In my never-ending quest to hunt down quality television
programming, I have been slapped with the realization that I am now whoring out
my dignity to several crappy reality game shows. This means that I now suckle the precious
milk from the teats of such well-regarded productions as Hell’s Kitchen,
Survivor and The Amazing Race.
I am not proud of this.
Oh sure, I’ve flirted with Top Chef, french-kissed America’s
Next Top Model, sucked on American Idol’s toes and engaged in an
intense, squishy three-way with The Apprentice, The Biggest Loser
and Dancing With The Stars. But,
these were just drunken lapses in judgment. Mere flings. They were not
Trust me, I held out as long as I could. Please, don’t judge me. I am a weak man.
Of course, “reality” television isn’t a good representation
of reality at all. It’s all edited, well-lit
and frequently scripted.
And, you know, I don’t have a problem with this. I mean, if you put a camera in my bedroom,
all you’d see is me waking up with half a boner, an overactive bladder and then
long stretches of time devoted to me contemplating what kind of burrito I want
Yeah, that’s real reality. “Reality” television, on the other hand, would be a tightly edited
montage of me scratching the rashes on my ass set to the music of Journey.
As all the hip kids know, Hell’s Kitchen is a show
filled with competing chefs who are generally overweight, sluggish, have awful
haircuts and/or facial hair, sweat a lot and are insanely obnoxious. Hell’s Kitchen plunders the depths of
the genetic gene pool and extracts the most horrible, egotistical and generally
unattractive (inside and out) people you will ever see on television (even
worse than those train wrecks on The Real World and the vapid mannequins
on Keeping Up With The Kardashians or any of the numerous reality shows
that clog the airwaves on E!, MTV, Bravo and A & E).
These unfortunate bastards are constantly berated by chef
Gordon Ramsay, a foreigner (meaning from another country, not the band
Foreigner, who recorded such hits as “Urgent” and “Waiting For a Girl Like
You,” but hot damn, wouldn’t that make a fine show?) who cusses non-stop and is
frequently as sweaty and as obnoxious as the horrible contestants he yells at. Chef Ramsay also possesses the charming
ability to scream at people from across the room, as well as the charming
ability to scream at them inches from their faces. And, in all this time, nobody has yet punched
this raving lunatic in the neck or stabbed him with a fork, which makes me
believe that most of the show is staged. Also, there’s a lacquered-haired Belgian maitre‘d named Jean-Philippe,
who looks like the genetic amalgamation of Pee-Wee Herman and Mr. Bean. This annoying turd is consistently flummoxed,
befuddled and smarmy all at once, which, when you think about it, is quite a
Aside from making me hate life and draining all hope I have
for humanity, the goal of the show is to award one “chef” (the winner of the
competition) an executive chef position at one of Ramsay’s restaurants. Unfortunately, none of these restaurants
include a Fudrucker’s.
Anyway, everybody on the show is either a hot-head, an
egomaniac, or a lethargic waste of space, which, now that I think about it,
pretty much describes the staff at my local Subway sandwich shop. And all of this makes me wonder, “Are these maniacs
really the cream of the crop when it comes to chefs?”
Essentially, the program is like a culinary Scared
Straight, but, instead of convicts and criminals yelling at snickering
juvenile delinquents, you got Chef Ramsay spewing his spittle all over a bunch
of catty, bratty cooks. In Scared
Straight, the wayward youths are “straightened-out” by the convicts, ‘cause
once you have a large man threatening to sodomize you with his tattoo-covered
elbow, you can bet your sweet ass you’re gonna clean up your act. On Hell’s Kitchen, Chef Ramsay has yet
to threaten anybody with sodomy, but I guarantee that it’s just a matter of
time. Apparently, this red-faced jackass
believes yelling and screaming actually makes people cook better. This makes about as much sense as Larry Flynt
giving out running tips.
And, even though I constantly have this gut feeling that the
honeymoon is over, I cannot let go of the show.
Which brings me to yet another love affair. Survivor is another show I consistently
watch; one that takes place in countries with names I don’t know how to write
or pronounce. This show is hosted by
Jeff Probst, a man whose dimples are so deep and spacious that I could probably
shove all the contents of my Uncle’s fannypack into those things and still have
room left over for my lunch.
I love this show for several reasons. Like the frequent shots of snakes, monkeys,
crocodiles, elephants, leopards, warthogs and sperm whales, even though none of
these animals are indigenous to the areas of filming and, if they were, would
pose no threat to the contestants because, well, the producers need them to
Most people watch the show for the intense interactions
between the players, where contestants are always conniving; using their
personal resources to “outwit, outplay and outlast” each other. I, however, prefer to watch because of
pixilated body parts!
Every now and again, a guy or girl will bend over, fall over
or just walk into a gust of wind and momentarily expose an ass crack, a nipple,
or a pubic mound. But, this being a
network show and all, these “offensive” parts are unfortunately blurred out.
Fuck, I would kill for that job. Could I be the nipple-pixilater guy? Please? Please?
The least offensive of this Axis of Programming Evil is The
Amazing Race, mainly because it is filled with contestants that are not as despicable
as the other two shows.
Basically, this show is like that movie Rat Race,
except, instead of Cuba Gooding Jr. and Rowan Atkinson mugging in front of the
camera like a couple of drooling mongoloids, you get a pair of midget stuntmen,
a pair of cheerleaders, a deaf guy and his doting mom and that creepy dude from
the movie Chuck & Buck and his gay Dad. I am not kidding. This is the actual cast of the show.
There’s lots of running around and lots of frustrating cab rides. Oh yeah, and lots of time spent trying to get
plane reservations, train tickets and hailing cabs. Normally, this would be boring as fuck to
watch, but, since this is a “reality” game show, there is fast editing and a
thunderous score that really ratchets up the tension whenever somebody is
reading a train schedule. Can’t you just
feel your heart racing?
I also get a vicarious thrill watching people do shit I
would never do. Like running half-naked
through the snow-covered streets of Siberia. Or barreling down a steep hill carrying
massive cheese-wheels strapped to my back. Or finger-banging the mythical Chupacabra. Actually, the last one I just made up, but
you get the point.
Man, I feel dirty sharing this with all of you. But please, once again, don’t judge me.
I am a weak man.