Tele-Tuesday: “Real” Summer Fun

The networks produce tons of reality television for basic cable over the summer months.  Let’s be honest – the networks produce tons of reality television every month for all of the networks – period.  One can find reality shows on almost any network at any time, including A&E and The History Channel.

While there is more than enough out there for everyone to choose from, June and July bring back two of our favorite reality shows – Hell’s Kitchen and Big Brother.

 

First up, Hell’s Kitchen

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey hosts one of the best cooking shows on television, and definitely the most-fun.  Along with his British accent, his multiple Michelin stars (one of the top hotel and restaurant annual guides), his multiple renowned restaurants, and six television programs, Chef Ramsey might just as well be known for his stellar vocabulary.  He drops the “F” bomb a lot, and the television sensors bleep him quite a bit.  “You, Donkey,” happens to be one of our favorite Ramsay-isms.

Lewd language aside, Chef Ramsey shares his knowledge of cooking and invites twelve chefs (some aspiring chefs, some sous-chefs, and some executive chefs) to compete for an opportunity of a lifetime – the chance to win a high paying position at a top restaurant in popular cities such as Vegas, Atlantic City, Los Angeles, and Whistler, British Columbia.

Each season promises drama as the cast members’ personalities inevitably clash.  But most importantly, and ironically, each season the cast members appear to cook the same dishes incorrectly over and over again driving Chef Ramsey absolutely bonkers.  Such dishes include scallops, risotto, and beef wellington.

One by one, the competing chefs’ jackets are burned, leaving only two to battle it out for the prize.  The final two select previously eliminated teammates to work alongside them in the final competition of the season, and there’s nothing quite like watching the two struggle with this decision, knowing the strengths, weaknesses, and tempers of their cohorts.  These two finalists build their own menus and sometimes even design their half of the dining room giving Chef Ramsey a full view of their potential as Executive Chefs.

Chef Gordon Ramsey and season 3 winner Rock Harper

Former winners of Hell’s Kitchen include: Michael Wray (Season 1), Heather West (Season 2), Rahman “Rock” Harper (Season 3), Christina Machamer (Season 4), Danny Veltri (Season 5), Dave Levey (Season 6), Holli Ugalde (Season 7), and Nona Sivley (Season 8).

If you love food, love to cook, or love to laugh, I highly suggest giving Hell’s Kitchen a try.  I have added dining at a Ramsey restaurant to my bucket list.  Do you know what I’ll order?  Scallops, risotto, and beef wellington!

Hell’s Kitchen premiers Tuesday, July 19th on FOX.

 

Next, we have Big Brother

What do you think of when you hear the term ‘Big Brother’?  “Big Brother is watching you,” right?  Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell still lives strong today.  Only today, many people immediately think of CBS’s hit reality show, Big Brother, not the classic literary work.

Each season, approximately thirteen houseguests arrive for their summer of seclusion cut off from the outside world completely – no television, no telephone, no radios, no newspapers, no computers – no contact.  They compete against each other in food and luxury competitions, as well as the ever-powerful Head of Household (H.O.H.) and the Power of Veto competitions in the hopes of winning the $500,000 cash prize.

Alliances inevitably form, and usually only the strongest survive the game.  On the other hand, forming and publicly acknowledging an alliance will most often times ensure the members of said alliance have the largest targets on his/her backs.  Two of the most successful alliances in the history of Big Brother formed the previous two seasons – Season 11’s Jeff Schroeder and winner Jordan Lloyd, and season 12’s ‘The Brigade’ consisting of winner Hayden Moss, and his three buddies: Enzo Palumbo, Lane Elenburg, and Matt Hoffman.

Video cameras capture the houseguests’ every move.  In addition to CBS’s airing three episodes a week, live 24/7 feeds are available online, and Showtime airs Big Brother: After Dark every night from midnight to 3am (EST).

America watches and votes on special circumstances to make the houseguests’ lives even more difficult. For example, the losing members of the food competitions are forced to eat “Big Brother Slop” for seven days.  The slop has been compared to oatmeal in texture, but lacks all taste.  America votes each week and allows the losing houseguests the opportunity to eat other selected food items such as bok choy and baby food.

America has also voted some of the biggest twists into the game – The Power of Coup D’Etat (season 11 awarded to Jeff Schroeder), re-entry into the house (season 6 awarded to Kaysar Ridha), and the Saboteur (season 12 awarded to Ragan Fox).   But don’t worry; Big Brother doesn’t always need America’s help to thrust the houseguests into a deep paranoia.  In Season 11, Big Brother introduced Pandora’s Box.  Each time the houseguest of choice decides to open the box, the remaining houseguests endure a good consequence and a bad consequence.  They never know what might happen until it’s too late and the decision has been made.

Big Brother host – Julie Chen

CBS and Julie Chen host some of the most fun summer television programming has to offer.  If you love watching men & women battle it out physically, go insane and breakdown, and engage in some of the most strategic game-play on television today, check out Season 13!

Big Brother premiers Thursday, July 7th on CBS.

 

Are you a fan of Hell’s Kitchen or Big Brother?  Who’s your favorite winner from Hell’s Kitchen?  Who’s your favorite houseguest from Big Brother?  How about your least favorite and why? Which reality television shows do you enjoy?  If given the opportunity, would you audition for reality television?  I’d love to hear from you!

