I'll freely admit. I have one insidiously putrid addiction. I watch Hell's Kitchen.
Just Hell's Kitchen and occasionally I'll follow it up with Master Chef. But let me assure you of something. Gordo is cooking up more than perfectly seared scallops and Beef Wellington . He has constructed a market niche which I believe deserves further exploitation. Here's his 5 step program for ratings success...
1) Bring together a group of commoners who have a virtually unattainable goal or aspiration.
2) Ridicule and berate them until they cry.
3) Exploit their petty feuds as they will eventually turn on each other (this is the most vital part - think of it in these terms... a 2012 Lord of the Flies battle reenactment in the Fox studios)
4) Reward and punish them accordingly for their successes and transgressions (kind of like a North Korean despot... a Fox network televised God).
5) Finally, bestow the last man/woman standing with a Klingon (Purple) Heart of Targ.
Of course, this isn't the real prize. It's more of a metaphorical Heart of Targ. The ultimate non-posthumous victor is bestowed with the coveted title of head chef at Gordonathon's ritziest, new restaurant "Hellicious" or whatever.
Incidentally, this pic seems inaccurate. First of all, those look like human "whitey" fingers. There's no such thing as a caucasian Klingon. And what kind of self-respecting Klingon would dine with a fork, or any utensil for that matter? And where the fuck is the ceremonial goblet of bloodwine? And what's with the fine dinnerware and garnish? Suffice to say, I have serious reservations about this Heart of Targ depiction. Perhaps I should have went with a picture of the Klingon delicacy "Gagh."
Now that's more like it. F'in Gagh!
I'm pretty sure my readers can discern the difference between Gagh and Targ.
Alright, enough of this Trekkie gibberish. One reason Gordon Ramsey has a monster ratings hit on Fox... cooking shows are currently all the rage. Average Americans might be unable to afford dining out in a posh restaurant, but they can always pick up the remote and watch others. By the way, I always feel bad for the distinguished guests of honor who get to dine on Hell's Kitchen. He brings in an esteemed stateswoman like Condoleeza Rice or international soccer star David Beckham. He'll welcome them graciously and have them seated. "It's truly an honor to have you here this fine evening. You're an inspiration to us all." Then he proceeds to scream his lungs out at everyone. He'll clang the silverware and dump a plate of soupy vegetable lasagna on some blubbering girl's head. "Do you think I'm stupid??? Get the fuck out!" These merciless hijinks would not seem conducive to the fine dining experience. I don't know. It would make me uncomfortable. But then again, I have the ability to sense even the slightest discomfort in others (George Costanza). To which Jerry responds, "Are you sensing anything right now."
This 7 minute blurb is hit and miss...
So what's my point with all this? Well, I think Gordon Ramsey is serving up a magical recipe. Not necessarily just for foodie/drama television addicts. I think you'll inevitably see others jump on this "divide and conquer" 5 step tv programming conceptual bandwagon. That's the true genius. Kind of like an acceptable adult version of bullying on a widespread, syndicated scale.
Imagine the possibilities. Rookie policemen and firefighters being challenged and tormented by a master superior. Naturally, they'd go through the same process. How about a show for aspiring physicians in a med school environment? Or maybe a bunch pre-law students? How about a show called Ultimate Librarian? You could have everyone in the library shushing each other. Ahh, the looks of discomfort and agony from those seeking serenity. "These books aren't going to shelve themselves, you piece of shit!" Personally, I'd like to see a fiery, intensive lobbyist training session on Capitol Hill. You could be the next Jack Abramoff! And one vital suggestion... regardless of the vocational field, you should always throw in a romance/cheating angle. That's a no-brainer.
So that's the gist of my idea. Just steal Gordon Ramsey's idea, dress it up a little and mass produce some more reality tv crap. I don't know any Hollywood producers, but if you do, feel free to steal my idea. It's just the American cycle of theft and exploitation. Nothing more. Nothing less. The key to success is the aforementioned 5 steps. So start steppin'.
One last thought. I've grown exhausted and disgusted with the homely-wannabe-silly-whiny-thuggish personalities on Hell's Kitchen. I just can't take it anymore. I mean... I understand why the producers are drawn to these nimrod goofs, but sometimes they make me shake violently with rage and contempt. It's just something about that oafish, ginger from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. When he does that Flavor Flav impersonation... "Ahhh yeah." I cringe in horror.