Should Season 8 be the Last Season of 'Hell's Kitchen?'
Thursday, September 30, 2010
When you have a Band-Aid stuck to your skin, they say the best way to deal with the pain of removal is to rip it off quickly. Do you think that's what Fox had in mind when they scheduled this season of Hell's Kitchen? We're only two weeks in and already we've lost five contestants. Next week is another two hour shows so at this rate, we'll know the winner by Halloween!
I'm not complaining about the fact that Hell's Kitchen is running back-to-back episode each week, as this season simply isn't working. Maybe it's the fact that we've seen this all before. The salmon is raw, Ramsay screams and smashes it. The risotto is too salty, into the trash! More moaning, more eye rolling -- we might have believed it at first but now we know it's just an act.
The Art of the Tease
Every week, Hell's Kitchen puts out a teaser that is specifically designed to make things more exciting than they really are. Take the image of dozens of EMTs running into the building. If you've been watching the show all these years, you probably figured out that they were invited guests. Having the EMTs rush into the dorms to give the chefs a medical check-up at five in the morning was outlandish and completely unrelated to anything in the show. It felt like they were trying for a theme when they challenged the chefs to give up smoking, but that idea -- which could have served a genuine purpose -- was only mentioned once more than dismissed.
Imagine if they had turned both of these ideas into an episode about good health. Make the chefs come up with a healthy dish for the menu. Send the winners to a health spa for the day, hammer home the dangers of smoking. I've never understood how a chef can be a smoker and they always do it on this show. But they missed the chance to use it.
Whose in Charge Here?
As for the contestants this season, it seems like they've gone out of their way to choose unqualified people. I understand nerves and that not everyone has a background in gourmet food. But if Raj is for real, how does he manage to get to work every day? Did you notice how every time they walked through the kitchen, he stopped to check out what was in the pots? Putting his head in the freezer? Eating the leftovers? The karate? How could they justify keeping him on the show week after week? They couldn't, so they let him go. Now what?
Now we have Sabrina who is maybe planning to sabotage her teammates, or not, because we know we can't trust the promos. The promo made it seem like she purposely told Gail her food wasn't ready, then went to the pass with it to make Gail look bad. That clearly wasn't the case when you watched the show. She's 22 with six months experience and she's in line to be the head chef at LA Market? How can that be?
It's sad to think that this could have been a life changing experience for a hard-working chef who needs a break. Instead, I have to wonder if any of them will get the job. The show is one thing, but business is business.
If Hell's Kitchen goes on to a Season 9, they need to cast 16 brilliant chefs. I promise you, creative chefs can be just as crazy as the unqualified cooks of Season 8, maybe even more so. Have you ever watched Top Chef Masters, those guys have personality and attitude to spare.
Your turn to comment. Is it time for Hell's Kitchen to close the doors permanently, or just long enough for a makeover?
Cr: Patrick Wymore/FOX