Monday, July 02, 2007

Dysfunctional TV relationships

I like Hell's Kitchen but I don't want to watch it anymore.

The fact that I like this show at all really disturbs me on a very deep level. I mean, I watch the show and see how Chef Gordon Ramsey talks to those young chefs in the kitchen. He yells at them and calls them horrible names that border on sexual harrassment and really, it makes my stomach hurt to watch! In fact, if anyone were to EVER try speak to me or anyone I care about like that in real life I would probably call the police! If I were talked to like that in my work place, I would bring them up on charges! It's just so wrong. So why do we watch it?


I've got to wonder if they find abused and already broken personalities to work for these shows. I've noted that most of their chefs are not even half as talented as the chefs on Top Chef. So, maybe they do find the people who grew up in broken homes or with mothers with addictive personalities and abusive boyfriends, so the young chefs don't think there is anything wrong with how he is speaking to them?

I know there is this great big cash/fame payoff at the end, but I don't care how much money is at the end, if that is the guy who you will have to work for/with forever and ever amen, it just doesn't seem worth it.

Every week, when they are brought to tears after being harrassed and picked on and screamed at, they are crying to the camera and between sobs they are saying, "It's ok. I was wrong. This is how I will learn to be better. He just wants me to be better."

Um, sound familiar? To me it is sounds just like, "He only hits me because I am bad and he wants me to be better. He really is a good person deep down."

Yeah. Gross.

So, I am confused as to why I even like this show starring a person who would be so awful to the point that he brings people to tears several times a week. I just don't get it.

Is it a weird voyeurism thing? I am watching from the safety of my living room and they are the people in the shiny box, so they are not real, so this must all be scripted so he really isn't as horrible as he seems? Kind of in the same way I love the Godfather and The Sopranos and think the mobsters on those shows are really cool, when I am totally anti-gangs and violence in real life.

Is this the first step towards prison execution reality shows?
Is this really what we are coming to?
Is watching people in a classic abusive and bullying situation really good TV?

Has anyone taken a gander at the very popular Dr Phil house or seen the ratings on Jerry Springer?

I guess I answered my own questions.

And yet I keep tuning in, and watching while I get stressed out and my stomach hurts. It is the proverbial car wreck I can't turn my eyes away from. It has to stop.

At the very least I have to stop watching it.


Anonymous said...

I cannot tolerate that man or watch anything with him on it. He is an arrogant, agressive bastard and I hate him.
I think you are totally right making the link to other forms of abuse.
The fact that anyone finds other human beings being humiliated in such a way entertaining disturbs me to my very core.

Michelle Auer said...

Wow Suzy! I'm gonna say your vote is to not watch that show then? ;-) I agree, I'm just sort of shocked that it took watching a few episodes before I realized I really hated it. Last night was the kicker though when they had the marathon. After two hours of it I was wondering why I was so stressed, that is what inspired the blog.

Deb Hardman said...

I just watch DVDs of old movies. Much better.

Anonymous said...

Sorry - I have clambered down from my soapbox now.


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