Guilty Pleasure Department


He barks like a drill instructor and swears like a sailor with impulse-control problems. The would-be chefs are as unappealing a lot as I could imagine, whining, cruel, misogynistic, or just uninteresting.

Doesn't matter. I watch. Among the host of reality shows that have wilted like week-old lettuce in the July heat, Fox's Hell's Kitchen has sprouted instead, managing to grab my interest with the weekly trials and tribulations of the butcher-knife wielding crew.

I know, other people watch Fox's dance-a-thon, but it does nothing for me. Still, Fox has come a long way from the heroine of "worlds biggest tumors" reality of old.

Kitchen shouldn't really catch my interest either. A bunch of people conniving to win their own Las Vegas restaurant in the fact of a barrage of abuse–all for their own good and our entertainment, of course. Las Vegas, Hell. Something about that combination says Fox, but not necessarily success, yet success it is in this summer of 1.9 ratings for Housewife re-runs and reality shows falling right and left like clumsily prepared souffles (where is that accent?). Hell's Kitchen did a 3.8/10 Monday night (they got rid of Keith, and about time), its best numbers of yet and the highest rated show of the night in the demo.

Maybe it is the force of chef Gordon Ramsey, the Simon Cowell of creme brulees (do I need an accent there, too?), or more like a combination of top chef and Gunny Hartman from Full Metal Jacket (how about R. Lee Emeril?).

Whatever it is, it has added more that a soupçon (don't ask me where I found that "ç" Actually, I copied it off of some site defining the term) of spice to my summer viewing.

Anyway, I shouldn't watch, but then, I shouldn't rubberneck at crash sites or eat that extra Little Debbie Zebra Cake (where is that copyright symbol?). Just try and stop me.

By John Eggerton