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Yesterday I downloaded a free copy of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares off of iTunes. I assumed that it was yet another episode of the television show that we have grown to know and love here in the UK. Man, was I wrong.

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This version of the television show seems to be the first of a season created specifically for the US. My first clue was when the intro seemed a bit more Fox News and flashy than what I am used to. The next clue is that the voiceover went into a lengthy explanation of who Gordon is. This doesn’t happen in the UK because everyone here knows who he is.

The show goes along the same general premise of the UK version, but with some really annoying changes. For those of you not familar with the show format, I’ll give you a quick run through of an episode.

A restaurant is failing miserably. Usually due to poor managment, bad food, etc… Gordon shows up, eats a meal, is disgusted, yells at the kitchen, calls them f*ing idiots, redoes the menu, cleans the kitchen, yells some more, invites people to sample the new menu, everyone loves him, the restaurant succeeds and then Gordon leaves. Then Gordon comes back in a few months and everyone is happy and things are glorious. Voila! Everytime it is the same thing. The draw to watching the show is seeing just how stupid most of the restaurateurs / chefs are and listening to Gordon demean them.

How can you mess with the format and possibly screw it up? It seems almost impossible. But somehow American TV has done just this. The general basis of the show is more or less the same. Somehow on this first episode it seems that the people are actually stupider than their British cousins (if that is possible). But the show is slightly off and in a really annoying way….

First off, there are voiceovers to explain to everyone exactly what is happening. I find this hugely annoying. It is like speaking to a blind person who can actually see to explain what he is seeing. And the voice grated on my nerves. It is that Moviefone man voice that they use on every Hollywood movie trailer. Ugh. Kill it! (And now Gordon goes into the kitchen to see what all the fuss is about)

Secondly, in the UK version, Gordon doesn’t magically redo the entire restaurant and give them a bunch of freebies. He offers sound business advice, but there is no monetary reward or gifts. In the US version somehow the kitchen that was in disarray was suddenly, overnight transformed into a magical new expensive kitchen. Since when did this show become Extreme Home Makeover? Lame!

And then a few other small complaints.

  • Too much hugging and touchy feely crap
  • Gordon didn’t do his usual followup visit to see how things went
  • The editing was horrible, you could tell that sequencing was off from the storyline they were trying to feed you by the clothing that people wore
  • Too many 1:1 talking sessions with the people explaining their feelings

    So, thank you, but no thank you. I will stick to the UK version of the show.

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