I'm more than happy to admit that this season's edition of Hell's Kitchen (which ended last night) was moderately disappointing. Everything about it felt as though it were a poor imitation of previous years. But the most disappointing thing about the whole season were the contestants. They simply didn't, even in the final episode, make the audience feel confident in their abilities.
Usually, the season story arc runs from the chefs being mostly incompetent to their eventually being hugely impressive (at least the ones who don't get fired). That didn't happen this season; instead Ramsay just eliminated week after week the people who clearly ought not be running a restaurant (save, maybe, Ben, whom Ramsay just didn't like). By the end of the season, Ramsay was left with two people who probably ought not be running a restaurant, and he chose the one who probably ought not run a restaurant the least. It was not really terribly inspiring.
What it was, however, was head and shoulders better than the other show I watched last night – Wipeout. What is up with that show? It performed well in its timeslot, so clearly someone is interested, but I don't get it. It consists solely of people running around obstacle courses and performing tasks designed to make them look stupid.
Erin Medley and I talked about Wipeout on our show last week, and she insisted that it was well and truly funny – hence my watching it. But, I'll be honest, I don't get it. I like to see people do dumb things and get hurt as much as the next guy, but the obstacle courses, particularly the first one, seem set up so as to be impossible to do without falling. The goal, it seems to me, is not to avoid falling into the mud and water, but to avoid falling as much as the other people. Shouldn't obstacle courses actually be do-able?