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Kromm

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I totally believe they tamper with the ovens. But I've wondered if that's breaking that old game show law that you can't rig the game if there's a prize involved. In this case the prize is the job, obviously. Anyone have insight into this? I know none of the sous chefs will probably never admit to tampering so they might not ever be able to investigate.

At some point the reality TV people were able to convince the FCC that competitive reality shows are not game shows (although conversely, a game show is a TYPE of competitive reality show) and thus not impacted apparently by the Communications Act of 1934.

 

The thing is that stupid Act is SO badly worded, that might be true.  And I don't think it's really been challenged that often in court.  The only time I know of for sure was with Storage Wars, which isn't even a true competitive reality show, because it's instead a bunch of people hired to ACT like they're in a competition, when they're not (there's no prize--they're strictly paid a straight salary to open up pre-determined storage lockers and give fake reactions to stuff fakely seeded inside those).

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After rewatching old seasons, I've noticed it to be very different to the current ones. Here's a few reasons why:

  • Actually talented chefs. Heather was amazing, Michael was amazing, etc. It seems the talent pool is running dry because most the only people who can apply anymore are a) people who just met the age limit, b) people who just moved to America, or c) people who "finally" feel ready to take part or d) people who have failed to get onto the show before.
  • Ramsay's softened up. He gives a lot more praise in the signature dish challenges than he used to. He never used to let chefs keep their jackets in earlier seasons (with the exception of Ji, though she really did deserve it) and even his ending monologues about contestants have been much nicer.
  • It's too overdramatic now. From the signature dishes, there's a large crowd and press opening. The "next time" sequences often refer to something very unrelated to the episode's actual goings-on.
  • Too many contestants, designed for more episodes and more "shock" eliminations. Ramsay makes up his mind early on who's in the final and eliminates everyone else before, spicing it up by eliminating some good people before obviously bad ones.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this or any other reasons? I'd love to know what other people think.

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16 hours ago, BogoGog24 said:

IMO the show has just become a parody of itself, to the point that it's comical. 

It has. Next season, it'll get to the point where they play Russian Roulette for the ingredients or something stupid like that.

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On 4/28/2016 at 4:13 PM, hkalex said:

After rewatching old seasons, I've noticed it to be very different to the current ones. Here's a few reasons why:

  • Actually talented chefs. Heather was amazing, Michael was amazing, etc. It seems the talent pool is running dry because most the only people who can apply anymore are a) people who just met the age limit, b) people who just moved to America, or c) people who "finally" feel ready to take part or d) people who have failed to get onto the show before.
  • Ramsay's softened up. He gives a lot more praise in the signature dish challenges than he used to. He never used to let chefs keep their jackets in earlier seasons (with the exception of Ji, though she really did deserve it) and even his ending monologues about contestants have been much nicer.
  • It's too overdramatic now. From the signature dishes, there's a large crowd and press opening. The "next time" sequences often refer to something very unrelated to the episode's actual goings-on.
  • Too many contestants, designed for more episodes and more "shock" eliminations. Ramsay makes up his mind early on who's in the final and eliminates everyone else before, spicing it up by eliminating some good people before obviously bad ones.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this or any other reasons? I'd love to know what other people think.

I think you're putting too much gloss on the early seasons. Was it AS bad as now? No. But it wasn't great--it was marginally better than now at best. I think we just weren't as tired of it yet.

The percentage of bad chefs to decent ones I think was about the same... except maybe HOW bad the bad chefs are is worse now--while IMO the "good" ones back then weren't really any better than the "good ones" now. I mean Ramsay didn't get anyone good enough to last with his company for more than a year until Christina Wilson.. and she's not from the "old seasons"... she was on Season TEN.  That's hardly early days. And as shit as the show this season was in some ways (mostly because of Jackie), I'd actually say the Final 3 were all pretty good--I think any of them would be long term employable by Ramsay, whereas on most of the early seasons you'd be lucky if one person in an entire cast was... and often even that wasn't the case (because of all of the winners that disappeared down a rabbit hole after winning). 