Special Announcement – Tomorrow, Amber West and I launch our new blog series, Why it’s Worth a Watch Wednesday.  Come back and check out our first editionsSwitched at Birth (ABC Family) and Teen Wolf (MTV).  Stop by the twitter hashtag (#watchwed) and visit with us about any of today’s television shows that you’d like to see discussed on our series.

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20 Responses to Tele-Tuesday: “Real” Summer Fun

  1. Jeff Greene says:

    Hell’s Kitchen insterest me but have never watched it. Interesting that you mentioned “Switched at Birth”, watched it last night for the first time becuase of my daughter. Surprised to see Lea Thompson on there. Haven’t seen her in a while. Now I feel old.
    Speaking of daughter and realitiy shows. She got us all into Project Runway.

    • Hi, Jeff! If you like to cook, check out Hell’s Kitchen at least once – but beware of Chef Ramsey’s language. He can be brutal! I really like to watch the chefs compete….Regarding Switched at Birth, isn’t it bad when we get excited to see the parents on a show instead of the kid stars? I’ve felt aged quite a bit lately. Thank for stopping by!

  2. You know how I feel about Big Brother. I will be tweeting it all summer long and annoying the shit out of people. Be prepared, be very prepared. 🙂

  3. Jenny Hansen says:

    Tiffany,

    Your own Twitter hashtag…how fun is THAT going to be??!!

  4. wosushi says:

    I love me some “Hell’s Kitchen”. I never got into Big Brother, but when I was in Australia (forever ago…like over 10 years) I watched theirs and was hooked. Don’t know what the difference was.

    The few times I tried to watch here, I got so annoyed with the people I had to give up. But I get the draw.

    • YAY, Amber! I can’t wait to talk Hell’s Kitchen with my #watchwed partner-in-crime! I agree, there are definitely annoying people on Big Brother; but, I can’t stop watching! 🙂

  5. Piper Bayard says:

    Hi Tiffany. As a pop culture junkie, I love this Tele-Tuesday blog of yours.

    I say I’m a pop culture junkie, but I’ve never watched Big Brother. I LOVE chef Ramsey, though. I honestly haven’t been overly taken with any of the Hell’s Kitchen winners, but I always get the feeling that, regardless of how rude Ramsey is, he really does want people to succeed and do well.

    My favorite “reality” show is America’s Next Top Model. My daughter and I have been watching it for years just to see how they torture those poor girls. One of the early seasons had them dressed up like mermaids, hanging in a net full of fish.

    And no. I would never audition for a reality show. 🙂

    • Piper Bayard says:

      Hi Tiffany. As a pop culture junkie, I love this Tele-Tuesday blog of yours.

      I say I’m a pop culture junkie, but I’ve never watched Big Brother. I LOVE chef Ramsey, though. I honestly haven’t been overly taken with any of the Hell’s Kitchen winners, but I always get the feeling that, regardless of how rude Ramsey is, he really does want people to succeed and do well.

      My favorite “reality” show is America’s Next Top Model. My daughter and I have been watching it for years just to see how they torture those poor girls. One of the early seasons had them dressed up like mermaids, hanging in a net full of fish.

      And no. I would never audition for a reality show. 🙂

      And very cool about the new hashtag. All the best with that. I’ll certainly be checking it out.

      • Hi, Piper! Big Brother is a big summer guilty pleasure of mine….if you ever feel like checking it out, I’m around to chat about it! I agree 100%. Chef Ramsey is like the old coach we all had growing up – he’s extremely critical but wants the VERY best for you, not just of you. Thanks so much for stopping by! I may just have to check out America’s Next Top Model….

  6. You totally highlighted a couple of my favorites! I am a big Ramsey fan (I like watching Kitchen Nightmares) and as you know, a major BB fan as well. Great summary of the two – looking forward to them both! 🙂

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  8. Roni Loren says:

    I got kind of tired of Hell’s Kitchen, though I love Gordon. But I’m a diehard Big Brother watcher. Every season it starts, I’m like meh…it’s not going to be good this year. Then those damn people suck me in anyway.

    I always tell the hubby that Big Brother would probably be the only show I’d consider being on because I wouldn’t have to climb mountains or eat rice for three months of whatever. I just have to deal with other people and strategize. That could be fun.

    • RONI!! If you ever feel like trying out for BB, let me know! I say the exact same thing: if I could do any of today’s reality shows, it would be Big Brother! Thanks so much for stopping by & leaving a comment. 🙂

  9. I don’t watch either of these shows but I do try to catch Challenge on the Food network every now and then. It fascinates me how cake can be turned into such beautiful works of art. I hold my breath with everyone else as the pastry chefs move their cakes (some of them taller and wider than the pastry chefs) from the kitchen to the display table. Talk about drama!

  10. I absolutely adore Hell’s Kitchen, and I also love Master Chef, Gorden Ramsey’s newest venture. It’s in its second season, and I haven’t missed an episode yet. He’s a bit tamer in this show, maybe because he’s not dealing with professional chefs.

    At any rate, I love anything Gorden Ramsey, and now you’ve made me want to add dining at one of his restaurants to my own bucket list! This was my first visit to Tele-Tuesday, and I can’t wait to read more!

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