Monday, September 17, 2012

Hell's Kitchen Season 10 Recap

Season 10 Recap

Still constipated over the crap that was season 10

Alright, some overall thoughts on the train wreck of a season that's just been jammed down our throats.  I've repeatedly chastised HK and Gordon Ramsay throughout the season and I can safely say that season 10 is where HK has bottomed out.  Really quick - if you're the smartass that's going to say "well if you don't like it then don't watch it," yeah, blow me and don't visit this blog anymore.  HK is one of the only shows I actually go out of my way to watch and I've seen every season of it.  And this is the frickin' Internet anyway.  Bitching and complaining is what it was built for.

Why did this season suck?  A combination of things.  First and foremost - Gordon Ramsay has complete control over everything he does.  And he's earned it with sexy ratings, millions of dollars, and a general consensus that his shows are totally badass.  But the problem is that complete control will eventually lead to a complete downfall.  Because Gordon has such an impressive background and a trail of success, suddenly outside opinion becomes less and less relevant.  Gordon now has four shows on Fox; HK, MasterChef, Kitchen Nightmares, and Hotel Hell.  He has other shows in Britain, owns about a million restaurants, and makes bunches of other special appearances.  The guy's booked until the apes take over the planet. 

Inevitably with so much on one's plate, shortcut creation becomes necessary and here's where we come to why season 10 of HK sucked:  I don't think Gordon was fully prepared this time around.  I think he had so much on his plate but thought, hey, I could kinda halfass some things and still churn out a product that people will love!  And you know what?  Most people probably did.  But when put up against the previous nine seasons, season 10 just flatout clogged the toilet and overflowed.  

One of the issues was the contestants: THEY WERE BOOOOOOORING.  Most lacked any real culinary skill and most lacked any personality whatsoever.  Let's just go through them one by one:

WINNER: Christina - one of the few contestants who had both skill and personality.  I'm glad she won.  This rant has nothing to do with her.

Well deserved

RUNNER-UP: Justin, Generic White Guy#1 - Of the 20 chefs to cook in all of the HK finales, Justin is either the worst or second to worst.  The only other finalist who may have a shot at beating Justin for most boring lame-o in the kitchen would possibly be season 1 winner Michael.  But Michael had tattoos and a mohawk.  Justin had absolutely no entertainment value and if you ever go back and watch this season over, take note of the early episodes; Justin rarely makes any appearances to the confession cam.  That's how lame and boring he is.  Seriously, throw any finalist at me that you may think is worse than Justin and I'll refute it.  Season 2's Virginia?  Had no business being in the finals, that's what made it kind of interesting.  Plus she was hot.  Season 8's Russell?  Dude was a total douche, that's good for entertainment.  Season 5's Danny?  Probably the worst winner in HK history since he resigned like a week into his new job, but he was a legit contender in HK's best season.

The most personality Justin showed all season


4) Barbie: Started slow but came on strong.  Her problem was that she lacked leadership skills and for some reason her cooking would be good for several services in a row and then she'd just stink up the joint.  Kept a relatively low profile.  For entertainment purposes she definitely wasn't the most amusing chef there.

The main beneficiary of the Clemenza Safety Blanket

5) Clemenza: Ok, case in point as to why this season sucked.  How in the blue hell did Clemenza finish 5th?  Easily the worst fifth place finisher in HK history and it took him SEVEN nominations before Gordon finally sent him home.  I mean, this guy was just terrible.  Couldn't stay consistent, couldn't stay organized, but the one thing I did like about him was that whenever he'd be up on the chopping block he'd be shaking his head and getting all passionate like he was shocked he was nominated for cooking like crap.  I also had him as an early favorite, but that was before I realized how terrible of a chef he was.  By the way - remember the first episode where they focused on him coughing?  As if they were either foreshadowing something or trying to make him seem weak for being overweight?  Yeah, suck it, editors.  I see right through you. 

6) Robyn: This chick got way more air time than she should have, and the only reason she got that airtime is due to the lack of conflict anywhere else on the show.  We can only take caffeinated Robyn and testicle-chewing Kimmie going at it so many times.  After the 18th argument it just got kind of old.


7) Brian, Generic White Guy #3: Everyone seemed to like this guy, but for much of the season I couldn't stand him.  Looking back I kinda wish he had finished higher cause now I realize how entertaining he actually was.  In my recaps of the first few episodes I'd refer to most of the guys on team blue as Generic White Guy#1-5, seeing as they all looked the same, talked the same, and were more likely to be clones of Agent Smith than actual individuals.  But seeing as how Robyn and Clemenza finished above him, I think he should have stayed longer.

