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"The Restaurant" Reality Show Season 1


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i thought you promised you wouldn't get into it?  :blink:

Tommy - You can be such an asshole. I meant I wouldn't get into the trip about her raking and her ex baling. The only way you get something is if somebody slams a bat up beside your head.

:raz:

yeah, i'm real stoopid.

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I dunno.  I'm a feminist and I love pornography. :smile:

Will you marry me? Wait...I'm already married :biggrin:

=R=

One thing I've never done is a married...suburban. :biggrin:

:biggrin::laugh::biggrin::laugh:

=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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What am I to think? Here at this site we have many people who otherwise seem sensible, but when it comes to a really stupid television show (as most are) cannot wait to post some frivolous (aye, meaningless) comment.

Has television reduced everyone to the lowest common denominator?

Edit: Susie says I'm being too harsh. She thinks I'm being an asshole for being so critical. She also thinks that it is almost as bad to spend all this time at eGullet as to watch Rocco. Susie has assisted in this edit.  :biggrin:

Edit II. Susie would also like to say that she just came off a tractor after spending five hours raking hay so it could be baled before it rains tonight. There is a little dose of reality.

Not that I like to admit it but it is TV's job to reduce everyone to the lowest common denominator. With the exeption of a very very small handful of programs. We are being raised as consumers.

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:cool: Neilsen and all his sponsors.

That only works if you have a box.

Actually, to supplement the box, Neilsen also selects households to record their TV watching habits in a diary for a week. We've done it twice -- most recently was the last week in July.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Zenial hit it right on the head: 99% of commercial TV just absolutely sucks.

When I first heard about the show, I was anticipating seeing the inner workings of a restaurant and learning about the process of opening and running a place. I'm ashamed to say that I should've know better.

Instead, we got treated to powder room trysts and manufactured drama... typical.

I've seen some of the PBS-produced "reality" shows and have been impressed with them (Manor House, Frontier House). I think that if a PBS crew were to cover a restaurant from its inception, it could have some real potential.

I'm probably asking for too much.

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I've seen some of the PBS-produced "reality" shows and have been impressed with them (Manor House, Frontier House).  I think that if a PBS crew were to cover a restaurant from its inception, it could have some real potential.

I'm probably asking for too much.

that's not asking to much, but it's sure asking for more of a documentary, rather than a Burnett-produced sex/drama-thon that the rest of the nation wants to see.

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First I want to apologize for my unforgivable rudeness yesterday. I did not realize I was on a downhill curve to an insulin crash. My better half tells me that's how he knows my sugar is whacked. But , having said that, Beto, was The Manor House the show where they got modern Brits to step into the Upstairs, Downstairs sort of setting? If so, after seeing it, I fully understood hordes of people coming statesidefor something better.

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Instead, we got treated to powder room trysts and manufactured drama... typical.

I wonder what the actual differences are among "documentary," "reality show" and "unscripted drama." I had a nice discussion with Tad Carducci and at one point I said 'But hey isn't this (The Restaurant) a reality show?' And he said, 'No it's an unscripted drama, something completely different.' :wacko:

Can anyone 'splain....?

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I wonder what the actual differences are among "documentary," "reality show" and "unscripted drama."  I had a nice discussion with Tad Carducci and at one point I said 'But hey isn't this (The Restaurant) a reality show?'  And he said, 'No it's an unscripted drama, something completely different.'  :wacko:

Can anyone 'splain....?

the obvious answer seems to be the amount of editing/manipulation for dramatic effect, and the intention of the show to begin with.

Edited by tommy (log)
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I wonder what the actual differences are among "documentary," "reality show" and "unscripted drama."  I had a nice discussion with Tad Carducci and at one point I said 'But hey isn't this (The Restaurant) a reality show?'  And he said, 'No it's an unscripted drama, something completely different.'  :wacko:

Can anyone 'splain....?

the obvious answer seems to be the amount of editing/manipulation for dramatic effect, and the intention of the show to begin with.

It might be the "obvious" answer, my dear Tomster, but is it correct...? :unsure:

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Instead, we got treated to powder room trysts and manufactured drama... typical.

