Sunday , April 21 2024
Kitchen Nightmares, My Name is Earl, The Office (which we don't discuss herein), and The Salma Hayek show. Good times.

Thursday Night, A Night For Television

Last night, after our Commander-in-Chief spoke I had the good fortune to do something fun. I watched TV.

First up, Kitchen Nightmares. For the uninitiated, that's the show where Gordon Ramsay goes to bad restaurants, yells at everyone, and magically turns everything around at the last minute.

The better nights of the show are the ones that are like last night. Last night there was no miraculous turnaround; things seemed to, possibly, be headed in the right direction with Café 36, but there were absolutely no indications that the restaurant would survive. Ramsay spent the entire evening railing against the head chef of Café 36, a gentleman who went by the name of Pinto — no one said "like the bean," but I'm sure they were thinking it. Anyways, Pinto was a bad cook, he even admitted to doing things at Café 36 that he wouldn't have done if it were his own place because they were pretty poor practices. Class. Class all the way.

I did, I must say, have a problem with the way things went down (don't I always?). Pinto's last night at the restaurant was the night of Café 36's big relaunch; however, we never actually saw Pinto quit or get fired. It wasn't even made clear which of the two happened, only that one of them did. Did the crews pack up and go home instantly? I can believe that there was no one in the restaurant from the show when whatever happened happened, but would it have completely killed the show to get one of the owners or Pinto on camera to explain what took place? Would it really have cost that much more?

That sort of shoddy storytelling distresses me. Yes, I want to know that Pinto left the place and that the sous chef was promoted, but after spending an hour watching it all unfold, I don't think it's asking too much for us to be given the ending from a participant in the events, not the voiceover guy (no offense voiceover guy, I do like your voice, it just wasn't appropriate here).

I felt almost as cheated when my TiVo promised me two new episodes of My Name is Earl but only delivered one. I think that probably had something to do with Bush's speech. I know it wasn't my TiVo's fault, but it hurt me anyway.

Yes, the one episode of Earl we got was funny, but it was a "to be continued" and I was sort of expecting the second episode to be the continuation rather than a repeat. A quick glance at the descriptions of the episodes on my TiVo would have disabused me of the notion as the 8:00 episode was the one described in the 8:30 synopsis, but I didn't look at that until later.

You know what actually saved the evening? A double-dose of Salma Hayek. Last week I discussed my utter confusion at having her miraculously appear on my television while I was watching 30 Rock (anytime she appears on screen it is truly a miraculous experience). Well, last night I was expecting it (yes, still miraculous). Plus (follow me here this could get confusing), two nights ago she was on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, but that was after my bedtime, so, naturally, I TiVoed it and watched it last night. That's probably also why I wasn't too angry at my TiVo for only giving me one new Earl instead of two.

Do you know what she said? Do you know? She said that she was going to do six episodes of 30 Rock! Six episodes!?! How spectacular is that? Last night's 30 Rock was episode two, so, if my math hasn't failed me, there are still four more episodes to go! Four! I'm excited, can you tell?

And, if you watched NBC's lineup last night you're well aware that the funniest show of the night was definitely the Salma Hayek one. I think as long as she's on it I'm going to call it The Salma Hayek Show. Unfortunately, Salma Hayek wasn't in the funniest scene in her own show. She was there for the Mr. Templeton song and the Dunkin Donuts thing, but not for Liz Lemon's dance or the lollipop joke … that's right, the lollipop joke. Subtle, but that's what made it funny. That Salma Hayek Show, it's a winner.

Now, in closing, I have to tell you something that I normally wouldn't. I do this for my wife (she won't read this, but that's not the point). At the end of The Salma Hayek Show, Jack suggested that Liz or he may have gotten sick from the flu shot; as he explained it, the shot is "a small dose of the virus itself." That is wholly and completely untrue, one cannot get sick from the flu shot.

About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.

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