Kitchen Nightmares (TV Series 2007–2014) Poster


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A Guilty Favorite
vranger18 June 2009
Gordon Ramsay, a rich and famous chef, years ago hit the reality TV circuit by acting as a consultant to failing restaurants.

Two things strike me about this series.

First, these restaurant owners and employees, despite having so many problems when they agree to be one of these shows that they are on the verge of bankruptcy, have the gall to actually argue with his suggestions for becoming successful.

Second, I often wonder why, after seeing one of these shows, I ever go to eat at a restaurant again! LOL Interesting in the manner that makes people slow down to view the details of a car wreck, Nightmares often provides an uplifting story of a group of people getting it together to run their business properly for the very first time. Sadly, there are those that are so stubborn, and/or so inept, that they fail despite Gordon's intervention.

There is a lot of bad language and bad food, so this is not for small children. If you run a business of ANY type, you can learn real lessons for success from these shows.
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An enjoyable reality series
Zaniac127312 October 2007
After my wife got me addicted to Hell's Kitchen (US) during its first season, we've jumped at the opportunity to watch every show or series we could with Gordon in it.

We had previously watched several episodes of his show "The F Word" before eventually getting bored with it. This show, however, seems to be much more entertaining and worth watching. If you enjoy documentaries and/or reality shows, this series might be worth watching. To me, this series is to the restaurant industry as The Biggest Loser is to the obese. Although Kitchen Nightmares is not in any way a competitive series, its ultimate goal is very similar to that of The Biggest Loser. Where TBL takes several fat people (some of whom are heart attacks waiting to happen) and "saves" them by whipping them into shape and making them skinny again, Kitchen Nightmares each week showcases a single restaurant on the verge of shutting down due to any number of reasons (food quality, service, management, organization, etc) and attempts to transform the business into one that is popular and profitable.

Overall, I'm impressed with the quality of Gordon's "consultant" skills. He does bring out some of his brutally honest mannerisms in this series, but he doesn't take it to extremes like he's some drill sergeant constantly yelling at recruits. Although he does occasionally get in face-to-face jawing matches with some of the people involved, he does often show a more human side, being very professional and down to earth with the owner(s) of each restaurant and telling them what he thinks needs to change. He helps them by giving their dining area a makeover and occasionally replaces old, run down kitchen equipment with new and fancy ones. He's also good about complementing the restaurants and individuals on any positive changes he observes.

While one of the other posters wrote about the US version lacking some features present in the UK version of the show (which I don't see as a problem because Americans and Britons often have different tastes anyway), I will agree that the series could be improved by including a segment on how each showcased restaurant is doing several months after Gordon's visit. Such an inclusion would certainly be nice to see, but it might have been deliberately left out for a good reason - why cut out other dramatic details that are definitely worth leaving in the show when they can always throw in 1-2 episodes dedicated specifically to the "how are they now" questions later in the season (or even 1 at the mid-point and another at the end of the season)?
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Ramsay makes the show.
magellan33321 November 2007
Hell's Kitchen introduced me to Gordon Ramsay. The commercials for that show portray him as a harsh tyrant in a chef's jacket. This is not the case on Hell's Kitchen or on Kitchen Nightmares. Kitchen Nightmares is an enjoyable show that allows the viewer to better understand what goes on behind the scenes of the restaurant business. Part of the the show's entertainment though lies in the incompetence and arrogance of those working in the restaurants Gordon Ramsay sets out to rescue. Without Gordon Ramsay, this show would find itself on The Food Network or TLC. He truly makes the show great as he is hard but fair. He seeks to raise the bar to improve skills, decor and ultimately business. As he does this, it makes for a fairly entertaining reality show.
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My favourite guilty pleasure
In all honesty, I have a gigantic man crush on Gordon Ramsay. There's just no one else like him. He tells it like it is, and There's just nothing he cannot do. Or so it seems. I'll admit I'd hate to be some runt on the show, but that's a good thing. And Kitchen Nightmares is proof that sometimes, one voice IS enough to stop a restaurant from serving crap.

This is an American version of his original British program, which is just as much a guilty pleasure as the Yankee version. Essentially the rundown is this: A restaurant, somewhere in America, is struggling. It could be due to shitty food or shitty management/service... or maybe even both. After tasting their cheapjack food, Ramsay observes what goes on in the kitchen, and then does what it takes to get the restaurant back on it's feet, for once and for all.

Ramsay is brutal as frack. A seasoned tongue, it's just so fun to watch him suffer dealing with morons and bad food, one couldn't help but feel sorry for the guy! His brilliance just doesn't end. I'll admit one of the reasons I love this show is I'm. A world traveler, and one of the things I keep an active interest in is cuisine. Having been to France recently, I always look forward to the French restaurant episodes!

In short, if you like crackdown justice shows like me, you will regardlessly love this show!
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Not as good as the BBC version
dcorvino24 May 2011
Although I am a fan of the series, the American version of Kitchen Nightmares is not as good as the British version. The American version seems much more dramatic. It is loaded with arguments, family problems, and near fisticuffs. The British version concentrates on the restaurant's problems and how to solve them. It is excellent. I don't want to see a bunch of staged drama (Similar to the fake drama in Cake Boss). I want reality, something that is missing from reality TV! I want to watch Gordon identify the problems, and fix the problems. Along the way, show me how the food is made and improved upon. And by the way, does Gordon really hate every single first meal he has at these restaurants? The chefs can't be that bad, at least not some of them anyway.
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Watch 1 Episode and you have seen them all.
byerly050313 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This show holds up to the usual lack of any redeeming values you'd expect in a show on FOX. All of the time on camera is spent watching family members yell at each other, dimwitted employees, Ramsay complaining, and patrons sending food back. Anything related to running a kitchen, the business of a restaurant, or cooking food is omitted. Don't bother to watch more than one episode since they are exactly the same.


