... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

193: Hell's Kitchen or American Idol; Will Young or The Doors?

Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen US is, I declare, the best of the best of the competition/elimination reality TV shows currently doing the rounds.  The singing ones like X Factor and ...Talent notoriously start off fun and watchable during the early rounds, when we are invited to laugh at the clueless and hopeless.  But, with tedious inevitability, boredom sets in during the live shows where the supposed best battle it out for the public vote.  One after the other they tweet like trained birds, exuding not a drop of passion, artistry or raw talent between the lot of them.  Don’t know what I’m talking about; can’t perceive the difference between proper music and the X Factor product?  Here’s an example; compare this:

With this:

Not convinced?  How about comparing:



The horror!  And let’s not forget the inevitable murdering of Tamla Motown or Stax classics.  Oh, and the week where all the kids think they can take on Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dean Martin; one of the little scrotes usually has the arrogance and the lack of self-awareness to warble My Way.  No!  Only old men who have lived it all can sing this.  There is no exception to this rule.  Except one, but that goes without saying:

As every week goes by we are supposed to be seeing improvements, but they just get more and more trained, compacted, primped, preened, shuffled, reshuffled, tarted, decorated, and soulless.  The joy they might once have felt from the music is long gone, replaced by obedience and marketing.  One or two of the contestants may have a bit of edge or passion to them, but those edges will get sanded down to smooth safe stumps so they fit perfectly in the packaging.

Hell’s Kitchen seems really different to me.  Essentially the contestants are not vying to suck the teet of fame; they want to get a really good chef’s job.  They don’t blub on about their mom’s gammy leg or their homey’s horse-riding accident.  They do shout and bitch and complain, but mostly they don’t expect to have riches and fame poured over their heads; they expect to work really fucking hard.  The early weeks of HK are not dedicated to wading through thousands of laughable cooks who don’t know marzipan from lard, but there are usually a couple of weirdoes and wankers among the genuine contenders.  As each week goes by the standard of competition improves massively, and the excitement of the show just goes up and up.

Perhaps it’s just because I love food and hate really bad pop music.  Perhaps I love seeing someone on TV who really knows the difference between amazing and utter shite.  Actually there is no perhaps about it; both of those statements are definitely true.  And, blah, etc, etc; conclusion: Hell’s Kitchen, great.  X-Factor, shite.

Looks like my argument lost steam towards the end a bit there, but I'm v v tired.  Past my bedtime - nighnight.  

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