Restaurant: Impossible (TV Series 2011– ) Poster

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I hope Gordon Ramsay takes note of this show.
Peter Gresham8 June 2011
Chef Irvine is bombastic and British - perfect fodder for an American food show.

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.
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The Milder Version of 'Kitchen Nightmares'
Yasmine Lawrence5 June 2012
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 today.

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.
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Drill sergeants don't belong in the kitchen.
flipy36 September 2011
This show is like Kitchen Nightmares (Chef Gordon Ramsay) replaced by a drill sergeant.

Robert Irvine is unpleasant to watch. His management style of being pushy, demanding, and loud is something that no one in their right mind would like to deal with. Imagine if you will your general Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsay where he comes into a restaurant and tries an assortment of dishes, comments on the decor, and comes up with changes. This is the exact same with the exception of Mr. Irvine being loud and forceful instead of trying to communicate and develop a discussion. He brings the same militant need for control and complete lack of finesse to this show as what made Dinner Impossible grating.
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Where's the beef??
missesaw-770-22061118 January 2016
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??
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Been there, Done that
Darcy20 February 2011
This show is exactly like Gordon Ramsey's: Kitchen Nightmare's it's funny. British host - check, designing restaurants - check, accentuating fresh food and ideas (and berating) the chef/cooks on staff - check. Pain in the ass owner - check. Hosts own design team - check. Check, check, check.

I've been watching Gordon Ramsey's version on BBC America channel for several years and his American version as well.

I know networks rip-off British shows and each other, but this is to irritating. He just exchanges Ramsey's "rustic" food with an Americanized version of the same term. Not that it is not a good show, but come on already.

A different thing about this show is that is concentrates more on the re-decorating aspect of the restaurant. Shocker, of course there are problems with some aspect of the process. American's (and I am one) like home improvement shows, so in my opinion, they added that to make the show slightly different from Kitchen Nightmares.
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The contrivances become obvious over time...but I like it anyway
lemon_magic19 February 2013
Warning: 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.
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A very tough to rate but I do like it....
MartinHafer22 December 2012
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.
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Honesty IS the Best Policy
slaternx22 March 2012
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.
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Enjoyable but a Little Sad in the End
jennipalace23 October 2017
It's enjoyable and fun to watch. It's a lot more about changing the business end, personal issues and aesthetics of the restaurant than the food. New Dishes only account for about 1 minute per show, which is a little disappointing. The biggest challenge is that it seems 80-90% of the restaurants don't make it and are closed within months anyways. That's not necessarily the fault of the show, many of these have tax liens, behind months in rent, or go back to their old ways as soon as the crew leaves, but sometimes it's also because they come in and make the place look amazing, update the kitchen, bring everything back to code and then the landlord realizes they can make 50-100% more in rent so all the benefits of the money and renovations and repairs end up going to the landlord. I would only do this if I personally owned the building they were doing renovations to or was like 1 year into a 5 year lease, otherwise it's just creating an incentive for your landlord to gouge the restaurant as soon as the show airs and location gets national attention. That's the sad part.
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Love this show
lisacarbon5 October 2017
Every time I see this show I end up crying. What the h---is wrong with people. He is trying to help. If people don't take advantage and run with it shame on their dumb ass. God knows I would love that kind of help but it will never happen to me. He may not have the money Jon T. in bar rescue, (who I also love) but he gives people a second chance. I love it!! If you don't appreciate what he is trying to do then you have never had to really fight to stay alive.
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Irvine thinks he's Ramsay
debraharrison30 May 2015
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?
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dartleyk24 June 2012
the program is highly scripted to the point of people waiting to deliver their lines, being moved to a better location for the camera, about as rehearsed as 'reality' can get; then there's the host, a failed restaurant owner who lied on his resume and was fired but somehow got back on the air; then there's the cooking; nope, it's yelling and screaming instead, but every once in a while a great revelation like the host's chicken tastes better because? ready? he put salt and pepper on it; geez, who knew; then there's the mythical 10k budget, except there seem to be dozens of volunteers and donators; try buying a full commercial kitchen, stainless, triple sink, double fryers, oven, broiler, warming oven and 2 fridges (plus full pots, pans and utensils) for $7k? so yes, ramsey's format except the guy here is thickheaded, says the same thing again and again, yells a lot, and doesn't cook; watched one full, tried another to see if that was just an embarrassing fluke; nope
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great TV show
jaemiewaters28 December 2011
it is a great TV show it is one cool show i like when Robert messes up a food place it is just a amazing show i never saw anything like this before it is one entertaining show i like it a lot make this the number 1 show on the food network it is one of the best shows that you could ever see i like this food show more than any food show on TV this is one cool show on TV this show is a hoot it is the bomb you will like this show more than any show in the whole world i like this show a lot Restaurant Impossible rocks this is one cool show that the whole family will enjoy i like this show so much make this show number 1 i never saw a show this good before you will like it a lot i think this is one cool show and you will like this show a lot you will lie it a lot have one good day and please watch this show it is a amazing show that you will enjoy so much this is one cool show that you will like so much this is one cool show this is one cool show i never saw anything like this before
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Average show, terrible host!
shmatko_1723 April 2014
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.
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Robert Irvine's behavior
Wiscatsin6 September 2013
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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An embarrassment.
robrains19 June 2013
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.
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