Ridiculous production choices, like camera shakes and boosted crashing sound effects being introduced when Ramsay slams a door, or hits a table have been there since Day 1. Stupid theme challenges, since Day 1 (although I think they got worse around the time they switched to the horrible CGI credits they always do now, which I think started around Season 4).  Ramsay being fairly arbitrary with his decisions, and ultimately just having them nominate to cause drama (but then doing whatever he wanted to anyway), perhaps from Season 2 onward. 

"Too Many Chefs" is a newer thing, I agree, but not THAT new. They actually had TWENTY chefs in Season 10 (the one that Christina Wilson eventually won), but had at least 15-16 since Season 4. It's only the first three seasons where they had a sane number (12).

Frankly I can be nostalgic about the early shows. There was little to no magic there--just a concept that I wasn't (yet) as fatigued by. 

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2 hours ago, Kromm said:

I think you're putting too much gloss on the early seasons. Was it AS bad as now? No. But it wasn't great--it was marginally better than now at best. I think we just weren't as tired of it yet.

The percentage of bad chefs to decent ones I think was about the same... except maybe HOW bad the bad chefs are is worse now--while IMO the "good" ones back then weren't really any better than the "good ones" now. I mean Ramsay didn't get anyone good enough to last with his company for more than a year until Christina Wilson.. and she's not from the "old seasons"... she was on Season TEN.  That's hardly early days. And as shit as the show this season was in some ways (mostly because of Jackie), I'd actually say the Final 3 were all pretty good--I think any of them would be long term employable by Ramsay, whereas on most of the early seasons you'd be lucky if one person in an entire cast was... and often even that wasn't the case (because of all of the winners that disappeared down a rabbit hole after winning). 

Ridiculous production choices, like camera shakes and boosted crashing sound effects being introduced when Ramsay slams a door, or hits a table have been there since Day 1. Stupid theme challenges, since Day 1 (although I think they got worse around the time they switched to the horrible CGI credits they always do now, which I think started around Season 4).  Ramsay being fairly arbitrary with his decisions, and ultimately just having them nominate to cause drama (but then doing whatever he wanted to anyway), perhaps from Season 2 onward. 

"Too Many Chefs" is a newer thing, I agree, but not THAT new. They actually had TWENTY chefs in Season 10 (the one that Christina Wilson eventually won), but had at least 15-16 since Season 4. It's only the first three seasons where they had a sane number (12).

Frankly I can be nostalgic about the early shows. There was little to no magic there--just a concept that I wasn't (yet) as fatigued by. 

I think you've made a few fair points, actually. I think I was defaulting to the "old seasons are better" tactic that I tend to do with most shows. I'll hold my hands up and admit I've only seen parts of season ten, so I think Christina was a good winner, but I think that she (and probably Meghan and T) are the only really talented chefs we've had for a long time

You said season ten is hardly "early days" and then described it as "not THAT new". I think that after season 7 or 8 the show enters it's "new" period and starts to go downhill for me. They've got too many contestants now so it's hard to actually get to know some of them (like Sherkenna and Meese). I presume it depends on how many episodes they want to make.

I think some of the drama did start in the early seasons with Ramsay. Hell, Virginia was kept in so long she almost won.

I think the problem I'm having is that the first few seasons actually seemed new and interesting to watch, and I didn't give up halfway through, whereas now, they drag it out for so long they have to keep thing interesting.

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This show is what is has always been.  The very ugly, toothless, inbred, idiot cousin of the much better looking, well spoken Top Chef.  

Its like Top Chef is George Clooney and Hell's Kitchen is Pauly Shore.  

Both have their merits....sometimes you want to watch a classy flick like Ocean's Eleven...and sometimes you want to watch....BioDome, or Encino Man

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1 minute ago, RCharter said:

This show is what is has always been.  The very ugly, toothless, inbred, idiot cousin of the much better looking, well spoken Top Chef.  

Its like Top Chef is George Clooney and Hell's Kitchen is Pauly Shore.  

Both have their merits....sometimes you want to watch a classy flick like Ocean's Eleven...and sometimes you want to watch....BioDome, or Encino Man

The only reason I like to watch Hell's Kitchen is because I take a shot every time I heart Ramsay say "It's fucking RAW" or something to that effect.

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Just now, hkalex said:

The only reason I like to watch Hell's Kitchen is because I take a shot every time I heart Ramsay say "It's fucking RAW" or something to that effect.

