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How to Improve Hell


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#1

ProfCrash

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Posted May 11, 2008 @ 11:51 PM

We are in our fourth season of Hell's Kitchen. What can be done to improve on the show?

There is the obvious, more of Gordon in casual clothes or no clothes, better rewards, and chefs that are actually competent. I am sure we can think of a few more ideas to spice up the show.

I wouldn't mind if they started with fewer Chef's and have two or three services before the first Chef is tossed. Perhaps even starting one Chef for each station. The first elimination comes only after the Chef's have rotated through all of the stations. It decreases the silly strategy at the beginning of the game and gives each Chef time to show what they can really do without the pressure of elimination. Maybe then we will see Chef's performing better at the start and feeling more confident by the time eliminations start occurring.

I really would like to see the teams be mixed gender from the beginning as well. I get the feeling they start with teams based on gender more for dorm reasons then anything else. If the team is in the same dorm it makes for more drama. If that is the case then there should be an easy way around that.

#2

mimi46

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Posted May 12, 2008 @ 3:03 PM

And find a chef-host who doesn't have to rely on temper tantrums, endless profanity/insults, & the ever trite food fling to get ratings &/or his point across!

#3

erino

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Posted May 12, 2008 @ 5:37 PM

I like the idea of not eliminating anyone in the first few shows, but I don't think the producers would go for that. So I will suggest what I also suggested for Top Chef: Don't eliminate anyone in the first episode. Give everyone at least that much time to acclimate. You could still have a top group and a bottom group, but those chefs would get a second chance. We as viewers can't really even remember who's who in the first episode.

As to the profanity, it's way overboard, but that's the character of the show, no? I've read that in England, Australia, etc., they don't censor at all, so it would kind of be silly for the US to go to the other extreme.

#4

chefcatt

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Posted May 13, 2008 @ 9:13 AM

I'd like to see it be a 2 hour show instead of an hour and spend some more time showing us things like the actual menu, more of the prep and the cooking.

Sure some people tune in just for the swearing... but I usually find by the end of the show that there were so many more things I wanted to see.

For example, on the signature dish part... apparently you submit two and the producers pick the one for you. Show us that. Show us some of the thought process that goes into picking what you're making.

I guess I'd just like to see more of the cooking (in correct sequence) Maybe they could make a separate show of "hell's kitchen extras" and show it late at night.

#5

erino

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Posted May 13, 2008 @ 10:41 AM

chefcatt, I agree. Many of us would like to see more about the food. I have learned so much watching these kinds of shows about a variety of foods, but they are often in the background behind the drama.

#6

ProfCrash

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Posted May 13, 2008 @ 11:26 AM

I agree. It would be great to see Gordon showing them how to make a dish. I know he does that because contestants have discussed it.

#7

jennifuh

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Posted May 13, 2008 @ 4:28 PM

And find a chef-host who doesn't have to rely on temper tantrums, endless profanity/insults, & the ever trite food fling to get ratings &/or his point across!

Yeah, but that's kind of the attraction of the show. Otherwise I can watch Top Chef!

In previous seasons, they showed GR teaching. The contestants would have to then show what they learned in a challenge. They also didn't split the teams male/female, which bugs me. Why does it always have to be men vs. women? They'll end up merging closer to the end, anyway.

Since this is a Fox show, I doubt we're ever going to see anything in the way of cooking fundamentals, or learning experiences, or the thought process behind each chef and their style. Not when we can see plenty of hot tub action, screaming fights and emergency room visits.

#8

InnerCanuck

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Posted May 13, 2008 @ 6:05 PM

GR in handcuffs, ProfCrash? ;-D

I'd like to see the swearing toned down (I want this for TC, too) though a well-placed "fucking donkeys" will always be welcome. I'd like to see the draaahhhmaaa toned down, too. Competition is great, but let's see them compete, not just scheme & bitch at each other.

Food. I watch these shows for the food prep, to see techniques, to try & judge contestant ability for myself based on what I can see them do, since I have to rely on GR and the diners for information on the taste. I want more food!

The dry, snarky voiceovers crack me up, but I don't need half of the previous segment reviewed after each commercial break. Keep the snark, spare me the rehash.

Let GR be teaching/mentoring GR, not just US TV GR. Throwing dishes is amusing, but it's one note. GR isn't a one note personality. He's more of a jazz improvisation.

Edited by InnerCanuck, May 13, 2008 @ 6:06 PM.


#9

Haveahabit

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Posted May 13, 2008 @ 9:10 PM

My primary vote is for competent contestants. Anyone who's watched Boiling Point knows how awful GR can be toward truly able people who've worked with him for years. Competent contestants would not rachet down the tantrums.

My other suggestion is from AI. Why not spent a bunch of episodes choosing the contestants? Let's see the audition tapes and hear the commentary - sort of like MST 3000. It could be a real hoot.