This is how I felt while watching this season

8) Kimmie: Bitch this, bitch that.  Her vocabulary was limited, as most rednecks' are.  Her time in HK consisted of her eating lamb testicles, calling people bitches, and threatening to eat Robyn. 

9) Psycho Bitch Tiffany: She finished about right.  She was kinda crazy at times, kinda drunk at others, had her moments.  One of the few acceptable contestants.

10) Rolls Royce: Wished he would have done better as he was one of the few contestants who showed any personality. 

11) Patrick Van Halen: Pegged him as an early favorite.  Really tried his best but just couldn't take the heat.

12) Roshni: Oh Roshni.  She battled so hard but came up short...LOOOOOL.  But seriously, short jokes aside...uh...I guess there's really nothing else.

13) Guy, Generic White Guy#2: Guy was mildly amusing for a few episodes and he should have gone further but the problem is his best was just below average.

14) Danielle, Pouty Lips: I was infuriated when the elimination was between Pouty Lips here and Guy and they left us with a TBC, promising that the elimination would be REALLY SHOCKING.  Well, it wasn't.  Danielle went home and no one cared.  This was the obvious sign that this season was going to stink.  I mean, if you're trying to pump up an elimination between Danielle and Guy then clearly you've got a problem. 

15) Don, Generic White Guy#4: He was a funny guy.  That's about all he had going for him in HK.

16) Briana: I recall this chick being kinda hot.  Why'd they have to get rid of the hot chick so early?

17) Chris, Generic White Guy#5: Who the hell was this again?

18) Tavon: Hahaha.  For a few minutes you were actually rooting for this guy cause he was just so awful.  

Overall, how many memorable contestants were there this season?  Honestly...maybe three.  Christina for winning.  Justin for being the crappy runner-up.  And Tavon for being historically bad. 

And that's the problem.  There just wasn't enough conflict going on in the kitchen or behind-the-scenes to warrant any real entertainment value, so the editors instead spent all their time putting together any little thing that could be construed as conflict and slapped us in the face with it over and over again.  Guys - there were 6 to be continued's this season. SIX.  Six out of TWENTY.  That's one almost every 3 episodes, and it definitely didn't need to be that way.  Due to all that extra garble, episodes frequently went along at a snail's pace until they mercifully gave us a TBC.  Look, one or two a season, sure, whatever.  But giving us one a couple episodes into the season because an elimination between Danielle and Guy is just TOO DAMN INTENSE FOR US???  Give me a break.

I've had ENOUGH!!!

And it all comes back to Gordon Ramsay, the guy with absolute control.  Here's something I've ranted about a few times already: Remember in episode 12 where it was Red Menu vs. Blue Menu?  Pretty big but fun challenge.  And yet, Gordon wasn't there to deliver the challenge himself.  No, instead he mailed them an f-ing I-Pad with a pre-recorded message.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!  THIS IS WHAT IT'S COME TO, GORDON RAMSAY???  But it didn't stop there.  Gordon didn't make his triumphant reappearance until the next day, just minutes prior to dinner service.  It was at this point that he tried each team's menu and, naturally, both menus kinda sucked.  

Mailing it in

Just minutes before dinner service and a guy with "world class standards" is just then trying the menu?  I'm sorry, no, that's unacceptable.  Someone with supposedly high standards does NOT sample their dinner menu just minutes before the doors are to open.  Is he seriously that blind to his own deteriorating standards?  Or has he just surrounded himself with a bunch of yes men?  

I wish I could have liked this season more than I did but moreso I wish it could have been more like vintage HK.  What's gonna happen next season?  Expect 18 contestants.  Maybe even 20.  Jean Philippe is scheduled to make his return if the Twitter reports are true since journalists these days are too lazy to actually do any real reporting.  But I dunno.  Gordon Ramsay's popularity isn't waning at all so is there any real incentive for him to change his ways?  HK is supposed to be his bread and butter, but that's simply no longer the case.  

Christina deserved this victory and I think will go down as one of the best all-time in HK history, but that's as far as this season's success goes.  After Christina's victory it's a steep hill downward in terms of entertainment value.  Very disappointing, but I'll be watching next season.