You want to make a drinking game out of it. (Please note, that technically this entire game is a spoiler since it describes, in detail, how EVERY SINGLE EPISODE runs.)

Been in family for many years: Shot

Wife complains about how Husband runs the business: Shot

The Chef claims his food is great: Chug

One shot for every dish Ramsay orders over 3.

Ramsay asks Chef to taste 2nd dish: Chug

Ramsay asks Chef to taste 3rd dish: Shot

One Shot for every type of meat Ramsay finds in the kitchen stock that is bad.

Someone cries (each time): Shot

Dining room closed during first dinner service: Chug

Dining room remodeled overnight: Chug

Chef is replaced / fired / quits: Shot

During credits the restaurant is announced to be closed or sold: Chug
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Total Trash TV
buchan196523 August 2009
It's sad to see what has happened to this show in its American incarnation.

Typical of American television, and of Fox in particular, the wonderful BBC original "Kitchen Nightmares" has been Jerry Springer-ized for the U.S. market.

Let's review each show, shall we? There's the:

1. short intro of troubled restaurant

2. Gordon arrives, eats, makes catty remarks about the food

3. confronts chef/owner, initiates shouting match

4. more shouting in the kitchen ("it's rotten!"…."the kitchen is closed!"….."you're going to kill people!")

5 Totally phony "drama" as Gordon morphs into Dr. Phil and holds a family therapy session for the beleaguered owners. Lots of phony tears, lots of phony "concern" from Gordon.

6. chef/owner resists Gordon's changes, more shouting

7. Gordon's people remodel restaurant, Gordon introduces new menu

(repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 here, then cue the...)

8. happy ending, chef/owner admits how right Gordon was and they were wrong

The change in tone from the British version is jarring -- in the BBC incarnation, Gordon's critiques of the food are exactly what you'd expect from a professional chef who genuinely wants to help get a troubled eating establishment back on its feet.

In the American version, his comments are rude, crass, and boorish -- obviously meant to elicit the kind of hooting and howling reaction that you see from an audience on the Jerry Springer Show. Would any true professional, when tasting a not-so-great meal, call it "a big pile of pubic hair"? But at least it gets the mouth-breathers who watch Fox hooting, right on cue. Add to that, it now seems every restaurant is now family owned, which gives the dullards at Fox the chance to give us fake, phony, staged family therapy sessions. Anyone who really thinks they're seeing anything "real" on this show needs to have their head examined.

And EVERY show has him saying "this is the worst meal I've ever had in my entire life!" Yeah, right. Phony.

There seems to be a conscious effort to get people screaming at each other as quickly as possible (this way, the idiot narrator can say "next week's show is Gordon's biggest...challenge...YET!"). His favorite method is to call the chef/manager/owner "a fake", and that usually does the trick (which is kind or ironic, since that's exactly what this show is), then when the person gets angry and argues back (or storms off), Gordon acts shocked (shocked! that there's gambling in Casablanca…).

The British version was informative and entertaining.

This American version is absolute garbage. Which is just par for the course on Fox.

Or, rather, IT'S ROTTEN!!!!!

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So Many restaurants serve crap until Gordon Show Them
DKosty12326 September 2007
The title to this show says it all. Every week Gordon is going to visit a restaurant with problems, show us all the problems, & then suggest & help the folks running the place to fix them up. Will he ever run out of bad places he can find?

Gordon has the right personality to come across very well on TV & this show relies upon that. Ramsey often shows his sense of community service in re-launching these restaurants & promoting them by helping their locale.

FOX has had to tone down the US version from the BBC version. Americans have trouble taking Simon on American Idol & can't take the BBC version of this. I think the FOX version should crank it up to match the British one. I like Ramsey and wish him continued success with this as it is an intelligently done show that gets it viewers interested in good food.

There can never be enough good food in this world. That should be job security enough for this format.
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Ahem ... Gordon?
greenfishy8 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Brit version... aces! I've watched many eppies more than once.

US version... (expletive deleted)! DR has lost the touch. There is absolutely no interest for the viewer in this version. Restaurants that are in trouble, that want help is one thing, but restaurant owners who are not interested in help are totally boring to watch. The "sebastian" resto eppie from LA: all I could think of was that Gordon R. was a prat (winding the owner up to see him act his worst), and the owner chef was a waste of oxygen. There are so many worthy struggling folks out there who are trying to make a go of the tough world of food, yet this worthless ego-maniac got a renovated the restaurant and a state-of-the-art dough mixer.

BTW, having every 3rd work *bleeped* out is intensely distracting. Either leave the F-words, and B-words in, or, DR should tone it down. The number of beeps was outright silly.

Bottom line... I am very disappointed in this series, and, as a DR fan, I have totally lost interest in this series. Generally a very smart businessman, DR has def. made a big mistake with this US-version of the show. It may cost him his North American fan base.
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gsaself17 March 2012
Read the bad reviews, People who don't like this show have apparently seen every single episode so obviously must be entertaining to no end. If you like Gordon Ramsey which i do especially UK versions you will enjoy this show. Hey every episode of the news is exactly the same stupid intro, weather, car commercial disguised as news, fear tactic, avoid world politics,talk about local car crash.etc or look out house is about a Dr solving a medical issue. Other shows that these haters could say the same thing about are endless and a waste of time to list.

Kitchen nitghtmares can be hard to watch back to back. But the revisits and total blow outs are fun. Not for the weak of stomach. UK a little rougher. Ramsey great escapes is less formulaic then this show.

None of the nightmares ever improved enough to win a Michelin. There bussinesses go from failing to surviving and succeeding but not to stardom.
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