TV Review: Gordon Ramsay Returns to Serve Up Abuse in ‘Hell’s Kitchen’

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CHICAGO – “After ten years, Hell’s Kitchen is breaking all the rules,” says the announcer in the introduction of the latest season of “Hell’s Kitchen,” premiering tonight, March 12, 2013, on FOX. Really? All the rules? The ones about silly challenges, abusive behavior, moronic contestants, and the same dishes that Ramsay has been using for years? Oh, not those rules. Television Rating: 2.5/5.0
Television Rating: 2.5/5.0

The introduction to the new season of “Hell’s Kitchen” refers to the fact that the show has relocated to Las Vegas for a premiere competition in front of a live audience and the prize this year is Head Chef at “Gordon Ramsay’s Pub and Grill” at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. The over-the-top presentation of the opening challenge is actually kind of refreshing at first in that it fits the larger-than-life persona of Chef Gordon Ramsay and certainly gives the whole proceeding more energy than the typical “HK” premiere.

Hell's Kitchen
Hell’s Kitchen
Photo credit: FOX

Someone close to me suggested, when I mentioned that I had to review the season premiere of “Hell’s Kitchen” this week, that I could just take the last season-premiere review, change the dates, and re-run it. While I would never do that, it did get me thinking that there are fewer shows for which one season premiere is more interchangeable than the one before. Each season of “Hell’s Kitchen” is basically the same as the one before.

Even the opening challenge, given some life by its unique setting, falls into typical Ramsay traps. Why men vs. women again? Why the unprofessional abuse from Ramsay? It’s more of a Vegas comedy act than anything else. In fact, Ramsay seems to turn up his personality, hoping to get a response from the live audience. One contestant’s dish should “have stayed in Vegas.” “Whoever eats that is sure to get the Craps.” Spitting out food? Really? How old are we? And Ramsay seems more interested in the personalities than the food on-stage.

So, ultimately, it’s more of the same “Hell’s Kitchen.” Once again, at least half of the chefs are truly horrendous and even the best wouldn’t make it through auditions of “Top Chef”. However, I have to admit that this particular crop of chef-testants is more interesting than some past seasons. And more-interesting contestants means more-interesting Ramsay. He gets more excited by good TV than good food, being that he’s an incredibly smart TV producer. He knows his audience, he knows his show, and he knows how to deliver. Even if what he’s delivering over and over again is basically the exact same dish.

“Hell’s Kitchen” premieres on FOX on March 12, 2013 at 7pm CST. content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

Brooke's picture


How do my wife aand I get tickets to this show and to eat in the restaurant during this show?

Max's picture

With Hell’s Kitchen, some

With Hell’s Kitchen, some things change, but Gordon Ramsay still stays the same! I liked how they moved the signature competition to Las Vegas and how they had to work in front of a live audience.

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