Tuesday, August 15, 2006

LORD OF THE FRIES: Heather puts the island's signal fire out on Hell's Kitchen finale

Anyone else watch the season finale of Hell's Kitchen last night? No? You pathetic [digitally blurred mouth, bleeping] moron.

In one of the most obviously telegraphed reality show endings I've ever witnessed, perpetually crying sous chef Heather walked away with the keys to her own multi-million dollar restaurant, while Virginia became the last chef to be "86'd" (but where was the satisfying ceremonial burning of Viriginia in effigy?).

It was an action-packed final episode, with six of the previously booted chefs returning to help Heather and her opponent Virginia prepare their final service. We even got to see some blood when sweaty, incompetant oldster Tom sliced his hand while cleaning a knife with a towel. Bonus! Weeble™-like B-boy wannabe Keith returned just in time to bribe Virginia, and Chef Ramsay put the Reality™ into "Reality Show" by actually repeatedly stroking his chin while pretending to be making the final decision as to who would be the winner. Oh, the sweet manna from heaven that is 21st century television.

Everyone knew who it would be from the get-go of the episode, however; all the classic reality show devices were out in full force: the bait-and-switch (oh no! Heather's had two plates sent back to the kitchen, and Virginia's acing the quality control!), the selective editing (How could Virginia win when we barely got to hear a peep out of Garrett, the ex-con on her team? Boy, they're really concentrating on Giacomo from Heather's team...), and even the false visual emphasis (Heather was in the foreground during the door-opening ceremony, but we had a better view of Virginia's face -- so the winner has to be Heather).

The "Three Months Later..." epilogue conveniently gave Heather one last chance to shed some tears, as well as another chance for Chef Ramsay to plug the Red Rocks resort in Vegas...which was really what this entire show was about in the end, wasn't it?


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