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"The Restaurant" Reality Show Season 1


bpearis
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The trip to the Hamptons was suspect. There seem to be tons of employees there. The group that made it out there was small.

Apparently they kidnapped the first group. Did anyone else notice that it was a Campus Bus parked in front of the restaurant, but a Hamptons Jitney bus on the road?

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Well, ok. It ain't a Keller, or a Daniel, or a Tru-Hey, well, what about a Tramonto sketch?!

Alas, it did depict facets of 'life backstage and front in the 'we're live!' of a restaurant, which is what working in this business is: LIVE.

Great feedback on the Restaurant Show. It's the 'workings'................is it not?! Still, that last episode........yikes..........so staged, so very, very staged.

Word?

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The most shocking detail was the last minute -  Rocco will be back.    The Restaurant, Part Deux.

Yes, that was a shocker. We'd already heard it would be back, but the news that it would be back WITH ROCCO is appalling.

And the sound level sounded a bit different on it too--like it was recorded at a different time.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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The wonders of online communities - I live in a timezone (HNL) where the show won't air for another couple hours. Checked into egullet and now am saved from even the most primitive temptation to tune in tonight.

That doesn't mean I'm not hooked. A couple questions:

(1) How did they (in the show) rationalize having enough money to comp the employees a trip to the Hamptons when supposedly they didn't even have the money to give them their regular paychecks?

(2) I thought today's episode was supposed to feature more BOH (one reason to tune in), but from the synopses so far it doesn't seem so. Were the chefs even in this episode?

(3) Is the second season on NBC actually supposed to be about Rocco the RESTAURANT? Or about ROCCO himself, e.g. walking across hot lava in Krakatoa or making out with a dozen eligible bachelorettes?

Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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About the Hamptons budget, I'm not sure... wouldn't be surprised if NBC ponied up the cash just to provide a better environment for "staff smooching" and "I'm the prettier blonde, darnit!" drama. :wacko: They actually did feature more back of the house staff than I've seen in the past, but most of it was concentrated on the front of the house, per usual. The BOH stuff was basically the cook that got chewed out last week had a night of redemption, his co-workers complimented his work, and Rocco complimented his food. Then they tossed one of the guys into a vat of ice water and all started drinking Coors Light.

Just a couple of points that crossed my (tired) mind: was that 10 year old a child actor or what? He seemed like an obvious plant, but maybe that's just the cynic in me. Also, if that table full of women were men, there would be *tons* of complaints about sexual harassment. Flirting with the waitstaff is one thing, but molesting them in public is quite another. And the comment they made about Rocco's manhood! Even *he* walked away after that one. He was trying to hang with them, but that apparently was too much. Also - I know they're beholden to Coors - but is it really wise to endorse drinking and playing in the surf at the same time? I know, I know - people do it all the time, but I thought it was kinda irresponsible.

I still feel kinda sorry for Rocco. Somewhere deep down I still have hope for him.:D

Edited by Saydee (log)
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All the other affore mentioned shows had much much better time slots. The Restaurant is on at 10:00 on SUNDAY. As far as the ratings went it was the best in it's slot. With an average of 8 million per show very good on a sunday night. Also if there was no public intrest which there was NBC would not want to do a second season which they do.

So why was it buried in this time slot? Perhaps because the network programmers thought it had limited appeal?

It was fine for what it was, but that's not saying much except that it did well in the young adult demographic. A second season is hardly a mark of quality anyway. This was just another silly little show that I doubt will have much, if any lasting impact. Think there will be a "Restaurant 5?" I don't, even if it does slay the Sunday 10 pm crowd.

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Just outside the top twenty nationally and in the top twenty in urban markets like San Francisco, probably higher in a pretty desirable demo (younger, higher disposable income) and production costs pretty much paid for by advertisers may not make for classic TV, but it does make for pretty desirable summer progamming for a network that is having problems developing new hits.

