Screen Junkies » HELL’S KITCHEN http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Sun, 10 Aug 2014 22:40:38 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 ‘Top Chef’ Needs More Cooking, Less Gimmicks http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/top-chef-needs-more-cooking-less-gimmicks/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/top-chef-needs-more-cooking-less-gimmicks/#comments Thu, 10 Mar 2011 21:56:19 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=200981 The road to “Hell’s Kitchen” is paved with good intentions.

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Last night’s episode of “Top Chef” was a sad indictment on the American educational system. The five remaining contestants were whisked away to the Bahamas where the remainder of the season will take place. After the Quick Fire Challenge, judge Tom Colicchio informed the group that Elimination Challenge would involve cooking for “Bahamian royalty,” and the chefs seemed genuinely excited at the prospect. After all, who wouldn’t be? Me.

Now, I’m not exactly a member of the foreign service, but when you start talking about a royal family for a country that’s 50 miles off the U.S. coast, it catches my attention. Shouldn’t I have heard of the King and Queen of the Bahamas at some point in my life? More importantly, how does a former colony in the Americas end up with their own king? Unfortunately, the chefs never thought to ask these questions, and went about preparing for their royal engagement, only to find out they’d been duped. There is no Bahamian royal family (GASP!), and the meal was for the “King of the Junkanoo” at a tiny restaurant. In short, they prepared a meal for royalty, but they ended up serving commoners.

Now, the fact that none of the five chefs knew that there is no king or queen in the Bahamas is bad. I hope maybe someone did, and it was edited out by the producers. But that’s irrelevant. This is a cooking show, not a social studies class. Why should Antonia be punished because she didn’t pay attention in school? More importantly, what purpose did the trick serve? I know improvisation is an important skill for chefs, but there’s a difference between having to adapt to a situation and having to scramble because you were lied to. The entire situation may have been entertaining to watch, but at the end of the day, it didn’t help in determining who is the better chef.

Throughout the season, the chefs have been asked to participate in numerous challenges that have had absolutely nothing to do with their culinary skill. For example, in episode 10, they were told to create a meal for the employees of a Target using only ingredients and cookware found in the store itself. Granted, this challenge had some redeeming value, as it showed the chefs ability to think outsid the box and work with ingredients on hand, but it was still disappointing to see Angelo go home for salty soup. Of course it was salty! All the food came from Target.

A similar example came from episode 12, when the contestants had to make a meal using only items from the Ellis Island ferryboat. When “Top Chefs” are reduced to boiling hot dogs and mixing popcorn with fruit, what does that prove? Nothing, but at least this was only a Quick Fire.

Perhaps the worst example was from episode 6, where the participants were split up into groups and taken out on chartered fishing tours in order to catch the meal they would be cooking that evening. Granted, it’s important for a chef to know his or her ingredients, but this was ridiculous. One’s ability to catch a fish does not reflect on one’s ability to cook it. If someone had came up empty, would they have been sent home? That’s like sending Tom Brady home from the playoffs because he can’t kill a pig and tan it’s skin for a football. Apparently, the producers disagree, since the previews for next week’s episode show the remaining chefs diving for shellfish. If I wanted to watch “Deadliest Catch,” I’d have DVR’ed “Deadliest Catch.” I want to watch “Top Chef,” damn it.

Sadly, when it comes to tricks and gimmicks, the contestants aren’t the only ones being set up. In episode 12, it was the audience who got punked. After sitting through an entire hour of nonsense involving family histories and personal journeys, the judges were “unable” to reach an agreement because all the dishes were so spectacular. Give me break. This culinary miracle just happened to take place on the most contrived, overly emotional episode of the season, when family members of each contestant were in attendance? How convenient.

