Review: NBC's 'The Chopping Block'

NBC’s new restaurant-themed reality TV show The Chopping Block debuts March 11 at 8 p.m. EST.  Here are some early reviews of the show from TV critics:

“Bottom Line: It’s not “Hell’s Kitchen,” merely an incredible simulation.”

-Ray Richmond, The Hollywood Reporter

“Not everyone dreams of opening a fusion bistro or perfecting a vol-au-vent, but many feel that they had a tougher time learning their trade than younger, mollycoddled and overly entitled upstarts. And for those, “The Chopping Block” cuts just right.”

-Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times

“There is a kind of baseline entertainment value to all such contests — we’re a species that will watch turtles race — and while I’d make no great claims for “The Chopping Block,” it’s watchable enough.”

-Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times

“The Chopping Block,” like [show host, chef Marco Pierre] White, just might be too bland for American audiences.”

-Mark A. Perigard, The Boston Herald

“The Chopping Block” stirs in ingredients from so many reality shows it’s a wonder this gruel has any flavor at all.”

-Brian Lowry, Variety

“Reason to watch: You’ll gain new appreciation for ‘Top Chef.’ Bottom Line: Enjoyable only if you enjoy watching people–and networks–making fools of themselves.”

-Erica Marcus, Newsday

“If NBC were in the restaurant business, the way contestants in “The Chopping Block” hope to be, it might be serving day-old bread.”

-Ellen Gray, Philadelphia Daily News