I'm sure the show made money. Reality shows are cheap to produce and with as much product placement as they had, probably was in profit before it aired. :wink: I wasn't arguing the show was a flop so much as discounting the notion that it was in any way significant to popular culture or Rocco's career. Even with a sequel. I was trying to put the show in perspective, that's all.

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I know that it is late, but after reading so much about this show here on eGullet I was actually looking forward to seeing an actual episode. I saw tonight's and I feel:

ripped off-there were no scenes of Rocco melting down

dirty (like the three tops undies)

slightly ashamed

I am left wondering what has been going on at Union Pacific during the Rocco's mess-has anyone been there lately?

cook slow, eat slower

J.Chovancek

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Woo hoo to Matt the publicist for sticking to his guns and making Rocco stick with the program, get his a** over to the radio station and do the interview that Matt probably moved heaven and earth to arrange.  Matt didn't cave, and he didn't kiss behind.  My kinda PR guy.  Rocco was stressed, but shame on him for not kissing Matt's feet for the Today Show appearance.  That's a coup.

The money made from the product placement between American Express, Mitsubishi, and Coors would be more than enough to carry them if the opening of the restaurant was delayed a day or two.

Did they finally get their arugula?

Don't you think Matt had an easy time getting Rocco on The Today Show being that The Restaurant is on the same network?

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How many people get demoted from waiter to dishwasher and then walk into the dishwashing area and get all excited and tell the mute dishwashing staff that it's time to clean the dishes!!! He acted like he was told to pinch hit for Derek Jeter or something. Give me a break.

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Not that i'm here to defend a recipe, but if your going to judge shouldn't you follow it?

I don't mean that as a slam it just makes sense

Do you really think that adding 5 eggs instead of 3 would have made the meatballs less-wet? Or fresh parsley over dried, for that matter?

Sure I used my own sauce recipe (and it was kick-ass, I might add), but I was testing the meatball recipe...could have put them in brown gravy and they still would have fallen apart.

If someone else tries this recipe, as written, I'd love to know the results!!

Kathy

Minxeats
http://www.foodloversguidetobaltimore.com/'>Food Lovers' Guide to Baltimore

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ah, good riddance.  pardon my naivete, but do female restaurant patrons really stick their tongues out at waiters? do they stroke the waiters' faces and fondle them? i eat out a lot but, damn...  cringe, cringe; turned it off early.  thank god it's over.  i'll miss this thread but certainly not the show--new lows in "reality tv."  and thank you but no, thank you on another season

Um....to answer your question...yes. Not all the time, but it happens. Not that I have ever done anything like that myself. <ahem>

Just the other night, my hubby and I were at Roy's (Yamaguchi) having a nice dinner of macadamia-crusted mahi and diver scallops in red curry, when a table of five loud females set up camp across from us. They were attired in all modes of scanty cleavage-bearing disco bar/pick-up clothing and celebrating a 40th birthday. The poor young waiter was immediately interrogated and flirted-with, made to pose for photographs of the birthday girl's ample cleavage and a champagne bottle, etc. The decible level in the restaurant grew tenfold before their appetizers came. We left sometime shortly thereafter. I know the waiter had to have gotten pinched at least once during the course of the evening. I just hoped he got a nice tip for his trouble.

Kathy

Minxeats
http://www.foodloversguidetobaltimore.com/'>Food Lovers' Guide to Baltimore

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Sheesh, it's just a tv show.  Is anyone going to remember it next summer? 

According to the Aug 4-10 ratings(http://www.bayarea.com/mld/cctimes/entertainment/television/6531088.htm), it didn't crack the top 20 nationally and here in the Bay Area was 19th. 

Nationally, the reality shows ranked higher were "Big Brother 4" (twice, Tues and Wed), "Fear Factor," "For Love or Money," "Who Wants to Marry My Dad," "The Amazing Race" and "Last Comic Standing."  Not to mention two pre-season football games.

