As much as I love television series with intricate plots, thought-provoking writing, and nuanced acting, when summer rolls around I find myself drawn to programming that’s, well, less mentally stimulating. That’s right — my summer TV viewing drifts toward reality shows.
Since its debut in 2005, I’ve loved Hell’s Kitchen. The show’s tenth season airs on Fox at 8:00 Monday and Tuesday nights. Renowned chef Gordon Ramsay serves as host and judge, as well as a strange combination of mentor and drill sergeant. Ramsay puts challenges to his competitors each week with his controversial, abrasive style as the aspiring chefs fight for a sweet gig as head chef at a new 5-Star restaurant.
The contestants on Hell’s Kitchen display true passion and come from all walks of life. In the first few seasons the aspiring chefs seemed as earnest as they were talented and eager, but in latter seasons, the producers wised up to what reality viewers really want: soap-opera-style drama! This season viewers would be hard-pressed to find many contestants capable of running a restaurant kitchen. The would-be head chefs spend too much time smoking, drinking, partying, and fighting to appear serious as a head chef.
As entertaining as it is, Hell’s Kitchen comes across as pretty coarse viewing, especially when looking at its companion show, the far more refined and inspiring MasterChef, which also features Ramsay and airs immediately following Hell’s Kitchen. The censor on Hell’s Kitchen earns his keep, as profanity flies generously from both Ramsay and the contestants.
Like so many other summer television shows, Hell’s Kitchen is also pretty predictable. Viewers know exactly what to expect, which adds to the series’ entertainment value. Here’s a list counting down five scenarios that viewers can always expect to see without fail during Hell’s Kitchen.