EXACTLY!  No one on Top Chef is going to call a contestant "a sweaty donkey," which is why I tune in for HK!

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Part of its issue is that they never change up the formula. Even the contestants are copy and paste versions of ones from past seasons. There's always a fat dumb guy, a misogynistic guy, some woman that looks and sounds like she came from the local prison, someone who has to fill the "angry black woman" stereotype, a doofy Italian guy that can sort of cook, someone over 40 that has no shot of winning, etc. Same contestants, different names. That's one thing.

The teams are always men vs women.

The menu has been the exact same since season 1. How many times can you watch someone burn scallops or send up raw beef Wellington before it stops being entertaining? 

They have to play Jaws-esque music over everything, even when someone is just picking their nose or making mashed potatoes. Making every possible thing dramatic ironically makes everything less dramatic. The teasers for upcoming episodes are completely stupid (shows a guy and girl contestant laughing together... ARE THEY IN LOVE???... 2 contestants argue for 10 seconds... THE BIGGEST FIGHT IN HELLS KITCHEN YOU HAVE TO SEE TO BELIEVE!!!!) 

Like I said, the show has just become so ridiculous at this point that it's actually become a parody of itself. It was always ridiculous, but now it's like they're aware of it and just make fun of themselves and don't even attempt to be serious. 

IMO they should change some things up like the menu or the teams. Just make something feel like new again, anything.

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And as someone else mentioned a few posts above, they add these corny camera shakes and door slams to everything which just further adds to the comical/parody effect of the show.

Also, the show has become extremely predictable. Every challenge ends in a tie and it's up to one contestant to win it all. It was especially noticeable in the last challenge for the finale this season when Kristin and Ariel would alternatively get either an 8 or a 9 in each round so that it ended in a tie. Every time Ramsay says "Stop!" or "AWL OF YOOOO COME ERE!!!!" you know he's about to ride someone's ass for sending up raw meat or fish or whatever. Every time a contestant brags about how great they are on a certain station, they immediately tank right after. When a contestant gets called up for elimination you know when Ramsay is going to do a fakeout and say "Back in line!" or when he's going to switch them to the other team. "Etc. etc. etc. You can predict the results of everything at this point if you've watched long enough. That's another reason why it feels so stale. It's the same effing show with the same effing formula, same menu, same challenges, same cast, and the same script, season after season after season. The only thing that changes literally is the actual contestants. 

Edited by BogoGog24
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I feel like most of them look like they just came out of rehab/local jail.  I love the corny camera shakes, and the narrator absolutely playing into the corniness.  This show is a disaster!  I love it!

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21 hours ago, BogoGog24 said:

Part of its issue is that they never change up the formula. Even the contestants are copy and paste versions of ones from past seasons. There's always a fat dumb guy, a misogynistic guy, some woman that looks and sounds like she came from the local prison, someone who has to fill the "angry black woman" stereotype, a doofy Italian guy that can sort of cook, someone over 40 that has no shot of winning, etc. Same contestants, different names. That's one thing.

The teams are always men vs women.

The menu has been the exact same since season 1. How many times can you watch someone burn scallops or send up raw beef Wellington before it stops being entertaining? 

They have to play Jaws-esque music over everything, even when someone is just picking their nose or making mashed potatoes. Making every possible thing dramatic ironically makes everything less dramatic. The teasers for upcoming episodes are completely stupid (shows a guy and girl contestant laughing together... ARE THEY IN LOVE???... 2 contestants argue for 10 seconds... THE BIGGEST FIGHT IN HELLS KITCHEN YOU HAVE TO SEE TO BELIEVE!!!!) 

Like I said, the show has just become so ridiculous at this point that it's actually become a parody of itself. It was always ridiculous, but now it's like they're aware of it and just make fun of themselves and don't even attempt to be serious. 

IMO they should change some things up like the menu or the teams. Just make something feel like new again, anything.

I have to agree to this. The contestants are just copy and paste versions. After rewatching season 4, I've noticed thatJennifer season 13 was Corey season 4. Sterling season 13 was Bobby season 4. Sherkenna season 15 was Jen season 4.

