I love Gordon Ramsay and his “Kitchen Nightmares” show. I’ve just watched the American version, which follows the same format as the UK original, except… the American Producers have… completely f***ing ruined it in every way.
For a start it’s HEAVILY edited…. and I mean HEAVILY. How the makers get away with distorting reality like this is beyond me. Every trick in the book has been used – time shifting, dubbing and editing everything to seem more dramatic. The episode I watched focused on a restaurant called “The Mixing Bowl” in New York. At one point a huge argument was edited so that it seemed to be happening in a full restaurant, however it could be seen that no-one was actually there in other shots, but that didn’t stop the over-dubbing of background noise and muffled gasps to make it seem that way.
A visit to the local American Football team was cut short and slotted in again at the end of the programme to make it seem like the owners were “regularly visiting”, interviews with staff were spliced in at points where it was clear they were responding to questions about other events, and – if this wasn’t all bad enough – there’s the constant annoying trick of “previewing” what’s coming up after the break. This is particularly annoying. I’ve seen it happen a lot in American TV shows and it’s hugely aggravating. There’s a belief that people will just go channel-hopping unless you show what’s coming up after the adverts. Sure, that’s true, but I hate the trick of re-editing what’s coming up so that it appears a lot more dramatic than it actually is when you watch it after the commercials have stopped.
The UK version doesn’t have a huge 15 minute intro stating what’s wrong with the restaurant either. We don’t have constant interviews with the staff to see what they think, or what’s being going wrong. That’s the whole point of the programme, it’s for Gordon Ramsay to find out what’s going wrong, and then fix it!
So I’ll not be watching this American version. If anyone watches it carefully they may catch the brief bit of text at the end that says, “Parts of this show have been edited to appear in a different sequence than originally occured” or something, but to be honest they’ve wrecked it. Ramsay hardly even seems to be a feature of the show – we just get constant clips from one-on-one interviews with the staff, then distorted reality thanks to the editing. The UK version has a slow but interesting development process, where you see Ramsay tell the owners and staff in no uncertain terms what’s wrong with the business – and then working with them, helping them and building up a team effort to resolve it. You can see how Ramsay works with the Chef, the Management and Staff. You can hear the passion he has… but the US version has mangled, mashed and trashed it.
The show also builds up to the new decor in the restaurant – making it all seem like problems within the restaurant are fixed simply with some new chairs and tables. It’s so shallow.
Don’t believe what you see on the TV when shows like this are around, because this is appauling. Is this how stupid the Producers think Americans are?