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"The Restaurant" Reality Show Season 1


bpearis
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This is all interpretation but I thought Topher was reacting more to the poor management skills Rocco had demonstrated by giving Lola the Vespa and to the inevitable rise in tension and negativity that would raise in the FOH.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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This is all interpretation but I thought Topher was reacting more to the poor management skills Rocco had demonstrated by giving Lola the Vespa and to the inevitable rise in tension and negativity that would raise in the FOH.

that was my take as well, not that the editing really suggested it.

topher seems to be one of the more professional and reasonble characters, both on the show, and here on egullet, where his post had dignity and respect for others.

Edited by tommy (log)
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Yes, I think so. Topher seemed to just give up any vestige of hope that the place could run well at all.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I think the idiot producers didn't realize who he was, or they would have shown someone reacting to him entering the place. "Hey look! It's Gina Gershon!" Who cares? Eric Ripert just ordered Mama's Meatballs! Can I get a picture of him naked with the meatballs? Could you sign it? To Rosie...

Seriously, he probably asked to not be named. Did the guests have to sign a waiver upon entering to allow their images to be used in a TV show?

No, the guests didn't have to sign anything. My brother lives in that building and throughout the filming they had a sign up that said "if you are reading this sign you have given your consent to be on TV".

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Topher certainly has certainly received both the benefits and detriments of editing. In the first show he was made to seem smart but more professional than any of the other actors, er, I mean waiters--or at least more professional than the ones who agreed to/were chosen to appear on camera. In the more recent shows he's been shown as some kind of self-appointed leader of the rebel alliance. :wink:

Sure the Vespa thing was horrible management. Then again, apparently Rocco thought a good bartender (and at least from what they showed she actually WAS a pretty good one) was harder to replace than a good waiter. This notion, more than anything, will probably cause lots of heat here (remember, I'm not agreeing with him, but it was obvious this is what the sequence was implying). The sex or orientation of the people involved may or may not have made a difference--really the editing left the interpretation of that part open.

To be fair to Rocco for once (and boy that's tough these days), he was obviously playing to the cameras when he made that promise--"in real life" I'll bet he'd have never made that decision. So once again, its absolute BS to proclaim that we are getting a look into how a real restaurant would operate. The very presense of the cameras not only changed this decision, but they also probably engineered the events which followed. Topher himself may have also been playing to the cameras--he might have approached the situation in a totally different manner without them around--and even if he WASN'T (his word will probably be enough on that if he gives it), the events were still shaped by their presense.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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No, the guests didn't have to sign anything.  My brother lives in that building and throughout the filming they had a sign up that said "if you are reading this sign you have given your consent to be on TV".

yeah, if i'm not mistaken, the sign is quite visible in the entrance way throughout the program when they show the hostess station. this practice is widespread, and you often see it at concerts and whatnot that are being filmed for whatever reason.

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Did anyone notice ERIC RIPERT ordering in one of the cut shots? Why the hell didn't they show more of him and his posse? Was that the table Bourdain was at?

Hah, this is hardly a blow to Tony. NBC thinks he's irrelevent! Big whoop. :biggrin: And Ripert is only good for a cut shot. How will these guys survive the insult?

I think they slept well last night, in relief that they weren't really part of this crap-fest.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Let's remember - this is television and it's pure entertainment. Most of what you see has been embellished and edited to fit the story line.

None of it is real according to the definition of the word. No one, including all of us at egullet, acts the same when the camera is rolling. That's just human nature. As an ex-TV producer, I think the show fulfills its obligation to the viewer. If it didn't, this thread would have died long ago.

The embedded commercials don't bother me either. That's been going on for decades. Companies have paid to get "signage" in movies, TV and theater longer than I care to remember. Everytime you see a United Airlines plane in a movie or on TV, it is a paid "spot."

However, the silliest part of the four shows was the priest scene from last night. It added nothing and I half expected him to bless the water so the waiters could say they were serving holy water.

Finally, to address the issue of Rocco in the kitchen. We can safely assume that was totally staged. He would know better then to go into a kitchen at this stage of his career. He couldn't handle it anymore. It's common knowledge that celebrity chefs shouldn't cook after the age of 30-35 (except on TV). And it's better off they don't - they would just get in the way. Mario was thrown out of Babbo's kitchen (during the evening rush) a couple of years ago (according to the New Yorker). The staff tells you they cringe when he tries to cook.

All in all I would rate the show an eight on ten-point scale.

Edited by rich (log)

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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Mario was thrown out of Babbo's kitchen (during the evening rush) a couple of years ago (according to the New Yorker). The staff tells you they cringe when he tries to cook.

perhaps. but he's in the kitchen almost every time i go. although i agree that one shouldn't expect rocco to be making their meatballs. that's what all of those other nice people in the kitchen are getting paid to do. and i'm guessing they're qualified.

if anything, perhaps rocco, or the restaurant, was lacking leadership. but i don't think that comes in the form of rocco rolling meatballs and delivering squid to tables. i can't wait to see how this place runs now, after all is said and done.

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Also, was the actual Post review mentioned at all in this episode?  It seemed to be the "cliffhanger" last week, and I don't remember it being mentioned once.  Maybe I wasn't fully alert--I usually try to drink when I watch this show...