The menu has changed, albeit very little. The season 4 risotto looks way different to the season 15 risotto. In the older seasons, they also seemed to focus on desserts a bit more, and though I believe they still do them, I don't think they make good TV anymore.

They should, in some ways, keep it to the old format. Don't dramatise the signature dishes, don't have too many contestants, etc. But they need to revamp it. Cut the red team, women, blue team, men format - it was only inclued for some contestants to be labelled as sexist. Have NEW challenges - don't just cycle around the old ones . There's a setlist, I believe -

  • the mass-produce vote challenge (school, i.e)
  • the "judge" challenge (Andi's wedding, i.e)
  • the "one person in the kitchen at any one time" challenge
  • the collect ingredients and cook with them challenge
  • the "taste it now make it" challenge
  • the "blind taste test" challenge
  • the "here's a protein, cook with it" challenge
  • the "make a specific dish in pairs we're never going to cook with" challenge
  • the "grocery store" challenge.

I can safely say that if you watch any season of the show, you will see at least six of these challenges.

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My biggest pet peeve is when Gordon Ramsay launches into these melodramatic emotional appeal rants,"Show some respect! This is such an important/special night! These people are this and that! How dare you! I wouldn't do this to A DOG!" Okay, seriously, it's dinner. Get over it. I don't know if such comments are intended to make the viewers feel more invested in the drama, but I wish Gordon Ramsay would choose pragmatism over guilt-tripping moral diatribes. I don't care if the chef messed up on risotto for the pope, or for someone off the street. Maybe it motivates the cooks, but as a viewer, it's all the same to me. It's a televised competition, not a real business/dining experience. These diners are willing participants signing up for a reality show. They knew what they were getting themselves into.

Edited by Roccos Brother
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My biggest peeve is that the chefs chosen by Ramsey to be on the show are so skeevy that I never want to eat in a Ramsey restaurant.  I can't really afford it much anyway, but last year for my birthday, I had to turn down an invitation to go to one of Las Vegas because I was afraid of who would be in the kitchen.  I know in my head that they can't all be dirty, incompetent fools, but my stomach just doesn't believe my head.

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1 hour ago, Sayla Vee said:

My biggest peeve is that the chefs chosen by Ramsey to be on the show are so skeevy that I never want to eat in a Ramsey restaurant.  I can't really afford it much anyway, but last year for my birthday, I had to turn down an invitation to go to one of Las Vegas because I was afraid of who would be in the kitchen.  I know in my head that they can't all be dirty, incompetent fools, but my stomach just doesn't believe my head.

The dirty, incompetent fools are just on the show for drama.  The chefs who are hired are nothing like them.  I've been to 3 GR restaurants in Las Vegas, and one at the London airport.  Never ate anything in any of them that I wouldn't love to eat again . . . funds permitting.  

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Truthfully, I had a dream of this particular fix happening, and actually, oddly enough, the recently-booted Josh Trovato from HK14 and this season, HK17, brought it up, too, though kind of indirectly.

If they want to keep this show running, then don't be afraid to do some things to keep it fresh.  Forget having two teams and kitchens.  At least at the outset.  Let's try doing some renovations and having three teams and kitchens -- red, blue, and the one Josh brought up: green.  Have six chefs in each kitchen -- three men, three women.  This way, everyone's forced to really step up right away, because there'll be nowhere to hide with smaller teams.  Have Ramsay either declare one or two losing teams, or even all three at least one time, and eliminate one chef a week.  Then, at F12, compress or reshuffle the teams into two kitchens -- the two kitchens who've lost the fewest people by the time that number arrives.  And then, at either F5 or F6 (whichever one Ramsay seems to be doing now), go to the black jackets and merge into one team for the remainder of the season.  At the very least, it'd be something fresh and new.

I know this'll probably be ignored here, but I thought I'd throw it out.

Edited by Star Aristille
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6 hours ago, Star Aristille said:

Let's try doing some renovations and having three teams and kitchens -- red, blue, and the one Josh brought up: green.  Have six chefs in each kitchen -- three men, three women.  This way, everyone's forced to really step up right away, because there'll be nowhere to hide with smaller teams.  Have Ramsay either declare one or two losing teams, or even all three this time, and eliminate one chef a week.  Then, at F12, compress or reshuffle the teams into two kitchens -- the two kitchens who've lost the fewest people by the time that number arrives.  And then, at either F5 or F6 (whichever one Ramsay seems to be doing now), go to the black jackets and merge into one team for the remainder of the season.  At the very least, it'd be something fresh and new.

