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Re: Kitchen Nightmares: a study in the Alpha/Beta dynamic by Mischief Maker 04/25/2011, 5:52pm PDT
Speak of the Devil! I just purchased the first two series of the BBC Kitchen Nightmares on DVD last weekend.

sored o' justris wrote:

I relish the moments I find a television show which transcends and rebuts the paradigm of mummified manhood. A show which showcases a man of strength and fortitude who (shockingly!) also possesses a trace of self-awareness and biting intelligence. When I encounter such a thing, I celebrate it. While roaming the vast playground of Hulu recently, I found a show which falls in this outlying category: “Kitchen Nightmares” hosted by renowned global chef, Gordon Ramsay. This Ramsay dude is the real deal. He is a fierce Alpha specimen and it’s a joy to watch as he soldiers into restaurants teetering on the abyss of failure and kicks some ass while somehow managing to rescue the restaurant, Phoenix-like, from a smoldering heap of neglect.

This post is a perfect example of why the Fox version of Kitchen Nightmares sucks compared to the original UK version.

The BBC version was about how to save a failing small business using the the materials you had on hand. The fact that they were restaurants kept things interesting for everyone. Each episode the business was failing for a different reason. Only about half the episodes were going down the tube because the chef couldn't cook. Momma Cheri's food was so good that Gordon cleaned his plate, she just couldn't manage her finances. The chef at the sandgate was a fine chef, he just had the owners forcing him to juggle the restaurant, a sushi bar, and an outdoor grill. The chef at Oscar's was good, but he was descending into alcoholism. As far as I could tell, the only thing Gordon brought to these restaurants were his expertise and a few starter recipes. At Lanterna a good chunk of the episode is devoted to selling the owner's BMW to recoup debts while Gordon pulls a few strings to get him a discount on a new stove. Most of the episodes also include Gordon taking fresh but inexpensive ingredients and turning them into several servings of gourmet food and demonstrating how porfitable good cooking can be. Even if the cook had to training or talent, Gordon would teach them how to make simple food really well so that they could still satisfy the customers. Plus Gordon's giving the narration, giving interesting nuanced tidbits about the tricks of the trade, accompanied by a peppy and theme-appropriate pop score.

The Fox version is about assholes and humiliations. The problem is always the same; the owner is a jagoff who can't cook to save his life. Gordon comes in and squashes on their delusions of grandeur. In other words, it's Hell's Kitchen in bite-sized portions. You don't really learn very much about how to run a business except that dirty lazy staff are bad. Then once the humiliations are done, the extreme home makeover crew redecorates and re-equips the restaurant for free. The worst was one episode where gordon was helping out a fat shrill harpy with marketing... by bringing a TV news crew and having her keep time while players for the Miami Heat took place in a pizza-making contest. You know, save the failing business with the materials you have on hand. Sometimes he doesn't even bother trying to teach the chef how to cook, he just brings in a brand new chef. Instead of Gordon's informative commentary, some generic TV announcer is there stating the blatantly obvious, and the ridiculous music sounds like it should be for someone defusing a nuclear bomb. "Ohmigod! You brought one guy his main course while his date hasn't even had her starters yet!" Dun! Dun! Da-dun! *multiple reaction shots*

Ever heard of an Alpha Wannabe dog?
Kitchen Nightmares: a study in the Alpha/Beta dynamic by sored o' justris 04/24/2011, 2:06pm PDT NEW
    THIS RAMSAY DUDE NT by Worm 04/24/2011, 2:18pm PDT NEW
    Re: Kitchen Nightmares: a study in the Alpha/Beta dynamic by Mysterio 04/24/2011, 2:32pm PDT NEW
        Phoenix-like, they fall into a freshly dug grave. NT by laudablepuss 04/24/2011, 11:29pm PDT NEW
        Plus isn't the OP a welfare recipie NT by and a shut-in? Alpha male whaaaa? 04/25/2011, 6:15am PDT NEW
    Re: Kitchen Nightmares: a study in the Alpha/Beta dynamic by Mischief Maker 04/25/2011, 5:52pm PDT NEW
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