I only discovered Hell's Kitchen as season two was beginning and it immediately became the only reality TV show that I ever made a point to keep up with every week. I'll admit that it's the sheer spectacle of watching the victims...er...contestants survive my idea of hell, working in a restaurant, while attempting to meet Chef Gordon Ramsay's exacting standards that keeps me glued to the tube when this show is on.
Here's the short list of what I love about this show.
First, there's Chef Ramsay's license to abuse people, within a context of course. The context being that one of these people will win a huge prize that they in all liklihood would never obtain on thier own: their own fancy restaurant.
I look at it like cooking boot camp. Sure, the contestants are being continually cursed and screamed at. Of course, we see many hours of real time condensed to a relatively few minutes each episode, so I wonder just how intense it looks "real time". I guess we'll never know, but it's for a purpose and I assume they knew what they signed up for. There's just something about a frantic, frazzled amateur chef being cursed over messing up the risotto that I find hilarious. How difficult is risotto to make, anyway?
Second, it's a cooking show that really isn't about cooking at all, but about working as a team in a "fish out of water" (and into the frying pan) kind of situation where there's fire, smoke, steam, and screaming. How do normal people react in stressful situations? Some rise to the occasion and discover greatness in themselves while others are exposed for the arrogant blowhards that they really are.
Third, those wonderful obscenities! Wow, when I was watching this show I was fascinated by just what Gordon Ramsay could be saying when they bleeped him out. What could it be? Well, with this DVD it's all there, so if you like to hear the "f word" derisively spoken and screamed with English flair at people, you'll love this show.
Seriously, Chef Ramsay uses obscenities so much they become routine and cliche (except I'd imagine if they were directed at me!). You'd think by watching this show that all Chef Ramsay does is glower and scream at people, and it's a shame that his BBC show "The F Word" is not so easily accessed here in the states. You really get to know Chef Ramsay on that show.
Fourth, on this DVD you don't have to suffer the commercials. A Hell's Kitchen episode is about 40 minutes long. Even with the show recorded it was annoying to fast forward through all that stuff. It's fun to just kick back and bask in the heat of Hell's Kitchen without having to reach for a remote every few minutes.
All in all, a reality show that I am thankful isn't reality for me. The only time I worked in a restaurant I was a dishwasher and I broke so many dishes I was fired after three days. I've done my time in "hell", and now you can too!