2001-2008
Home
Main
- About TFT
Friday Thing Archive
- Politics
- Media
- Culture and Society
- War On Terror
- People
- Places
- World
- Popped Clogs
- Music
- Books
- Film
- Etc
Help And Info
- Contact Details
- Advertising
- Jobs
- Privacy Policy
- XML Feed

Home > Media

TVJism: Hell's Kitchen

Why, Belinda? Why? Did the Go-Gos get some really bad investment advice? Oh, we forgot: 'buy cocaine'.

5 June 2004

Hell's Kitchen is a reality TV show with all the originality of the wheel. It was based on a conversation like this:


TV WANKER A: People love animals. People love having sex. Let's make a show called Sex with Animals.

TV WANKER B: It's good, Jools, but it hasn't got celebrities in it. Why don't we just put some celebs in a kitchen?

TV WANKER A: We could call it Celebrity Kitchen.

TV WANKER B: That's good. Fucking good. I'll write it down.

TV WANKER A: Can you past the coke spoon?

TV WANKER B: Sorry. It's stuck in my brain.


The celebs are a truly moth-eaten bunch, including Brookside's Jennifer Ellison, the bloke out of Gimme Gimme Gimme, Edwina Currie, Matt Goss, comedian Al Murray and, bizarrely, Belinda Carlisle.

Why, Belinda? Why? Did the Go-Gos get some really bad investment advice? Oh, we forgot: 'buy cocaine'.

At least you can still hear Heaven is a Place on Earth on the radio. Occasionally. Which is more than can be said for anything by Bros. Overall, Hell's Kitchen is definitely stretching the definition of 'celebrity'. Does this mean that the bloke who played Lysette Anthony's photographer husband in Three Up Two Down* is a celebrity? Is the guy off the Elephant.co.uk advert a celebrity? (And the elephant, for that matter.) Is the actor who played Crozier in Bergerac a celebrity?

Also unappealing is the underlying cynicism of all celebrity reality TV. Even if you make a twat of yourself, you still get some sort of boost to your career, however minor, that can be translated into s. That's what it comes down to, really: micro-talents like Jordan coining in money beyond their wildest dreams thanks to the celeb industry. Without the celebrity industry, all these actors who can't act, singers who can't sing and personalities without a personality would be stuffed because they weren't even much good at their chosen profession in the first place. Why, and it's a question that's got to be asked, does Dean Gaffney exist?

To be fair to Hell's Kitchen, it's provided a couple of minor insights. Edwina Currie, arguably one of the most despised and ridiculed politicians ever, has had the chance to redeem herself by having a crack at working in a kitchen and not annoying people. Does she? Nope. She just acts like a silly cow, failing to do her basic kitchen chores and generally talking crap. How did this awful, awful woman get anywhere near the corridors of power? We may as well make Timmy Mallett prime minister.

At the other end of the likeability scale is Al Murray, who is taking a genuine interest in learning to cook and generally grasping the opportunity to work in a top kitchen with top chefs with both hands. He's the sort of person you suspect company bosses would like to have on their apprenticeship schemes: 'I've never swept a factory floor before, so I'm really giving it a go to see what I can learn and what I can get out of it!'

On the other hand, if this is the highlight of the show (nice bloke who's interested in cooking learns to cook) there's something a bit wrong with TV. What next? Celebrity German Nightclass? Celebrity Lending Library? Celebrity Amateur Woodworker?

...

*The bloke out of Three Up Two Down was Ray Burdis, by the way (he was in Scum too). He's currently a producer and writer, just in case any ITV producers are looking for contestants for 'I'm a celebrity - let me work in a Gregg's Bakery.'



Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

Subscribe to The Friday Thing for free


 ABOUT THE FRIDAY THING
Bad words ahead The Friday Thing is a weekly email comment sheet. Casting a cynical eye over the week's events, it is rarely fair and never balanced.

A selection of articles from each week's issue appear online, but to enjoy the full Thing, delivered by email every Friday - as well as access to almost five years of back issues - you'll need to subscribe. It's absolutely free.

READERS WRITE
"Razor-sharp comment and gossip." - The Sunday Times

"Hilariously cynical..To describe it as 'irreverent' is to do the newsletter an injustice." - The Observer

"Sharp, intelligent, opinionated, uncompromising and very, very funny. Just like 'Private Eye' used to be." - Alec McKelland

"Wicked" - Channel 4

"Ace" - Time Out

"'We rise once again in advocacy of The Friday Thing. We realize that some of you may be unwilling to spend [your money] on plain-text comment, but you're only depriving yourself." - The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

"Subscribing to this at the beginning of the year was undoubtedly one of the better decisions I've made. Superlative, and utterly marvellous. I look forward to Fridays now, because I can't wait for the next issue. Fucking fucking brilliant." - Meish.org

"Featuring writers from The Observer, Smack The Pony and The 11 O'Clock Show... will continue to attract new subscribers sight unseen" - NeedToKnow

"The Friday Thing is so good it's stopping me from doing a bunk of a Friday afternoon." - Annie Blinkhorn (The Erotic Review)

"So now" - The Evening Standard

"Damn it, you rule. May you never, ever back down." - Paul Mayze

"Ace" - PopJustice

"Snarky" - Online Journalism Review

"Can you please stop making me laugh out loud... I'm supposed to be working, you know!" - Tamsin Tyrwhitt

"Your coverage of stuff as it spills is right on the money." - Mike Woods

"Popbitch with A-Levels." - Tim Footman

"In an inbox full of trite work-related nonsense, TFT shines from under its subject heading like the sun out of Angus Deayton's arse." - Nikki Hunt

"A first rate email. It's become an integral part of my week, and my life would be empty and meaningless without it (well, *more* empty and meaningless anyway)." - Mark Pugh

"Genius, absolute bit of class. And you can quote me on that." - Lee Neville

"If you're hipper than hell, this is what you read." - MarketingSherpa

"The most entertaining email I've had all week. Great tone." - Matthew Prior

"A massive and engrossing wit injection." - idiotica.co.uk

"I wouldn't know satire if it bit me on the arse. But I did like the Naomi Campbell joke." - Matt Kelly (The Mirror)

"Has had an understandably high profile among people who know about these things." - Guy Clapperton (Guardian Online)

"Satirical sideswipes at the burning issues of the day." - Radio 5 Live

"Puerile and worthless... Truly fabulous... Do read the whole thing." - Stephen Pollard

The Friday Thing 2001-2008 - All Rights Reserved