Reality TV generally leaves me cold. It’s a formulaic ritual where grandstanding prima donnas screech at each other in some lurid juxtaposition of vainglory and fame. But Gordon Ramsey is always worth a watch; you have to hand it to this man with a pan, who is now serialised and handsomely paid to bully people and call them fucking wankers. It’s nice to see such jobs being shared outside of sales managers and executives who believe such an attitude ups both their virility and importance.
Last night saw old Slam Dunk Ramsey laying about himself with special vitriol saved for, what I’m thinking of as, the Prawns Of Wrath. The young boy, funded with his dad’s cash, who was allegedly running the restaurant shared almost none of Gordon’s cooking skills but matched him toe to toe for arrogance. Ramsey, clearly furious that this oiky underling failed to understand the basic premise that God was in the kitchen, sent him out bullfighting. Apparently this was to make the lad understand the importance of instruction from an experienced practitioner. It was a brutal and lazy physical metaphor to begin with even before the increasing gored and terrified participant ran for cover. It would also have carried significantly more weight had the instruction had any effect whatsoever other than to beat the bloke into submission and subsume his ego to that of Flash Gordon.
The format is such that it’s impossible for the restaurant to fail any more spectacularly whatever the great man does. Short of grilling its’ customers or serving up family pets, the makeover is destined to generate an upturn in its fortunes. So essentially it’s a rigid set up for a middle aged man to swear and bully his way through an hour before returning triumphant to the stirring sounds of his ego being serenaded. We all know the ending before we start watching and yet watch we do as the textbook unrolling of incredulence, stupidity, cajoling, enlightenment and finally mutual affection unwinds off the plot reel.
But I think it’s great and can’t wait for the next one where hopefully a ritual disembowelment of the sous chef during a team bonding jousting session precedes a bitch fight with frying pans. Someone shout at the BBC ˜Now THAT’S public service broadcasting’
Domestically untroubled by cooking, it’s unlikely old Gordy will ever pop round to our house to check out my signature dish. And with it being Beans on Toast enlivened by a Lager chaser, that’s probably no bad thing.