Friday, June 23, 2006

For Entertainment Purposes Only, No Wagering Please...

Finally, I can live the dream of every blogger; having an outlet to handicap a second-tier reality-show.

I'm not a huge fan of reality TV. I do like "The Apprentice" because I work in the business world and I like "Hells Kitchen" (the primary subject of this installment) probably due to the fact that I like eating. A lot. I just can't get into shows like "Survivor." Maybe it’s because unlike the other two, I have no real sense of "common-ground" with the premise. In actuality, I send a certain percentage of effort each day trying to avoid being stranded on a desert island, as you can see from this chart:

So, the second season of "Hells Kitchen" began while I was in Boston. I didn't pick it up till the third episode, which is OK since a lot of the chaff is already gone and we are left with either the superstars or the people so bad they are kept on for pure comic enjoyment. That's entertainment!

So here are my picks:

Heather aka the "Bossy Know-It-All"

Seems to know her stuff and be a hard worker. She is kind of a bitch to the other contestants though. I give her 2:1 if she can avoid having an "unfortunate celery chopping accident" in her sleep, courtesy of Sara.

Sara aka "The Bumpkin"

Again, knows her way around a kitchen, but comes of as a kind of "ditzy southern girl." This may be by design. She has issues with Heather, so I wouldn't be surprised to see Sara throw her under the bus the first chance she gets. I give her 1.5:1

Garrett aka "The 'Bad' Boy"

He's the only real "leader" I see here. Once the dead-weight from the men’s team is gone I think he'll emerge as the favorite. No odds; I wouldn't bet against him. Partially because he was in prison and I don't want to get "shived."

Keith aka "The Old, White Guy Who Thinks He's a Young Black Guy"

I'm giving this moron 6:1. From what I've seen he can cook and knows how things work in a commercial kitchen. But, who the hell wants their food cooked by a guy who sweats so much that he looks like he just came in out of the rain. That and the fact that he seems to lack the ability to pull his pants up don’t bode well for ol’ Keith.

Rachel aka "'Rachel?'... uh, nope not ringin' a bell. Are you sure you have the right show?"

15:1. Flying so far under the radar that I can't even think of anything to say about her. Which may not be the worst strategy considering the show she is on.

Maribel aka "The Home-Sick Mommie"

Like Rachel, she is flying under the radar, only emerging long enough to get kicked-off her station by Ramsey or annoy her fellow contestants by crying about missing her home and family. 20:1; Maribel is a nice person. Ramsey is not a nice person. Which one runs the famous restaurant again? Point made.

Virginia aka "The Shameless Flirt"

Lust is attractive, desperation is not. Not even if the woman is attractive. If even an ego-maniac like Ramsey is embarrassed by the way Virginia is throwing herself at him, then you know it's not working. Combine that with the fact she can't even cook tortellini and I give her 30:1. Her title is "salad chef" and I'm pretty sure people who go to four star restaurants want their food cooked.

Tom aka "The Bitter Old Dude"

How the hell did Tom get on this show?! He seems to be a menace in the kitchen. He got a very minor burn on his hand. Ramsey and his team checked him out and all concluded that is was nothing, yet Tom basically shut-down. Kitchens are full of hot things; you're gonna get little burns from time to time. If you want to be a professional, you have to shake it off and move on. His confrontational attitude with Ramsey is not earning him any points either. 50:1

I hear a lot of the people who watch this show complain that Gordan Ramsey is too hard and "mean" to the contestants. I have two comments for that:

When I lived in Las Vegas, I worked at a couple of hotel/casinos. I didn't work in "F & B" (food and buffet) but being in the back of the house, I saw what went on. I went to college at UNLV, which has a very well respected hotel management program, and friends of mine who were in the program would get me "back-stage" at some of the nicest restaurants in town (for a while I was considering going to culinary school, obviously I decided against it) and I have to say that the way things go down in Hell's Kitchen is pretty much the way it is in real life. The executive chefs, especially at the nicer “upper-tier” restaurants are supremely up-tight perfectionist. Not to mention complete bastards. I heard them say things to the people underneath them were just evil. But, the bottom line is that if you can't stand the heat, well, you know.

The other thing to keep in mind is that this is a TV show. On Fox. The people who brought you "Celebrity Boxing" and "The Glutton Bowl." Fox doesn't do "nice." It's the devils network. If it was “Chef-Sensitive's Group Hug Hour” no one would watch it. If you’re that upset by it, the answer is simple; turn it off.

And remember, I don't condone illegal gaming, but if you choose to indulge, 10% goes to the house.


Brian H. Prince said...

I agree with all of your points. Except for your diagram. Based on my experience of your performance the 'work' wedge is WAY too big. You have too many quotes on Tim's board to have that big of a 'work' wedge.

James Bender said...

I consider anything having to do with Tim as work.

Charles said...

If you like Hell's Kitchen you need to check out Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares on BBC American. More focused on the business aspects of running a kitchen.

Last weeks episode had a nice message of not over complicating things. Good stuff.

Tim said...

There's a "complaining" wedge completely missing from your graph...I stopped reading the entry right there as I knew it was going to be totally based outside reality.

James Bender said...

Oddly enough, the size of the complaining wedge is inversely proportional to the amount of distance multiplied by time that I spend away from you.

MIT has contacted me about conducting a study.

Science is amazing!

Anonymous said...

Do they serve Scotch?

James Bender said...

> Anonymous said...
> Do they serve Scotch?

Do you mean Hell's Kitchen, MIT or my place of employment?