Like chef Craig Thornton of Wolvesmouth fame, we often find ourselves gawping at the humiliation “Hell's Kitchen” contenders must endure. Unlike Thornton, we can tolerate it in more than 20-minute doses. The recent season 8 finale with Nona Sivley beating out blame-game expert Russell Kook was a doozy.
We're pretty sure this is not how most kitchens are run, even the ones at Gordon Ramsay's namesake restaurants.
From the histrionics of fame-hungry housewives to the maudlin sentiments of would-be Bachelors, we just assume that most of what we see on “reality” TV bears little resemblance to reality. We've even wondered if “Deadliest Catch” isn't actually shot in a water-tank on some studio lot.
After all, this is a genre that's all about manufacturing drama, creating narrative arcs and assigning obvious roles to its actors: bitchy prom queen, arrogant alpha-male, lovable suburban mom. Smarter, better, more competent contestants are routinely eliminated in favor of less talented but crazier ones.
We're not professional chefs, so we don't take Hell's Kitchen et. al. personally. If there was a food writer reality show (most boring show ever?), we might feel different.