You all know I don’t watch reality T.V. Partly because I really like scripted shows, with writers that are thinking ahead and creating characters that I love and conflicts that make me think. Or you know, they blow things up. But mostly I don’t like reality T.V. because it seems to reward people for behaving badly.
It is my understanding that the “better” reality T.V. shows are the ones that involve a professional competition of some kind. Because then, at least, the contestants are required to demonstrate some skill other than getting attention. So when I heard that Emily, a kid I used to know, was a contestant on Hell’s Kitchen, I thought I should watch. And last night was a double-header. Here is a picture from their website:
Emily is in the top row, all the way on the left. I don’t know her well, but her sister was a good friend and I spent a lot of time at their parents’ house back in the day. As a child, Emily was rather…loud. And a bit in-your-face. (Weren’t we all.) She also has the soul of an artist. I remember that she painted murals on her basement walls, and they were charming. She went through a phase of shaving her head, which I thought was a riot. She grew into a fine young lady and went to culinary school. I have been to at least one party that she catered and it was lovely, but then I lost track of her. I am happy to root for Emily.
All I knew about Gordon Ramsay was that he is a famous chef and he likes to yell at people.
In the first episode I saw, Emily had a bad night. Something about burning bacon. The girls on her team were screaming obscenities in her face. I had to mute the show for awhile, it was so bad. But as far as I can tell, she did not engage in the drama. At the end of the show, she was one of the girls nominated for elimination. Chef Ramsay said he didn’t think she had enough “stamina”, but in the end he sent someone else home.
In the second episode last night, we hardly saw Emily because the other girls were engaged in so much drama. She created a ravioli dish that Ramsay seemed to like and won a point for her team. But otherwise, she kept her head down and her mouth shut and cooked. I was really proud of her.
Hell’s Kitchen was even meaner and more cringe-worthy than I expected. But I guess if Emily could stand living it, I can stand watching. For awhile.