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What do you get when you mix 18 chefs of suspect talent with plenty of fear, toss in a handful of impossible tasks, and liberally spice with one of the fieriest chefs on television? You get Hell's Kitchen, Chef Gordon Ramsay's perfect recipe for disaster. Hell's Kitchen, at its best, is great reality television. It's like a circus from hell with Ramsay as ringmaster. When he cracks the whip, the competitors jump, and If they don't they may end up in tears, scrubbing the floor, or even kicked out the door for good. At its worst it's a mosh pit of contrived drama where dreams are crushed. You wonder who was set up for failure, how much it was scripted, and even who might have been asked to take a dive.

Anyone who has heard of Gordon Ramsay knows he is as good a bully as he is restauranteur. Even in his other shows he comes across as hot tempered when there is no reason to be. In Hell's Kitchen he turns up the attitude, looking for weakness in the chefs and dressing them down at the top of his lungs. You kind of feel sorry for them and wonder if he treats chefs in his own restaurants this way.

But this is what makes Hell's Kitchen so addictive. Not knowing who is going to get it next, what parts are fake, and how long it will be until someone takes Ramsay out back and beats him senseless with a brick or Parmesan Reggiano stuffed into a sock.

Some of the chefs obviously shouldn't be there, but that's part of the fun. You never know when the line cook from a waffle house is going to flame out or how the nanny with no restaurant experience made it this far. There is also always one arrogant jerk who always gets further than he should. Man it's great when they go down!

After 10 seasons you would think that the audience or contestants would have grown weary of Ramsay and his act. Luckily Hell's Kitchen is still going strong and becoming more a part of reality show culture each year. The truth is, as long as the rewards are big enough there will always be people willing to embarrass themselves in front of an audience, and as long as that is true, there will always be an audience for Hell's Kitchen.

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Monday 8:00 PM et/pt on FOX
13 Seasons, 200 Episodes - Currently Airing
Food, Reality
8.2/10
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Hell's Kitchen Full Episode Guide

  • In the season finale, the two finalists compete in their final challenge before the winner is crowned.

  • The remaining four chefs prepare a dinner service. The two chefs who fall short will be eliminated from the competition.

  • It's time to go glamping.

  • The steaks are high in the next challenge.

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Hell's Kitchen Video Clips & Extras