Review by Rob:
Full disclosure, I really like Gordon Ramsay in almost every way. I’ve eaten at a few of his fine dining and more casual restaurants, and I’ve always been impressed. As a chef, I’ve found many of his recipes to be exemplary and helpful in allowing me to create my own masterpieces, most notably Beef Wellington and Lobster Spaghetti. And as a TV personality, I find him to be captivating and entertaining. Plus, the truth of the matter is that the chef world is brutal. Getting called a “donkey,” is child’s play in a real restaurant kitchens and his over-the-top, abusive at times, approach is more real than reality at some points. With that said, all reality TV comes with a healthy dose of bull-crap, scripting, set-up, reshoots, and, at times, out-and-out acting. Some shows, like COPS , Live PD, Deadliest Catch, Hoarders, and Botched are renowned for being as close as you get to reality. Others, like The Amazing Race, Big Brother, The Real World, and storage wars are beyond fake and are, in fact, totally staged and scripted. The rest are all somewhere in the middle; All of the housewife shows (and pretty much everything else on Bravo), and shows like Survivor and the Bachelor at least show you real sides of human beings, even if they aren’t the ones you’re watching. In other words, yes, there absolutely are people permeating Los Angeles identical to the cast of Vanderpump Rules.
With Ramsay, Hell’s Kitchen got old, Masterchef has always been stupid, and his American attempt at his hit British show “The F word,” was a disaster. But Kitchen Nightmares was always his best because no matter how much set-up there may have been, it absolutely showed the reality of the state of many, if not most, restaurants across America. “24 hours to hell and back,” was supposed to be that on steroids; it isn’t. It’s beyond god awful and insulting. It’s absolute garbage.
The premise that we’re supposed to believe is that restaurants are told that they’re being interviewed to be on a reality show, yet they don’t know that secret cameras are then placed in their businesses for a week (a total violation of all sorts of federal laws and civil liberties). A week later, Ramsay shows up, allegedly unannounced, in the worst disguise you can imagine (he always looks like an overweight 18-wheel truck driver). After eating an appallingly bad meal, he goes into the men’s room of each restaurant for what would have to be a minimum of 20-30 minutes to have his disguise removed, all the while being filmed, while apparently no other customers ever walk in and without the restaurant noticing a camera crew following him into the bathroom. He then appears back in the restaurant to the shock and awe of the staff and begins barking orders and playing clips from the “hidden footage” of the past week. Then he announces that everyone who works for the restaurant will be working non-stop for the next 24 hours and they all need to call their loved ones and let them know they won’t be coming home for a day (yet another violation of so many laws and OSHA standards that we’ve gone beyond stupid at this point), because that’s totally realistic for people to be able to do. He starts a countdown clock, and it only gets more and more fake from there. This show is unwatchable…don’t do it! I put myself through three episodes of literal Hell and wish I could have gone back. Thumbs down!