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What to Watch on Tuesday: Hell's Kitchen finale

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Hell's Kitchen (8pm, Fox) - In the two-hour season finale, the three remaining chefs prepare a dinner service and the field is cut to two. Then foul-mouthed Gordon Ramsay (left) picks the winner, who gets to run the kitchen in a fancy schmancy restaurant at the Whistler resort in Canada. 

NCIS (8pm, CBS) - The team is called to investigate the death of a marine halfway around the world, and the investigation takes a surprising turn when it's discovered that Ziva has a connection to the dead marine.

Biggest Loser (8pm, NBC) - The remaining contestants are divided into two teams (this means Coach is no longer tied to Tracey). 

Flipping Out (10pm, Bravo) - Jeff does the unthinkable -- he threatens to replace Zoila. (I'm remembering previews from last week of Zoila crying and calling Jeff an "a-hole"). Did she poison him again with "months old bacon?" Also, Jeff finds a squatter at the Chaz cottage compound. (Hoping it's Jenni's ex-husband Chris).

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This guy from Hell's Kitchen

This guy from Hell's Kitchen is awesome! He's such a good cook, but a little out there. I hope they do an update international soon so I can see who wins! I don't know why I get so into this show, but I absolutely love it.

Finale already?

I'm surprised they aren't dragging it out at least two more weeks, but I was also surprised that HK was back with this season so soon after the previous season. Maybe they already have the next season in the wings. I also wonder if FOX is going to bring back the American version of Kitchen Nightmares.

@coughlin_jake: Definitely good, IMO. BTW, you should read Outliers (if you haven't already), which is a great non-fiction book about success. It challenges the notion of self-made men (& women) versus luck of the draw.

I haven't read "Outliers"

I haven't read "Outliers" so I don't really know what "challenges the notion of self-made" persons actually entails, but in trying to decide whether to purchase "Hell's Kitchen", I looked up Gordon Ramsay on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Ramsay):

Gordon James Ramsay, OBE, (born 8 November 1966) is a Scottish-born chef, television personality and restaurateur.[1] He has been awarded a total of 16 Michelin Stars,[2][3][4] and in 2001 became one of only three chefs in the United Kingdom to hold three Michelin stars at one time.[5] Ramsay currently ranks 3rd in the world in terms of Michelin Stars behind Joël Robuchon and Alain Ducasse.[6][dead link]

 3rd in the world.  Do you really believe that kind of recognition and success comes without talent and skill?  (Or do you believe that luck of the draw is behind talent and skill?)

Do you really believe

Do you really believe that kind of recognition and success comes without talent and skill?

Outliers proposes that luck of the draw is behind the talent/skill. Sometimes we assume people like Bill Gates (or perhaps Gordon Ramsay) made themselves, but in fact, it had more to do with chance. In Bill Gates' example, his mother & her friends bought computer time at the prep. school he attended, giving him the opportunity to spend a lot of time with computers and that practice and experience set the rest of the wheels in motion, so to speak.

I'm still on the fence about it, but it was a really good read and thought-provoking. It did change my mind about year-round schools and how they might actually be a good thing for our kids, keeping them engaged in the learning process.

Talent/Skill

So I'm reading "Roasting in Hell's Kitchen" (or "Humble Pie" or whatever the hell this book is supposed to be titled), and our exchange is forefront in my mind.  Ramsay makes a point of saying (paraphrased) "it was a sheer accident that I got into catering college" and (not paraphased) "What I needed was a lucky break [...] That break came to me [...]"  There are other examples peppered through the manuscript.  The phrase "lucky break" certainly seems to tip its hat in the direction of luck.

 But even luck, I think, requires a pretty solid core of talent and skill (which I think are two completely different things) to sustain one's success.

 UGH!  Don't even get me started on year-round schools!  This idea that children have some kind of right to fun and levity that is somehow distinct from education/learning is repugnant to me.  "When I was a kid, ..." :-)

Hell's Kitchen

Is this show any good? I'm a "Top Chef" junkie, and we're about halfway through the 2nd season of "Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares". Prior to "Kitchen Nightmares", I thought Gordon was a pompous ass with a foul mouth, but having watched him bring a number of small restaurants back from the brink of death, I'm actually impressed. Also, in "Kitchen Nightmares", he is SO generous (with more than just vocabulary) that I'm not sure I want my new image of him tarnished.

Also, I started reading his autobiographical "Humble Pie" (which Amazon also calls "Roasting In Hell's Kitchen" ??? perhaps because the book is imported), and to avoid invoking any cliches, I'm always impressed by self-made men. Personally, I think it's refreshing that someone who doesn't bullshit you at all can accomplish so much and actually inspire others.

(I have to say that the guy must have a set made of steel. There are a few chefs/owners in "Kitchen Nightmares" who are obviously dangerous, and Gordon isn't intimidated AT ALL. One chef actually breaks through Ramsay's hotel door in order to confront him!)

Ramsay

I think Ramsay is by far the best part of Hell's Kitchen. I get really frustrated with the "chefs" because they are so bad most of the time. I love it when he yells at them because they usually deserve it. That said, I have only watched about half of this season. I read that tonight's ep is really good though, so I'll be sure to tune in. It's nothing like Top Chef. Maybe it's like Top Chef if Padma was standing over the chefs screaming obscenities at them the whole time, and the chefs were mostly mediocre and had emotional/personality issues. He's like a mean drill sergeant. But somehow he's also very likable. Watch it tonight!

Padma with 'tude

I think that'd be hysterical if Padma stood over the chefs and yelled obsenities at them!  I REALLY dislike that Toby whatshisname.  His tirades are only occasionally funny ("I have found the weapons of mass destruction, and they are in THIS bowl."), and his constipated, affected serious look makes him seem like a complete fraud.

The calibre of chefs on "Top Chef" has increased tremendously with each season.  (Perhaps my impression is skewed since the production itself has really improved, but I've watched prior seasons recently with Amazon's Video on Demand and the chefs from the ealier episodes seemed very amateur compared to Seasons 5 and 6.)

 How the hell does Padma stay so thin?  The woman must either purge, run marathons or both!

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About the blogger

Brooke Cain isn't always proud of the number of hours she logs in front of the TV, but her loss of brain cells can be your gain. From reality shows to sitcoms to the more serious stuff, Brooke keeps her DVR smoking so that she can help keep you in the know. Brooke also tweets for Happiness is a Warm TV (you can follow @WarmTV) and updates the blog's Facebook page.
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