Sunday, July 21, 2013

I Have a Recommendation...8 Years Too Late

A Bradley Cooper that's a professional chef? Where do I sign up?
I've been starved for a good show to watch, I've basically seen everything. And I'm glad Orange Is the New Black (2013 - ) has come out, but I've only watched one episode thus far so I can't blog about it yet, but that's probably the next one I'll do. Hulu just released a show that was cancelled criminally after only one season based on Anthony Bourdain's incendiary bestselling memoir 'Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly' (published in 2000) where the unapologetic bad-ass celebrity chef talks about his times working in upscale restaurants in New York and misbehaving in the most ridiculous fashion. He was basically the Keith Richards of the kitchen, snorting blow and drinking liters of vodka whilst cooking some of the best haute cuisine that city has ever seen. 
Cover of the book the show is based on.

Anthony Bourdain, doing what he does best.
Fox in all of it's wisdom (meant to be read with sarcasm) decided to make a PG version of the book with Bradley Cooper as the titular character, much like what Fellini used to do with Marcello Mastroianni playing a character aptly named Jack Bourdain who is now over a year sober and has been hired on a 'suicide mission' to revamp a Bowery hotspot named Nolita with no staff and 24 hours before opening night. 
He assembles his old mates from the good old days promising all kinds of shit that never comes to fruition, but it's his dream team, and he's the best in the business so in the words of Tim Gunn, it's time to 'make it work'. 
Butch, Sundance, and the pastry chef that wears a bandana.
Cooper is brilliant and hilarious as the enlightened and sober Bourdain (who in real life as we all know didn't remain sober, well for the most part) trying his best to serve the best and most creative dishes to his picky customers whilst dealing with a crabby waitstaff, and incompetent hostess, and every example of Murphy's Law falling on his head every morning. 
He's still the lady's man, almost to the point of being a nympho and can you blame him? He's extraordinarily hot, and the man can grill a salmon like nobody's business. That's a winning combination right there. 
The cast.
The show is called (of course) Kitchen Confidential, and ran from 2005 to 2006 before being cancelled but I was overjoyed when Hulu bought the rights to it because it definitely deserves to be seen. It features a stellar cast; Nicholas Brendon from Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame, John Francis Daly from Freaks and Geeks fame, John Cho from Star Trek (the new franchise) fame, and Bonnie Summerville from her tiny stint as Ross' girlfriend Mona from Friends (1994-2004). Also, Jamie King is there for masturbation fodder so it's a winning combination. 
It's a good ol' dirty shitshow, with the laughs to back it up and the most unseemly behavior, everyone is constantly horny and/or doing it with each other. And Jack (Cooper) is the most gung-ho about it all, just as long as his patrons and his boss (Frank Langella) are happy with his impeccable talents as a chef. 
Shit just got weird.
One of my favorite characters is Owain Yeoman as Steven Daedalus the Sous. An immigrant from jolly old England, he's a high-functioning sociopath that frequently drinks on the job, hits on anything with legs, and has some of the best one-liners I've heard in TV pretty much ever. He and Bradley Cooper make a great Butch and Sundance (which they refer to themselves as) and perk up the show just a few notches to where it's actually a pleasure to watch. 
The rest is pretty predictable for a half hour sitcom; hijinks ensues, trouble brews, tension between the floor and the kitchen reach boiling points constantly and everybody gets laid. I'd work there in a heart beat. So I'm giving this one a solid recommendation. The whole series is available online. Go for it, then go eat some seared sesame crusted'll get the joke once you've watched the show. Is that enough of an incentive?

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