If You Can't Take the Heat

If You Can't Take the Heat

TV's affection for restaurant shows is nothing new, but the subgenre of restaurant fixing shows is an odd (and addictive) addition to the cable television rotation.

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I too enjoy this particular genre of show but I feel it's also gotten a few spin-offs such as those nanny shows that were popular around a decade ago or the pet care themed one like My Cat From Hell, where a man with some of the weirdest hair choices acts deadly serious about everything. One that my family quite enjoyed a few years back was I think called Tabitha's Salon Takeover or something like that. Maybe you could cover those in a later column.

That Bar Rescue one reminds me why I stopped watching Spike TV: it's become a channel run by douchebags, featuring douchebags, for douchebags.
Gordon Ramsey filmed an episode of his scream-at-restaraunt-owners-into-being-better-at-ther-jobs show at a steakhouse near some of my friends' houses. It was a pretty big production for that side of Fremont at the time.

Dragon Zero:
I too enjoy this particular genre of show but I feel it's also gotten a few spin-offs such as those nanny shows that were popular around a decade ago or the pet care themed one like My Cat From Hell, where a man with some of the weirdest hair choices acts deadly serious about everything. One that my family quite enjoyed a few years back was I think called Tabitha's Salon Takeover or something like that. Maybe you could cover those in a later column.

I loved Tabitha's show (Tabitha Takes Over). I think it was because I actually felt like she was fixing core issues and helping people. I think it is that watching her show you got the feel she was actually helping the owners and getting them to be able to run a successful business. She has a business approach that I think many of these shows lack. Also if you look it up she has a rather amazing success rate for this type of show.

I'm glad you mentioned how obtuse the plots in Mystery Diners seem to be believable. More than half the time there seems to be some kind of special "twist" as to what's "really going on," and they almost always seem like something that would never actually go on without someone noticing.

It also features comically inept restaurant owners. My favorite was the Torpasta episode with the guy who was freaking out because people had "figured out his secret" to stuffing bread with pasta.

Restaurant: Impossible came to my sleepy little hometown to do the local failing restaurant joint that has been failing for as long as I remember but still somehow stayed open until recently ("Muskrat Mayhem"). I always felt like the various limits were arbitrary, it would be a better show if they focused on the reasons why restaurants and small businesses in general fail, and what can be done about it.

I go to the Pirate-themed bar mentioned in the column all the time! Since they've gone back to their original goal they've done well for themselves and carved out their niche in the Silver Spring area. Whenever we go it's always nice and quiet and you can have a good conversation with your friends while piratey music plays in the background and you drink a huge pitcher of their house specialty grog.

"giving "hard truths" to seemingly clueless restaurateurs."
Yikes, should probably be RestauraNteurs, as the other is people who restore art for a living.

I loved Ramsay since the UK inception. Will check out your favourite with the conspiracies, sounds good!

I find Bar Rescue to be a guilty pleasure of mine mainly to see John's flip outs, and the owners doing what they do best, failing. However, Ramsay is my favorite; granted him, and all of them I think are more doing it for the nice shiny star in their hat then anything else. It's still enjoyable to watch, and there are some good moments in there, but it's still just something I'll watching as background noise, or if there's nothing else on.

Kenjitsuka:
"giving "hard truths" to seemingly clueless restaurateurs."
Yikes, should probably be RestauraNteurs, as the other is people who restore art for a living.

I loved Ramsay since the UK inception. Will check out your favourite with the conspiracies, sounds good!

It's pretty good. One time the owner of a protein based restaurant/smoothy bar caught her manager stealing 75 dollar protein powder from her which was cutting into her profits like crazy. Note: She's a world famous body builder build better then most men and she's ether Russian or from around that area. I'm surprised she didn't break him with her voice that would make the Dragonborn look twice.

hentropy:
Restaurant: Impossible came to my sleepy little hometown to do the local failing restaurant joint that has been failing for as long as I remember but still somehow stayed open until recently ("Muskrat Mayhem"). I always felt like the various limits were arbitrary, it would be a better show if they focused on the reasons why restaurants and small businesses in general fail, and what can be done about it.

They came here too. After a few months, the restaurant they "saved" died.

Restaurants have like, and 85% FAIL rate within their first 3 years. It is a tough business.

My favorite episode of this so far: guy lost his sense of smell and taste as a soldier fighting Saddam in 1990s when Saddam set the oil fields on fire. How in heck should such a guy run an eatery?

I like those types of 'fix-em up' business shows.
Like Restaurant Impossible and bar Rescue sure, but my favorite by far is Hotel Impossible in which they actually help the owners without doing everything. There have been some particularly interesting episodes.

I love these shows. I can't imagine anyone doing it better than the legendary Gordon Ramsey though.

i too find something appealing about these shows, even though the whole time my brain is screaming "this is all scripted bullshit, james! you're better than this!" the only one i don't like is the bar rescue one. that guy comes across a tricky gypsy type. if there are any romanians on here, i mean no offense, he just has that stereotypical "shady gypsy" vibe to him, like he should be chewing a toothpick.

ooh! like the episode of house that had the gypsy family on it. anyways, yeah. cool concept, i just had how scripted reality is anymore.

I never sit down to watch it - probably because i don't have cable TV anymore - but whenever Restaurant Impossible is on at a relative's house during this or that function, I always end up watching the 3 or 4 episodes the Food Network always seems to run in a row. The hardass Brit thing works well, even if you can tell most of the restaurants won't survive despite his meddling with personal issues.

I love the contrast between Ramsay's UK series and his American-set ones. I'm sure a lot of it can be chalked up to cultural expectations (e.g. UK reality shows that don't have Simon Cowell as a host feel a lot more leisurely and documentarian in approach, while American reality shows are full of drama and urgency and pro-sports-style competitiveness), editing, slanted selection process, etc. But in the British Kitchen Nightmares, the owner and their staff are usually competent in the fundamentals of running a restaurant. They're just hung up on some misguided marketing, or hideous decor, or insist on having a gigantic menu to appeal to all kinds instead of getting a handful of offerings perfect, etc. Usually these get resolved by Ramsay sitting down for a congenial chat, amounting to, "mate, you need to fix this."

In the American version, Ramsay frequently shows up at mom-and-pop passion projects who often don't seem to know what they're doing. Ramsay has to talk to them like they're small children to get them to fix fundamental issues, and looks tortured when they don't seem to understand.

Drugs are addictive too, doesn't mean they're good for you.

 

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