From what I’ve read, there won’t be any double eliminations in the remaining episodes, which is strange. TV schedules are decided months in advance, but I suppose the producers and the network just said, “Sure, what the hell? We can do an extra episode on short notice. No biggie. Oh, now we’re flying five people to the Bahamas instead of four? Great!” Even if I’m all wrong, and I’m just being a cynical bastard (which is entirely possible), that’s no excuse. This isn’t the Special Olympics! They aren’t all winners. If they honestly all did that great of a job, do an elimination Quick Fire and send someone packing. If no one goes home, it’s no longer a competition, and I just wasted an hour of my time watching assholes cook for no reason. That’s what the Food Network is for. This is Bravo. I want blood!

People watch “Top Chef” because it’s smarter than its competitors, and it doesn’t traffic in manufactured drama. I’m not going to stop watching anytime soon. And the fact that it’s taken eight seasons for me to get pissed off speaks volumes. Keeping a show fresh is difficult, and for the most part, the producers have done a spectacular job. But these recent gimmicks and pointless challenges aren’t going to do the show any favors in the long run. After all, the road to “Hell’s Kitchen” is paved with good intentions.

Like Reality Television? Then Click Here to Check Out Reality Star Gary Busey’s 13 Craziest Moments!

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WHAT’S ON TONIGHT: TUESDAY, AUGUST 4th 2009 http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/whats-on-tonight-tuesday-august-4th-2009/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/whats-on-tonight-tuesday-august-4th-2009/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Cold sausage, bowel movements, bowling trophies, Dracula puppets, and a bikini-clad Kristen Bell. If more than one of these turns you on, you've got issues my friend. Tonight's TV preview will try not to judge you.CHECK OUT WHAT TO WATCH AFTER THE JUMPNOTE: ALL TIMES EASTERN AND PACIFIC!!!

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Cold sausage, bowel movements, bowling trophies, Dracula puppets, and a bikini-clad Kristen Bell. If more than one of these turns you on, you’ve got issues my friend. Tonight’s TV preview will try not to judge you.

CHECK OUT WHAT TO WATCH AFTER THE JUMP

NOTE: ALL TIMES EASTERN AND PACIFIC!!!

 

HELL’S KITCHEN
Network:
FOX
Time: 8-9PM

Reasons to watch: The contestants are challenged with making perfectly-proportioned 6-inch sausages. At dinner service, Drew Lachey, John O’Hurley, Tom Green, Melinda Clarke, Chris "Kid" Reid and Kristy Swanson are served cold and salty food. Naturally Gordon Ramsey is not happy. How dare you serve Kristy Swanson salty, cold sausage!


CLASSIC BOWLING: 2007: PBA MOTOR CITY CLASSIC
Network:
ESPN Classic
Time: 9-10PM

Reasons to watch: I’m sure that you’ll never forget November 4th, 2007 as Walter Ray Williams Jr. took home the prize in Taylor, Michigan. I know I certainly won’t. It was like watching The Almighty himself out there on them lanes and the reason I named my little girl Walter Ray Williams Jr. Johnson.


FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL
Network:
Cinemax
Time: 10PM-12AM

Reasons to watch: If you’re a fan of Freaks and Geeks, you’ve known for a long time how talented Jason Segel is. In fact, most of his follow-up work has been on-par as well. The Segel-scripted Sarah Marshall is no exception. Fair warning: it does feature schlong. How much? More than Risky Business, less than Amistad. You’ll survive.
 


SOUTH PARK
Network:
COMEDY CENTRAL
Time: 10:30-11PM

Reasons to watch: Tonight’s episode of the Emmy Award Winning series is titled More Crap. The story follows Stan’s dad as he sets a record for his impressive bowel movement. Not one to be upstaged when it comes to awards, U2′s Bono throws his goofy cowboy hat into the ring. This is a fantastic dressing-down of Bono. How dare he try to help the world?

WHO’S ON LATE?

LETTERMAN (repeat)
Jonah Hill, Kelly Clarkson

CONAN
Jeremy Piven, human cannonballs

KIMMEL
Ashton Kutcher, Nigel Lythgoe

FERGUSON
Tony Shalhoub, Minka Kelly

FALLON
Channing Tatum, Joan Rivers, Arctic Monkeys

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