Wednesday, April 2, 2008
The premiere episode of Hell's Kitchen 4 was for the most part nothing more than an exaggerated redux of previous seasons. They did, however manage to offer up a new low: Ramsay actually went "undercover" (wearing a hot tranny mess of a disguise) so that he could eavesdrop on the new contestants during their bus ride to the restaurant. Once in Hell's Kitchen, the disguise was removed and Ramsay poked at the contestants with random cruel personal comments. He then spit and vomited (literally) his way through the "signature dishes" they had prepared, deeming only two of the fifteen to be (barely) acceptable. The dispirited contestants were then shooed off to their respective male/female lofts to memorize the menu and recipes for the next nights service, and to elect team captains.
Of course the contestants are not ready for the first service; the men's team doesn't even know what's on the menu (even though most home viewers could probably prepare the ubiquitous "risotto starter" just from having watched previous seasons). Ramsay throws tantrums and food, and delivers the requisite continuous stream of expletives. "Customers" who have patiently waited three hours for their food finally see it being brought to their table, and promptly walk out, and we hear Ramsay bellow the familiar "SHUT IT DOWN!!". He then bemoans that he must decide not who won, but who was least horrid. As usual, the best member (a young line cook with a mohawk that Ramsay likened to a toilet brush) of the worst team was left to nominate two of his teammates for elimination, and (big surprise) Dominic, the 43 year old "stay at home dad" who spent the entire service looking like he was going to cry while holding five scallops on his upturned left palm was given the boot.
The bottom line is that this show has become a caricature of Ramsay and his seemingly extraordinary talent for meting out abuse. It's not about cooking - it's about which of the sorry, stock character contestants can endure the vituperative Ramsay the longest. Nothing new to see here, folks. Move along...