thoughts on pop culture

Summer TV Preview Part 3: Wednesday

It’s a couple days overdue, but here is part three of my Summer TV Preview.




ABC – Summer is here and that means so is Wipeout. No, I’m not talking about the 80’s game show hosted by Peter Tomarken after Press Your Luck was cancelled. ABC’s surprise ratings grabber is back to show us more obese people doing face-plants while we watch and try to tell ourselves we could do better. The new season airs at 8/7c and started this week with repeats airing irregularly on Saturdays. Mike Judge’s new animated series The Goode Family follows at 9/8. I thought it had a chance to be pretty funny, but instead it comes off pretty stale. The liberal guilt jokes grow old quickly, and the satire is just not as biting as it should be. I’m going to check out at least one more episode before giving up, but it looks like I’ll have to wait for Family Guy to come back to get the kind of animated comedy I really want.


NBCThe Philanthropist is a new show premiering June 24th at 10/9c. It features James Purefoy (HBO’s Rome) as Teddy Rist, a billionaire who realizes helping others is the only thing that can make him truly happy after the death of his young son. Neve Campbell also appears as a former lover of Rist who now manages the charitable organization founded by Rist and her husband, Philip Maidstone, who is also Rist’s best friend. Maidstone is played by Law & Order alum Jesse L. Martin. NBC has ordered 8 episodes, so I’m considering it more of an event/mini-series than an ongoing show. The talented cast gives this one a great shot at keeping us entertained this summer.


BBC America – While it aired on BBC 4 in 2008, the fourth series of Gordon Ramsay’s The F Word will be making its US debut on June 17th at 9/8c. The format of this show involves a guest brigade making a three course meal for 50 patrons. The patrons only pay for the courses they enjoy, so the goal is both quality and a complete service before time runs out. I’m an admitted Ramsayholic, but I prefer the BBC originals to FOX’s Americanized Ramsay. Gordon definitely loves food and he does have high standards, but he’s also a lot more than the fountain of curse words and shouting we see on FOX. Just watch the first episode and see how he treats Kenny Peters. Yes, he gives him a lot of shit, but it’s because he knows he can perform better. This is definitely worth your time.


Comedy Central – As Reno 911 wraps up its sixth season in a couple weeks, there’s going to be a hole in the schedule at 10:30/9:30c. On July 15th, Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter will fill that void with the premiere of Michael & Michael Have Issues. Both guys were part of the legendary comedy troupe The State, and have worked together many times since, including their last attempt at a Comedy Central series, Stella, based on their stage show. Their humor isn’t for everyone, but I love it. Check out the links to decide for yourself.


TNT – I’m not sure how I missed the first season of Leverage, but I’m going to tune in when season two premieres on July 15th at 9/8c. It totally reminds me of The A-Team, and for those who don’t know me, I consider that a good thing. As for new series Dark Blue, I’m going to have to watch the first episode and decide afterward. I don’t feel like the preview video really gave us much insight, and I don’t know if I can buy Dylan McDermott as a hardened undercover detective. Dark Blue also premieres on July 15th and will take the 10/9c slot.


I’ll be back with the final two parts of the preview up before the end of the weekend.

May 30, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Drama, Game Shows, New Series, Premiere, Reality, Renewed, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Summer TV Preview Part 3: Wednesday

Gordon Ramsay’s F Word Comes to BBC America

Great news for Ramsay-holics like myself: BBC America has announced they will air the most recent completed series of The F Word, a show centered on Ramsay’s preparation of a three-course meal for 50 guests. Personally, I can’t wait to see episode five (July 15) when Ramsay travels to Oklahoma to do some noodling.

Episode one premieres Wednesday, June 17, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.

The full press release, including synopses for all 12 episodes can be found here.

May 21, 2009 Posted by | Reality, Television | , , , , | Comments Off on Gordon Ramsay’s F Word Comes to BBC America

Hell’s Kitchen Season 5 Finale

Well, I could have been more wrong about the outcome of Hell’s Kitchen, but not by much. My dark horse Colleen cracked under pressure and got axed just a handful of episodes in, and neither of my frontrunner picks even made the final three. On the bright side, Colleen’s cooking classes are booked solid.

Oh well, there’s always next season, which starts on Tuesday, July 21st.

May 14, 2009 Posted by | Game Shows, Reality, Renewed, Season Finale, Television | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Hell’s Kitchen Season 5 Finale

Hell’s Kitchen Season 5 Episode 1: 16 Chefs Compete

Hi, my name is Dan and I’m a Ramsayholic.

They say the first step is admitting the problem.  That said, I must be a hopeless addict because I really don’t think it’s a problem.  Hell’s Kitchen has become my favorite hour of schadenfreude on television.  I’m hooked on the feeling that comes with watching Chef Ramsay tear down these self-important assholes who call themselves great chefs.

Here come the spoilers, so if you missed the premiere, you can watch the streaming video here.

I really enjoyed how they got right into the cooking of the signature dishes this season instead of wasting time meeting the contestants.  We’ll learn all we need to about them soon enough.  Based on the signature dishes and the first night of service, it looks like the front runners are Carol and Ben.

The most deluded contestant by far is Lacey.  Not only does she think making steam pans full of generic gruel for Sodexho makes her an experienced chef, but she apparently thinks she’s attractive.  She actually said that a lot of people will probably see her and say, “Here’s another pretty girl trying to be a cook.” I’ve got news for you Lacey, most of the viewers are more likely to say, “Here’s another sea cow with no skills who fell ass-backwards into a spot in Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen.”  Admittedly, I’m not a fit guy, but then you don’t here me talking about how good looking I am.

My pick for a dark horse contestant? Despite her huge mistake with the sugar in the risotto, keep an eye on Colleen.  Gordon loves to try to break people down, but he often picks on the people he sees the most potential in.  If she can put up with Chef’s shit without quitting or making another major mistake, she may very well find herself at the Borgata with $250,000 in her pocket.

January 31, 2009 Posted by | Premiere, Reality, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Chef Ramsay Fans Rejoice!

Another Fox press release:

“FOX has sealed a new deal with world-renowned Chef Gordon Ramsay. The arrangement will keep Ramsay at the network for several more years and includes an agreement to produce two more installments of the sizzling series HELL’S KITCHEN, another season of KITCHEN NIGHTMARES, a yet-to-be determined special and another series.”

September 12, 2008 Posted by | Reality, Television | , , , | Comments Off on Chef Ramsay Fans Rejoice!