There was the line about the food being 'piping cold' which Rocco repeated at some point during the hour. That was from Linda Stasi's column.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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One of the more egregious examples of non-reality from episode 4:

Seemingly in mid-service, Our Hero goes to the kitchen to help get them back on track. While he's demonstrating his mad cooking skillz, the ENTIRE rest of the kitchen staff just STANDS THERE slack-jawed, amazed by the prowess of Our Hero.

Rocco must have cranked out a couple hundred dishes during that time, since nobody else was doing anything except watching. :biggrin:

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Yes, I think so. Topher seemed to just give up any vestige of hope that the place could run well at all.

Yeah, that's probably true. Perhaps he had the wisdom to know that a vespa wasn't going to make him happy for very long--even if he had asked for and received one. It just seemed, from the way the show was edited, that his leaving had something to do with not receiving one.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Last night was the first episode I had seen since the premiere. My impression was that everything seemed far more staged -- every "private" conversation that Rocco had with an employee seemed completely scripted, and he ocassionally gets this strange robotic look on his face when he's clearly doing something that the producers told him to do, such as when he sent Gideon home after he had been called in with his best suit and sling on. Or when he ran out after Topher to call after him to come back. Hack acting.

I also thought that I heard a lot of dubbed lines that must have been tacked on during editing. It just added to the overwhelming sense of "unreality".

The food writer for my local alternative weekly paper suggested skipping "The Restaurant" and renting the "the truest movie ever made about how restaurants operate. . .'Dinner Rush.'" I agree. And as a bonus, you can see the guy with the "evil eye" ring doing what he would probably prefer doing for a living to hosting at Rocco's -- acting.

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Just want to mention a couple of things. Everyone who came to the restaurant during filming had to sign a waiver. Topher is great and we miss him dearly. Rocco has never cooked Italian (see episode one). I have also worked BOH and have never seen cooks wearing gloves. Gotta taste the food and make sure its perfect.

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Just want to mention a couple of things.  Everyone who came to the restaurant during filming had to sign a waiver.

for real? no wonder the place was moving like molasses. that must have taken a while!

rocco hasn't cooked "italian" in a professional capacity, but i'm sure the guy has made some italian dishes in his day, no? i mean, i'm not even a chef and i have.

thanks for the insight uzay.

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Eric Ripert was definitely recycled from previous episodes, so were food shots.  how many ppl out there know/care about Ripert? Gina Gershon is a bigger draw and more recognizable to national audiences.  and that's who the producers go after, ignoring the fact that most ppl who watch the show are into food and more likely to lust after a meatball than Gina...

I know who Eric Ripert is, but have never heard of Gina Gershon. Who is she?

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Eric Ripert was definitely recycled from previous episodes, so were food shots.  how many ppl out there know/care about Ripert? Gina Gershon is a bigger draw and more recognizable to national audiences.  and that's who the producers go after, ignoring the fact that most ppl who watch the show are into food and more likely to lust after a meatball than Gina...

I know who Eric Ripert is, but have never heard of Gina Gershon. Who is she?

she's really nothing special, although she doesn't look half bad.

she was in a couple of movies, Bound, ferinstance. She was in Face Off as (Nicolas Cage)the main bad guy's (ex?) wife and mother of the kid.

Edited by herbacidal (log)

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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Eric Ripert was definitely recycled from previous episodes, so were food shots.  how many ppl out there know/care about Ripert? Gina Gershon is a bigger draw and more recognizable to national audiences.  and that's who the producers go after, ignoring the fact that most ppl who watch the show are into food and more likely to lust after a meatball than Gina...

I know who Eric Ripert is, but have never heard of Gina Gershon. Who is she?

she's really nothing special, although she doesn't look half bad.

she was in a couple of movies, Bound, ferinstance. She was in Face Off as (Nicolas Cage)the main bad guy's (ex?) wife and mother of the kid.

She was in the biggest, most tasteless blockbuster flop of all time: Showgirls

Mark

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Just want to mention a couple of things.  Everyone who came to the restaurant during filming had to sign a waiver.

for real? no wonder the place was moving like molasses. that must have taken a while!

rocco hasn't cooked "italian" in a professional capacity, but i'm sure the guy has made some italian dishes in his day, no? i mean, i'm not even a chef and i have.

thanks for the insight uzay.

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

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Just want to mention a couple of things.  Everyone who came to the restaurant during filming had to sign a waiver.

for real? no wonder the place was moving like molasses. that must have taken a while!

rocco hasn't cooked "italian" in a professional capacity, but i'm sure the guy has made some italian dishes in his day, no? i mean, i'm not even a chef and i have.

thanks for the insight uzay.

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

but i wasn't trying to be funny. :unsure:

Edited by tommy (log)
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Klinger75: "PURE COMEDY. "

How come I can't laugh?

I mentioned earlier about the cluttered office (in a new place?)

What about the yellow marquise, where 'ROCCO'S' is pretty well washed out?

Like the future of himself?

Ok, back to Klinger75, it was funny: Priest with apron blessing all.

Does the local Bishop know about him?

Peter
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