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Chef Irvine is bombastic and British - perfect fodder for an American
This fresh update of the tired formula still being pushed by Kitchen Nightmares is worth a look. I enjoyed Gordon Ramsay when he first started, but lately the 'lay it on thick' emotional rubbish and bosses who just don't deserve help have reduced my interest in the show. If it wasn't for the show revolving around helping people (always worth supporting on that basis) I probably would have stopped watching.
Restaurant Impossible is like a nice reboot of the concept. We get to meet the crew who do the renovation, and watch it all come together. The cooking tips are real and the pressure seems genuine. I look forward to the next season, and do genuinely hope that the Kitchen Nightmares producers learn some lessons from this junior 'knock-off' and revitalise their own tired show.
Restaurant: Impossible is the much milder version of Gordon Ramsey's
'Kitchen Nightmares' television series, and while Robert Irvine tries
to flex his gargantum muscles and blast his icy-blue eyes hidden behind
his shimmering spectacles on wary and generally confused restaurant
owners, there is a gentleness and generosity to this show which gives
it a much needed breath of freshness from many 'makeover' shows airing
We all remember Irvine from his Dinner: Impossible days, and it seems that the Food Network has forgiven any of the lies or exaggerated claims he has made about his credentials (because of course, this is show business, and no one is quite honest about what they have done or are doing now, have they?) and given him this new baby to feed, and it seems to be doing pretty well. In fact, it's one of the more interesting series on the Food Network right now.
Here, there is a little mixture of extreme grossness (cockroaches, rats, ten years worth of molded grease and other forms of nastiness galore), enough sob stories to to keep you mildly endeared to the situations of these mainly clueless, hapless people who think that owning and running a restaurant is just shoveling out plates of food and taking in the dough, but not enough that this become Psychosis: Impossible. Irvine marches into these failing institutions, and proceeds to rip, tear, and shred them down to the very naked bone, but not in a mean, nasty, or condescending way. There is no sense of him pimping the emotional weaknesses and general ignorance of these people just for the kicks, and in the end the results are good, and sometimes quite lovely, even though there is a question of how many of these people will keep up the suggestions and listen to Irvine's critiques and improve their business upon them.
Here, the focus is more or less on the owners and their jaded misconceptions about one of the most-likely-to-fail businesses on the planet than on established restaurants which are crumbling beneath bad management, so on and so forth. Whereas Ramsey will curse, defile, and break down restaurants and their owners, Irvine uses some of the brashness without the snarls, and there have only been a few times when he seems genuinely irritated or upset with these people, which shows quite a bit of patience and sympathy on his part. He knows, better than even the viewers can, that most of these people have generally no idea what they are getting into and have, not surprisingly, gotten themselves into a situation which they cannot escape from. Some are angry, others seems numb, others are stuck in disbelief that their food tastes terrible or that their décor looks like something out of a bad horror movie.
Eventually, after all the tears have dried or facial tissues have proceeded to return to their original shades, the work begins. Over the three seasons, a retinue of different designers have appeared on this show with differing degrees of attractiveness to their work, and the most consistent designers will be seen over-and-over again. The rest of the show is spent reworking the menu and flavors, cleaning up the normally disgusting kitchens, and putting all the feathers back into place. In the end, the results are normally quite attractive, and the reactions of the people can seem a little cheesy at times, but Irvine seems genuinely happy to bring happiness into the lives of these depressed, on-the-edge of the precipice people and their families.
It's a much gentler, family-friendly version of Kitchen Nightmares and much more watchable if you're looking for a decent show to pass time with, not the bitterness-and-bile boot camp where people are degraded and insulted everyone two seconds. As time progresses, I feel this show will get even better, and there is a great chance we can enjoy Irvine and his restaurant escapades for many seasons to come.
I loved the first several seasons of this show, because it was all
about the FOOD. Sure, it involved fixing the kitchen/giving the place a
facelift to make it an attractive package, but it has devolved to
"HGTV/Marriage counseling Hour". I, like many people, will go into a
hole in the wall, as long as it's relatively clean, but mostly IF THE
FOOD IS GOOD. The last few seasons the food aspect has been less than 5
minutes out of every hour episode. So the recent places may look nice,
but the food is still going to suck.
Here's something you'll hear every episode: The designer of the episode will say "There are sooooo many dust collectors", or "We HATE nik-naks!", only to put up a thousand new dust collectors and nik naks to replace the ones they just hauled outside.
It was funny when Robert used to take a sledgehammer to a wall or whatever, because then he'd walk off to the kitchen and make something delicious. Now he hangs around the remodel or goes to the trailer and makes phone calls. Very disappointing.
I thought this was a FOOD network show. What happened to the FOOD part of the show??
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Of course, I had heard of the BBC show "Kitchen Nightmares", where
Gordon Ramsey rescues failing establishments by screaming obscenities
at the hapless owners,and I had found the few episodes of "Dinner:
Impossible" I watched contrived and grating, so I didn't have much
desire to watch this offshoot. But my best friend had it on his
television one night as we were hanging out, saying he found it a great
example of how businesses fail and how to begin to rescue them, so I
said "What the hell" and gave "R:I" a try.
