Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares (2004-?)
Let’s get this over with: Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares involves Gordon Ramsey going in to help an ailing restaurant for a week, giving it a bollocking and taking its owners to task before showing them how easy all this owning a restaurant shit is YOU FUCKING MORON.
You can watch bits and pieces of Gordon Fucking Ramsey’s Kitchen Fucking Nightmares on almost every platform depending on your location. I used Amazon Prime and YouTube but there’s so much of it you can probably close your eyes and someone somewhere will beam Gordon hurling (usually warranted) abuse at an idiot restaurateur directly into your fizzling grey matter. Because there’s so many series/seasons set both in the UK and USA, this review will cover them all because, come on, it’s a formula.
Kitchen Nightmares USA also leans much less subtly into the drama, and much of that is because the personalities are a lot more fierce. The producers, one imagines, had an absolute plethora of plebs with no idea what they were signing up for, and in some cases probably also no idea who Gordon Ramsey is, to choose from.
I fucking love Gordon Ramsey. At least, the Gordon Ramsey on screen. Never met the man, unsure as to whether I’ve been to one of his restaurants. Yes he’s combative, rude and sweary, but he’s also funny and knows what he’s talking about. He does, almost always, soften his bitterness towards the subjects of the episode like one of the lemons in their basement that should have been thrown out a month ago. Who cares which bits are for show and which aren’t? I don’t.
Cooking is a passion of mine and I’ve even conned some people into employing me as a chef; I would shit my pants having to cook one meal of my choice for Gordon Ramsey, let alone allow him to order six from me then scrutinise them. Describing my meatballs as golf balls and my chicken as dryer than Ghandi’s sandals, questioning why I put neat vodka in the gravy (hadn’t realised I’d spilt my drink), I'd be a gibbering mess. I enjoy watching people who think doing this will not only be a good advert for their restaurant, but that Gordon will crawl into their filthy kitchen on his knees to pay lip service at their sweaty crotch.
Provided you don’t mind a lot of shouting, watching the culinary-illiterate fumble around while Gordon gets more irate, slipping out bon-mots Alan Sugar would be proud of, Kitchen Nightmares is cracking entertainment. It’s a comedy, a farce, and a heavily formulaic programme, but its also one of my go-to easy watches. 8/10