Sounds like someone watches a lot of Survivor  :)

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Hello everyone,,

There have been a handful but not many over 16.5 seasons.

Is it simply demographics or is Ramsay unfamiliar with Asian cuisines and  couldn't fairly judge challenge dishes using Asian seasonings and techniques?

It seems strange to have challenges where white and black cooks are criticized for not making more authentic Asian dishes yet not see one person of  Asian ancestry besides the guest judge (if one is even brought in).

I've noticed Ramsay seems to be extremely spice-averse as well (perhaps his French training means he wasn't exposed to spicier dishes in his past?). Does that lead to the equally small number of Latino contestants despite the large number of commercial kitchen Latinos in the industry in the US?

Edited by PetterJhon

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I am not that familiar with which restaurants Ramsay owns, but he’s hiring the winner to work in one of them as head chef. That might have a lot to do with it.

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I've been wondering if there's going to be a season 19 since Gordon has a lot of other irons in the fire.  Anyone know?  

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8 hours ago, mlp said:

I've been wondering if there's going to be a season 19 since Gordon has a lot of other irons in the fire.  Anyone know?  

I read on Premiere Date News that it's been renewed for season 19, but no schedule has been released.  I also read in this article that he's moving the entire show to his Hell's Kitchen restaurant in Las Vegas.  The article says he's going to film the next 2 seasons there, so presumably he's been renewed for season 20 too.

I'm not sure how I feel about the move yet.

BTW, is anyone watching his series "Uncharted" or am I the only one?  I don't see a thread for it.  It's supposedly a 6 or 7 episode limited thing.

Edited by Yeah No

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Thanks, Yeah No.  I'm assuming that Gordon has rented some place to film the show and house contestants because I can't imagine him turning a motley crew loose in one of his restaurants.  Aside from the obvious, that would necessitate the loss of many, many business hours.  

I haven't seen Uncharted but I've read several reviews and they were all basically the same.  Apparently, the show focuses on stunts by Gordon and cook offs with natives of various countries during which Gordon is rather disparaging of the people and sometimes downright rude.  Anthony Bourdain he is not.

https://www.eater.com/2019/7/27/8932224/gordon-ramsay-uncharted-national-geographic

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5 hours ago, mlp said:

Thanks, Yeah No.  I'm assuming that Gordon has rented some place to film the show and house contestants because I can't imagine him turning a motley crew loose in one of his restaurants.  Aside from the obvious, that would necessitate the loss of many, many business hours.  

I can't imagine it either but the articles on this say that he'll be filming it at the restaurant.  I had the same thoughts.  It makes me kind of skeptical about the accuracy of the articles.

6 hours ago, mlp said:

I haven't seen Uncharted but I've read several reviews and they were all basically the same.  Apparently, the show focuses on stunts by Gordon and cook offs with natives of various countries during which Gordon is rather disparaging of the people and sometimes downright rude.  Anthony Bourdain he is not.

https://www.eater.com/2019/7/27/8932224/gordon-ramsay-uncharted-national-geographic

LOL, he's like a polar opposite of Tony.  He's way too hyper and focused on action all the time.  He doesn't take the time to actually smell the roses.  He's always talking or running around. He thinks we all want to see him show off about how he can climb trees, shoot goats and do all sorts of daredevil stuff.  Ummm.....no.  I've watched two episodes so far and I have not seen him be disparaging or rude toward anyone, but I do think he's kind of cringe inducing anyway.  Like in the most recent episode in New Zealand he cooked up this huge seafood feast including their variety of abalone for a group of people with Maori roots.  He kept asking them if they liked it and the response was polite but less than enthusiastic.  He's too much of a bull in a china shop to have the sensitivity for this kind of thing.  Like the article said, it seems to be more about him than learning about the culture or the people.   I'm sticking with it for now if only because the photography is absolutely beautiful and I'm still able to learn something from it in spite of him.

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