#10

ProfCrash

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Posted May 13, 2008 @ 10:33 PM

GR in handcuffs, ProfCrash? ;-D


Awww you noticed my fetish. OK so it really doesn't take that much to notice it.

But GR in handcuffs would be deadly given the numb nuts that they are in the kitchen. He really needs all sorts of ways to protect himself. Which is too bad because GR in handcuffs would be nice to see.

Covered in chocolate.

And whipped cream.

Excuse me while I go take a shower.

#11

Cherry Wire

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Posted May 14, 2008 @ 2:03 AM

Since this is a Fox show, I doubt we're ever going to see anything in the way of cooking fundamentals, or learning experiences, or the thought process behind each chef and their style. Not when we can see plenty of hot tub action, screaming fights and emergency room visits.


I still wish they'd try to focus a little more on the cooking aspect. It's almost as if the chef aspect of the show is something the producers were forced to include, but they're really trying to be another version of Big Brother, Paradise Hotel, MTV's Real World, or even daytime soaps. Does Fox's audience prefer yet another one of these shows rather than a reality show that's genuinely (and uniquely) focused on cooking? Wait, don't answer that...

I do like GR's tantrums though. Another change I'd suggest is to get GR all liquored up for one of the services.

#12

Warcos Long

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Posted May 14, 2008 @ 7:34 AM

I guess I'd just like to see more of the cooking (in correct sequence) Maybe they could make a separate show of "hell's kitchen extras" and show it late at night.


I've seen a 'raw' version of Hell's Kitchen on TV once, which is basically what happens during the service without the drama queen customers and the narrator exaggerating every little tidbit.

#13

Paula in Playa

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Posted May 14, 2008 @ 9:51 AM

My votes are for
  • better (heck, competent) contestants
  • teams based on something other than gender
  • a Gordon more like the BBC Kitchen Nightmares Gordon


#14

Jeaux35

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Posted May 14, 2008 @ 9:58 AM

I would like to see more competent chefs start out. Someone you can really root for because they know what the hell they are doing. It would also heighten the drama of the eliminations, because talented people would be leaving, not just low-hanging fruit for 8-10 episodes. Right now this is like watching a professional football team taking on St Mary's School for Handicapped Girls. Not much fun. I'd rather see a more level playing field.

For the Love of God, please stop repeating the last 20-30 seconds of what happened just before the commercial. I do not have short term memory loss. It's just wasting time.

I also think that should not have an elimination on the first show. We don't even get to know the contestants before one of them is gone. But this is a problem with every reality competition show.

It might be interesting to see them draw for teams every day. That way a lot of the scheming and alliance-forming could be disrupted, because you don't know which side you will be working the next day.

GRrrrr needs to tone down the outbursts. They used to be less frequent, which gave them more impact. Now they happen so often they have lost alot of their punch. Less can be more. Who can forget his most famous meltdown over Non-Stiiiiicckkk!?

Improvement arcs. I'm always amazed how complete fuck-ups suddenly have kitchen skills as they lose more and more chefs. Wouldn't you think that losing more people in the kitchen would make it harder to complete a service? But that doesn't happen. Let's see their improvements. That makes the mistakes stand out more.

#15

hissyfit

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Posted May 14, 2008 @ 10:15 AM

Serious contestents who actually have some cooking skills and no Big Brother rejects.

More on how to put a menu together for a restaurant. More technical info.

Get rid of the boy vs. girl. Maybe add the element that a team leader is assigned each week by GR so you get an idea of who can actually run a kitchen.

Make the Sous Chef Scott walk around shirtless once in awhile. He's got a certain scary appeal.

#16

fetchzee

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Posted May 14, 2008 @ 11:36 AM

Have the sous chefs become more actively involved on each team (kind of like the trainers on The Biggest Loser) during the preps and services, which might cut down on the Survivor-isms on each team and get them more active with the cooking, at least for the preliminary rounds. For that matter, have an early episode where either the sous chefs or GR explain the various ways the contestants can screw up the various dishes (undercooking the Wellingtons, overcooking the risotto, etc.)

#17

Paula in Playa

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Posted May 14, 2008 @ 4:35 PM

It might be interesting to see them draw for teams every day. That way a lot of the scheming and alliance-forming could be disrupted, because you don't know which side you will be working the next day.


I really like that!

#18

thistle5

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Posted May 30, 2008 @ 10:42 PM

I started to watch HK in season 3, & have just finished watching the first 4 episodes of season 1, courtesy of Netflix. My immediate impressions-season 1 competitors are head & shoulders above season 3 & 4. GR seems to have mellowed in his comments towards the general public & staff (I loved when he told the ladies to go back to plastic surgery)-I wonder why it seems that the pool of applicants has been reduced, to a lower standard? I suppose the producers thinks it makes for better tv, but I would rather see serious competitors facing GR's wrath...

