November 21, 2011

November 21, 2011

Sorry I Missed It: Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares

One of the side benefits of getting a Kindle Fire is one free month of Amazon Prime.

(Oh, did I not mention that I got a Kindle Fire? Believe me, that will be a separate story unto itself, not least because of the many similarities between caring for that li’l fella and what I imagine parenthood to be. Cut to me, at 12:30 a.m.: “Why won’t you sync? Sync! Sync, dammit!”)

So, anyway, Amazon Prime. The chief benefit of which is the ability to stream lots of movies and TV instantly. While I’ve already seen 24, Lost, and Arrested Development (Prime, you do have good taste), I had not seen any episodes of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. Note that this isn’t the FOX series, with overscored tension and bleeping. This is the original UK series in all its unbleeped and uncensored glory. Seriously. During one episode, Gordon takes the restaurant owner to some sort of adult show and I saw more boobies than I ever cared to.

The gist is the same, of course. Gordon visits a failing restaurant. Tries the menu. Observes the staff. Makes recommendations for new food, décor, and/or staff. Ideally, the restaurant then takes these suggestions to heart and turns over a new leaf. In reality, it appears that most of these places later close anyway. So…yeah.

Now, where the UK version really differs from the US version (boobies aside) is in Gordon’s behavior. In the US, as you might know, he’s a furious, profane fireball in chef’s whites, turning even the most seasoned cook into a quivering mess. He’s made contestants on both Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef cry and collapse. It’s right up FOX’s alley.

But in the UK? In the UK, Gordon seems…subdued. Sure, he swears up a storm, but apparently the Brits aren’t nearly as prudish about that as we are. Other differences:

UK version: Gordon eats the restaurant’s “signature dish” and throws up

US version: Gordon eats the restaurant’s “signature dish” and throws up on the chef

UK version: Gordon throws most of the refrigerator’s contents in the trash

US version: Gordon throws most of the refrigerator’s contents at the chef

UK version: Gordon plays football with the staff and scores a goal

US version: Gordon plays soccer with the staff and scores a goal off the chef’s head

You get the idea.

Perhaps it’s that stiff upper lip that encourages Gordon to keep his composure. Perhaps FOX encouraged him to “trash it up” a little to appeal to their demographic. Which is the real Gordon Ramsay? I dunno.

If you ever have to meet him, let’s hope it’s in the UK, okay?

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