I know tomorrow's April Fool's day, so I'm writing this tonight so nobody thinks it's a trick. While most of the Jericho faithful have been very understanding of my writing, but some attacked me as an American Idol, Biggest Loser reality TV loving goon (I don't watch either show).
Back in the day I did enjoy Survivor, say circa 200-2002. Though almost everything I watch these days besides sports and shows about sports is in the realm of scripted television, there is one exception. The truth is I do know how I'm going to fill the void in my Tuesday schedule now open, is in fact with a reality show: Hell's Kitchen, with a new season premiere Tuesday night at 9pm.
I first came across it a couple of years ago when it was in its second season. Somebody told me that I'd probably like it because the Chef (Gordon Ramsay) was more or less what I'd liked to have been in some alternate universe. Someone who could a.) actually cook well and b.) gets paid to yell, scream and curse at people on television. I had to check it out.
Hell's Kitchen is allegedly a contest where people compete for the chance at a nice chef's job at a posh restaurant. That's allegedly what it is. What I think it is, is merely a platform for Gordon Ramsay to go ballistic on television with yelling, screaming and lots of cursing. Sure, they bleep it out - but really, there's no need. There's so many bleeps but I can't ever recall not being very sure of what it was that got bleeped out.
I enjoyed it so much I went back and watched the first season (on my iPod, no less) and watched last summer's (season 3) installment too. I didn't really love last summer's contest and many times I wondered if this show was really an unscripted reality show, or in fact highly scripted. There were parts where I felt last season's show was mostly scripted. But calling a spade a spade, I'm not in it really to see who's in the competition, I just get some kind of vicarious thrill watching Gordon Ramsay live out the life I'm hopefully living in some alternate universe.
I caught one of the promotions over the weekend, and Ramsay is in typical form. Some dope had on a chef's hat that was about 2' tall and Ramsay told him something like, "Take that bleeping hat off. The next time I see you with that bleeping hat I will stick it up your bleeping bleep!" The DVR program guide says about tomorrow night's airing, "Gordon gets physically sick from a contestant's concoction..." I can't wait.
HK has traditionally been a summer show, but a combination of events including the writer's strike bumped it up. HK will get the lead-in from American Idol on Tuesday nights and though I don't normally buy into lead-in as a metric very much, Idol is one exception. If nothing else, if HK loses 50% of Idol's lead-in, which I imagine it will, I will get to say in jest that "Ramsay is a bleeping ratings donkey!" He loves to mock people by calling them donkeys, I guess he figures its nicer phrase than "jackass".
But it's a good news/bad news deal for HK and Ramsay. The good news is it gets the American Idol lead-in, the bad news it faces off against Dancing With the Stars in addition to The Biggest Loser, and Big Brother. If you count a repeat of Reaper on the CW, that's the only scripted show on broadcast television at 9pm tomorrow. How will HK hold up against DWTS and the rest?
We'll know on Wednesday morning.