I think that this series is a better vehicle for Irvine, in that it made him a lot more sympathetic - his brashness and bluntness is translated into "tough love", and his skill and experience as a restaurateur and a chef is better displayed as he dissects what has "gone wrong" with a typical small time failing restaurant and tries to apply the most urgent and obvious "fixes" in the shortest amount of time possible. (Seriously...48 hours? Didn't Ramsey at least take a week or two?)
The real appeal of this series, of course, is the schadenfreude you experience watching some poor owner and/or partners and family working themselves ragged only to watch their hopes and dreams swirl down the drain. And if Irvine can do anything to restore their hope with a "tough love" interventions, well, then you get to feel good by proxy.
However, after a few episodes, the contrivances began to become obvious and you can almost predict not only Irvine's diagnoses and speeches word for word seconds in advance, you can do the same for the restaurant staff and Irvine's redecoration crew. It's the same old, same old every week, and I seriously doubt that anyone's 48 hour intervention is really going to change a dysfunctional organization for the better no matter what the official narrative of "R:I" would have you believe.
Still, it's fun watching Irvine jolt owners and staff out of their ruts, and it's fun seeing what the construction crew can do to revamp the insides of the place. Just limit yourself to an episode every few weeks and hopefully, you will keep your skepticism in check enough to watch "Restaurant: Impossible" with some pleasure.
Each week, a different failing restaurant is given a FAST makeover by
Robert Irvine and his assistants. In many cases, you find the
restaurant owners likable but clueless. In others, they just seem like
annoying jerks who seem to fight Irvine's suggestions--and the audience
WANTS to see them fail but Irvine, inexplicably, doesn't give up.
Regardless, by the end of the show, the establishment is cleaner,
brighter and more able to succeed. Despite being HIGHLY scripted, the
show, overall, is very entertaining. My only complaints are that the
followups online are very vague and I'd LOVE to see a followup show a
year or two later when they revisit many of the old shows. Still, a
simple idea that manages to work.
I know that there has been some controversy about the host, Robert Irvine's credentials. I tried to get to the truth of this by reading a lot of articles on the internet and really couldn't. It appears as if he might have exaggerated a bit instead of actually lying about his experiences. However, he IS a very good host of the show--mostly because he appears to care so much about the people (unlike in the British version of this show--where the host is very abusive). He also seems like a really nice guy--and that is hard to fake.
I Love this show Chef Robert is an army drill Sargent type of guy that
will get things moving, He's not Martha Stewart or Rachael Ray, He's
honest in the best way, not the demoralizing "You ARE A PIECE OF SH*T!"
way that is Gordan Ramsey's style, but the "I'm gonna tell you what you
don't want to hear but you know it's true,"
It's tough but I'm here to help you, Brutally Honest, Brutally True.
Chef Robert say's "I will make YOU better, With this and that, YOU can do this, I will help you." And this show has Real actions, and reactions, it changes lives, and every show you can feel the real reality, unlike, most "reality shows" on TV.
It is May 2015. I don't know why it says I'm only able to comment on
2011 episodes. Doesn't matter, this review applies to Restaurant
Impossible and Robert Irvine in particular. Robert seems to think he
has as much success, experience and cachet as Ramsey (Ramsey is a one
word identification, who knows who Irvine is?) Someone should tell him
he's on the same level as all the others that scream at their "clients"
like "Bar Rescue", etc. Please increase his salary so he can buy shirts
that actually fit him (he's only feeding his ego) and his chewed down
to the quick nails are disgusting.
The exposure of the Lexus brand is ridiculous. As a result, you would think he might have a larger budget. Speaking of, who are you trying to kid you can do all those renovations with a $10,000 budget?
I would have definitely given this at least an 7 if it wasn't for the host.This guy looks like he came out from a work out at the gym, still pumped and ready to toss things around. His attitude is wrong on so many levels and even when he tries to act nice it seems like he is faking it. The sole fact that he doesn't shake the hands of the owners when he meets them for the first time in front of the camera speaks for itself. I find it highly disrespectful. The fact that the show is 99% copying "Kitchen Nightmares" (1% being the smaller budget the host has to fix the place) doesn't help either. There should be a law against plagiarism, or if not at least try and be better than the show you are trying to copy.
Robert Irvine is an embarrassment to the foodservice industry. Shame on the Food Network for putting this tool on their network. At least Gordon Ramsey knows the industry and is respected. This fool is neither. I am watching an episode right now. He asks the owners what type of restaurant they have and they answer Mexican sports bar. He laughs at them as he who knows so much has never heard of a Mexican Sports Bar. Google them. They are everywhere. He makes tiny changes and pretends he made a difference. I have been in this industry my entire career and I apologize for this loser. That is not to say there are not others that are not also weak, but this guy is the worst of them all.
This host is loud, bellowing at people, he is rude to them even when they are polite, he's lazy, standing around with his big muscles showing in his black tee, while everyone else carries things in or out. At night he goes to the hotel to sleep while the designer and carpenter are left to work all night; then in the morning he yells at them if they've not finished. At the end he takes credit, calling them "my" designer and carpenter. He even uses bad grammar (did I tell you to do them things...) "Them" things?? He can be disgusting, making "barf" faces to describe a dish, but then pretends he's such a brilliant chef because he salts something. Oh, and the constant reruns. I keep thinking I'm going to see new shows and that he'll be better behaved. Come on, Food Network. You have so many good shows; you can do better than this!
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