#19

mbro

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Posted Jun 3, 2008 @ 10:10 PM

Uncensored... First the regular show on Fox, then maybe the same episode uncensored on fox.com I know if they did that I'd watch twice

#20

Chaotic Blue

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Posted Jun 4, 2008 @ 5:51 AM

I could live with less experienced chefs too. Hell's Kitchen would be more like a crash course in working in a kitchen, for aspiring chefs. The price could be a scholarship or internship of some kind (plus money). The challenges and servings could get harder and harder as the contestants are supposed to have learned more.

#21

Cherry Wire

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Posted Jun 4, 2008 @ 5:31 PM

Even if the show doesn't change, the casting on the male side needs a shake-up. They need to move away from casting mouthy, obnoxious alpha-males from NY and NJ. As last night's episode showed, there comes a point beyond which their antics cross over from entertaining to unwatchable and draining. Mix things up a little, show us how other personality types would deal with GR.

If these producers are addicted to casting big-mouthed NYers (as "Kitchen Nightmares" seems to suggest), maybe they can do a spinoff where they cast only that type, and have Anthony Bourdain whip 'em all into shape boot-camp style.

#22

Manchot

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Posted Jun 9, 2008 @ 7:22 AM

I really don't like the fact that pretty much everything is subjective, and according to Ramsay's judgment. It seems to me that he his decisions are always made based on what will maximize drama, and it's really annoying. For example, has there ever been a challenge where the winning team didn't beat the losing team by one unit of whatever the contest units are?

#23

ProfCrash

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Posted Jun 10, 2008 @ 4:31 PM

I think they need to change the prize. Instead of making it a large monetary prize, make it a year apprenticeship with Gordon at the same salary that his senior Sous Chef makes. That would be a better wage then many of the younger contestants make and would bring people who really want to be Chef's. The opportunity to learn from one of the top chef's in the world would probably attract a decent number of really good chefs who are looking for a break.

#24

Yzerra

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Posted Jun 13, 2008 @ 3:10 PM

I think that the show needs to be alot more focused on the skill/creativity of the chefs considering what the grand prize that is being offered. They need to do 1 of 2 things...

Change the contestants or change the prize.

#25

bumblehare74

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Posted Jun 13, 2008 @ 3:48 PM

I would like to see all of the contestants cook one dish from beginning to end. We are now down to only a few contestants and Bobby has just been eliminated. I don't recall seeing any of Bobby's dishes in great detail during service.

I know this show seems to be all about the drama, but it would nice to at least see a complete dish or two from the few contestants that remain in the competition.

#26

Yzerra

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Posted Jun 13, 2008 @ 5:36 PM

That would be a neat idea, but we would just be watching them do what they were already going to tell us.

The food gets out...
It isn't cooked properly...
It is done very well.

The show is bit lazy in this aspect, but then again we never see anyone on Iron Chef or Top Chef cook an entire dish from start to finish.

#27

QuiGonJ

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Posted Jun 17, 2008 @ 12:29 AM

How about "For the first time ever in Hell's Kitchen, we admit that phrase is trite and usually follows with announcements as interesting as 'Chef Ramsay gets a hangnail.'"?

A season with out "firsts" would be interesting.

#28

GreyhoundMom

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Posted Jun 18, 2008 @ 4:21 PM

Absolutely #1 for me - better contestants. I'm tired of seeing line-cooks and "people who like to cook" on the show. I'd like to see real chefs, and I'd also like to see what they are doing to prove they are worthy of working for GR. I don't see them coming up with original ideas, nor do I see them preparing their ideas from beginning to end. I don't see the critique behind any of it - and that is disappointing. The show has basically become a joke featuring Waffle House line cooks being shoved around & yelled at by GR for an hour.

If GR is running the show, then why isn't he mentoring these people? His talents are just being wasted and we are reduced to the Jerry Springer version of Top Chef. Entertaining for about 2 minutes...but I'm losing interest.

#29

Manchot

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Posted Jun 18, 2008 @ 9:01 PM

Even if the show doesn't change, the casting on the male side needs a shake-up. They need to move away from casting mouthy, obnoxious alpha-males from NY and NJ. As last night's episode showed, there comes a point beyond which their antics cross over from entertaining to unwatchable and draining. Mix things up a little, show us how other personality types would deal with GR.

I'd tend to agree, but I think that it's inevitable. Almost by definition, the contestants on the show are all going to be uneducated. People with college degrees generally don't aspire to be chefs, and people who aspire to be chefs don't usually attend college. Heck, there was even a guy on the show last season who was probably mentally challenged.

#30

ProfCrash

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Posted Jun 19, 2008 @ 9:26 AM

Many culinary schools grant Bachelors degrees in Business and other fields that are related to running a restaurant. There are probably plenty of folks who went to college and then decided to try being a Chef.