Kitchen 2009 (Chef Ramsay, Not The PNW Heat Wave)

2176.Something we tried a few yaron back was to try and compete with commentary on a certain beloved reality series and we didn't fail miserably; we failed really really well. And I did enjoy blogging about it, but if nobody was going to come by and read it, why bother?

One thing we haven't given up on is enjoying it. It's one of the few bits of television that we bother about because we're fans of the man.

The show is, of course, FOX television's Hell's Kitchen, and the man is Chef Gordon Ramsay. We love watching him. He's like passion incarnate, and reminds us that even the ordinary life can be made extraordinary if you have passion for something.

I'm just saying, that if you don't watch reality TV, there's one you ought to see, and it's this one. And while I'm not doing the blogging recap thing, I will say this about that, because this season has started out strong.

We started out watching near the end of Season One. We got on board on Season Two, and have been fans ever since. It's now Season Six. If you've lived in a cave, it takes a group of people who apparently signed up for this madness of their own free will and winnows them down, one by one (occaisionally, more than one-by-one) until the most accomplished and the most impassioned of them win the ultimate prize – which is, in this case, a well-paid executive chef position. In years past, it was usually a position in a posh casino in either Las Vegas or (last series – there have been two this year) Atlantic City. This year, it'll be a posh ski-lodge in Whistler BC, Canada.

So far, this year, Hell's Kitchen has brought the drama and the unpredictability. It's fashionable to think that somehow these are more scripted than you think, but there have been moments of things that don't at all look rehearsed.

The first three episodes are past and there have been many casualties. One chef from the Blue (men's) team was kicked out before the first hour was over. At the end of the second hour, Joseph, a former Marine, apparently snapped under the pressure of some PTSD and was kicked off the show. Before that, however, Robert, a chef from Season Five who had to leave due to pericarditis, was actually invited back, which was truly a first for this show (in which everything is intoned as "for the first time ever", even if it isn't the first time ever).

When Joseph snapped at the end of episode two, it was truly legendary. We even saw security go on the set. This will go down as one of the great moments in this series.

If there's any one person who really represents the heart and soul of HK, though, it's Heather West. She was the winner of Season Two, and resonated with viewers very strongly – and continues to do so. She won our hearts over from the very first in Season Two Hell's Kitchen, when, at that early time, her leadership skills shown brightly. This blog still recieves many search hits with the search string of "Heather West" (yes, even including the word nude … this is the internet, yes?).

Imagine our pleasant surprise with the sous chef for the Red (women's) team this year turned out to be none other than our very own Heather, replacing last year's Gloria. She's gone from contestant on Hell's Kitchen to, apparently, just something less than a Ramsay protegé.

Season Six also featured a signature dish display that doubled as a team challenge, and already has two walking wounded on the Blues.

So, HK Season Six is proving to be full of twists, turns, and surprises, and is breaking its own mold. It's charged out of the gate for the first three episodes, and is starting off strong indeed. If you want good entertainment, this'll be it.

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1 comment:

KARAN said...

The concept of hell's kitchen, in itself, is a very entertaining experence within its originality. It uses the standard tricks of TV series to get us to stay in through the breaks.