Jan. 13th, 2016

redwoodalchan: Artwork lifted from Pokemon wiki; character belongs to Pokemon (pic#4865891)
 Why, you might ask? I was inspired by this video about the Hunger Games, which explains all about how similar the Hunger Games is to reality shows we watch today. I have no particular interest in or experience with reality TV beyond "The Amazing Race," which I watched for a number of years in middle and high school (and probably isn't the best show to prove my point anyway, since the way it's structured seems like it would make things more difficult to stage and manipulate). "Hell's Kitchen" is perfect because it combines a topic I'm interested in with the sort of reality-TV atmosphere that the video above is referring to.

So far I've watched the first episode of the first season. First all the contestants had to cook a meal for Gordon Ramsay, some of which he appreciated more than others. The contestants took the opportunity to say a little bit about who they were and where they came from. Then they were split up into two teams, Red and Blue, and had to serve a restaurant full of people. I think the people who cooked the worst dishes initially were sent out to serve the guests.

Ultimately the Red Team lost the competition, and so Elsie, the best of the worst on that team, had to pick two people to potentially eliminate. The one who ended up being eliminated was a lady named Carolanne (or something), who could actually cook but had no experience in a professional kitchen. I suppose Gordon Ramsay thought it wouldn't be believable if she won the game. The other person considered for elimination, Dewberry, was depicted as having a nice conversation with Elsie ahead of time, and he claims that if he's ever in a position to choose someone for elimination he might pay Elsie back for trying to throw him out. I rather suspect that some part of that was staged, or at least manipulated to make it look like a bigger thing than it was. Elsie, for her part, is someone who was depicted as fairly sympathetic early on (she's apparently a mother of a fairly large blended family) but might become less so in light of her having to eliminate someone. There are some people who are fairly resoundingly unsympathetic, though (on both teams), and I'll be interested to see how long they last.

Also, I counted no fewer than three contestants from New Jersey. Represent! XD
redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
This episode began with the teams cleaning and preparing squid to Gordon Ramsay's specifications. The Red Team won, with Dewberry putting forth especially good work. As a result, when it came time for the main challenge (serving the people in the restaurant, again), the Blue Team were forced to cook with no air conditioning (Gordon Ramsay apparently got the idea from his own experience cooking in a kitchen with a broken air conditioner)! However, ultimately the Blue Team still won because (evidently) both Jeff and Dewberry slowed things up again (I didn't see that part because I couldn't find that piece of episode). So Dewberry was eliminated.

I'm noticing a theme here: so far, the focus has been more on whether the team members can work as a team than whether they can cook well. Both of the people who have been eliminated so far were good enough cooks but got eliminated because they couldn't be team players. Furthermore, Jeff, who was slated for elimination as well, highlighted his willingness to work as part of a team while trying to convince Gordon Ramsay to let him stay.

Jeff apparently suffered from kidney stones during this episode. I'm not sure whether I think that was real or fake, but I think it easily could have been real since kidney stones, to my knowledge, are more painful than actually dangerous. I'm a little more suspicious of the other contestants' reactions, none of which seemed to show much or any compassion for him at all. They were on the opposing team, so I'm wondering if that was an attempt to antagonize him?

It's also occurred to me that there's two contestants in particular that I think we're meant to dislike: Chris on Red and Andrew on Blue. Chris, at least, appears to have partly redeemed himself this episode by helping out his teammates, but Andrew is mostly just annoying and stuck up. Jessica, on Blue, isn't particularly sympathetic either. I'll be interested to see what becomes of them as the show goes on.

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redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
redwoodalchan

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