In the Bay Area, a presumably food-interested market, more people watched the two football games, "Amazing Race," "Big Brother" (Wed), "Who Wants to Marry My Dad," "For Love or Money" than "The Restaurant." 

I'm too lazy to look up all the ratings week by week, but I don't think this show captured the general public's interest. 

I doubt if Rocco has anything to worry about as long as his serious cooking doesn't suffer from his flirtation with media success and pop culture glory.

I don't really consider myself a foodie, nor have I ever worked in the food industry, so I've been content to just lurk around here thus far. But since I work in the media industry, this is a topic I feel like I can offer something relevant.

What Zenial said is right -- Sunday night is a very low night for viewership, and it is very rare to have top 20 programs on Sunday nights (unless it's something special of course like the Oscars or Super Bowl). Honestly, the rating rankings really don't matter that much at all in the world of ratings that really matters - advertising revenues. Ratings performances are more important as they perform in comparison to other programs in that same time period, and how a show performs in comparison to the show that aired before it (audience retention). The first episode of The Restaurant had a smaller audience than Crime and Punishment which was in the time period the week before, but the audience for The Restaurant has grown every week since then. More imporantly, after the first week or two, the show added to NBC's share of the audience from the lead in, Law and Order: CI. that means in theory the show got everyone watching Law and Order to stick around, and added even more people, which is in the eyes of programmers, the very best thing a show can do.

So The Restaurant HAS been considered a ratings success by NBC. Perhaps not a ratings bonanza, but a success nonetheless.

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This was such an embarressment. First, did they wet down that passageway and then set up cameras to catch someone on their hiney like a frat prank? Second, I think both the dishwasher bit and the triumph of the underdog grill cook were contrived to make good impressions after the way it came across in the previous episode. What's up with the Hamptons after you couldn't pay people last week? And Rocco, a lot of people out there may want to hear about your sexuality, but after the way you came across, I ain't real sure I want you cookin for me. :cool:

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Disgusting.

"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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Rocco, a lot of people out there may want to hear about your sexuality, but after the way you came across, I ain't real sure I want you cookin for me.

Then go to his restaurant, it appears there's not much chance he's cooking. :biggrin:

did they wet down that passageway and then set up cameras to catch someone on their hiney like a frat prank?

I certainly have no real information and the way the show is edited, we have no idea of the sequence of events, but it appeared as if several people slipped on the wet mat over the course of the show and they never got good coverage. It also appears as if they soaked the rubber pretty well with a very soapy solution and then set up a camera with a good view to catch an accident after which they could rollout the non slip mats. There's just no entertainment value in having experienced restaurateurs (between Rocco and Chodorow, how many restaurants do they have?) understand the need for non slip mats in that location from past experience and a good fall is always good for a laugh. You would have thought Gideon's fall would have been enough, but maybe they weren't happy with the camera angle and he wouldn't do it again for the cameras. For all I know, the last waitress to fall was a stunt girl hired specifically to take the fall. I have a distorted image of reality. I'd love to hear a lawyer's eye view of the liability issues invovled. I'd love to see the release forms the waiters had to sign and wonder if all the clauses would hold up in court. It's hard to believe that if there was more than twenty minutes of reality in the whole show that there aren't a dozen law suits already filed against someone involved in the restaurant/TV show.

... contrived ...

Hmmm. Now that you mention it, that would explain a lot. :laugh:

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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The dishwasher thing really disgusted me. If that was punishment for Shecky the waiter, what did the regular two guys do? Oh yeah, Rocco told us, "they don't speak English".

I know it's a crappy job, but it's a job, and indeed a very important one for a the life of a restuarant, and it was shitty for Rocco/NBC/AMEX/Coors/Mitsubishi to beliitle it (and those two guys) like that.

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[so why was it buried in this time slot?  Perhaps because the network programmers thought it had limited appeal? 

I think it was a good time slot given the fact that MANY restaurants are closed on Sundays or close early on Sundays thereby capturing a surething audience.

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