I wonder what the actual differences are among "documentary," "reality show" and "unscripted drama." I had a nice discussion with Tad Carducci and at one point I said 'But hey isn't this (The Restaurant) a reality show?' And he said, 'No it's an unscripted drama, something completely different.' :wacko:

Can anyone 'splain....?

Here are the definitions as I (a TVaholic) see them.

Documentary: An event or way of life is filmed by a crew, and a show or movie is put together reporting what the crew saw. It is simply observation and reporting of that observation. And, the event or way of life would have happened/does happen whether the documentary crew is there or not.

Reality TV: People are put in a scenario that would not happen without the show, taped to see how they respond to the scenario, and then those events are edited to tell a story and make a TV show. The Real World, in its first few seasons, would be an example of this.

Unscripted Drama: (what most shows known as reality shows are now, IMO) People are put in a scenario that would not have happened without the show, and rather than just observing what happens and making a story out of it, producers do things to manipulate the situation and get a result they are looking/hoping for. On The Restaurant, this manipulation happened in things like encouraging patrons to drink as much as they wanted, a staff retreat to the Hamptons, and keeping the restaurant management from firing some people they would have, or scheduling some they would have, in order to fit the storylines the producers were after.

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I agree with daysee8's first two definitions, but I think the key element of the 'Unscripted Drama' is that pre-editing it starts out similarly to the reality show, but the raw material is then edited to tell a specific story and achieve a specific result, regardless of what the "reality" is.

Bill Russell

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I agree with daysee8's first two definitions, but I think the key element of the 'Unscripted Drama' is that pre-editing it starts out similarly to the reality show, but the raw material is then edited to tell a specific story and achieve a specific result, regardless of what the "reality" is.

I disagree with the pre-editing starting out the same as reality. Editing in reality TV is done to achieve a desired outcome too. In an unscripted drama, the producers will manipulate things as they are going on. For example, they see Joe Millionaire going after one girl who they don't think viewers would like very much, so they throw in a twist that wasn't planned originally in order to get the participants to react the way they desire. The challenge of reality TV is editing what really happened to get it the way you want. That challenge doesn't exsist in an unscripted drama -- they manipulate the situation to get it they way they want and make the editing easier. Another dead giveaway often times is that the time that expires between taping and a show airing is usually shorter in an unscripted drama as opposed to reality TV, because the editing process is easier when you already have people adhering to the storylines you are after.

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I read the "behind the scenes" article about The Restaurant in Gourmet magazine tonight.  There seemed to be a theme of "the producers didn't stick to the deal they made" from a lot of the Rocco's employees quoted in the article.  It just left me wondering why on earth, if that is in fact true, they'd be willing to do it all over again since the producers would be the same.

Money!!!

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no signs of th ethread slowing down despite the show's end, huh? still can't escape rocco (conde nast traveler, gulp) and now this:

"All the reality shows I missed totally, and I am very happy--I find them stupid. It's fake; it's a disaster. I don't understand why people like them....It's not something to spend my time on, to watch these idiots talk on television....But Rocco's show is very nicely made, it's very realistic."

Eric Ripert, chef Le Bernardin

(New York Observer 8/25-9/1, pg 17)

WHA???? i think he was trying to be nice to his friend. (or looking for a similar...?)

Alcohol is a misunderstood vitamin.

P.G. Wodehouse

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"All the reality shows I missed totally, and  I am very happy--I find them stupid.  It's fake; it's a disaster. I don't understand why people like them....It's not something to spend my time on, to watch these idiots talk on television....But Rocco's show is very nicely made, it's very realistic."

Eric Ripert, chef Le Bernardin

(New York Observer 8/25-9/1, pg 17)

WHA????  i think he was trying to be nice to his friend. (or looking for a similar...?)

We're up to 49 pages (on my screen) and I'm not going back to find Fat Guy's comment made earlier in response to Tony Bourdain's quote of something Eric Ripert said, but basically he reminded readers that the French idolize Jerry Lewis as an intellectual for his comedy. The Rocco Restaurant show should go over bigger in France, dubbed in, than Iron Chef did here.

I'd love to have Ducasse, Jean George and Daniel post on this. :biggrin:

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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no signs of th ethread slowing down despite the show's end, huh?  still can't escape rocco (conde nast traveler, gulp) and now this:

"All the reality shows I missed totally, and  I am very happy--I find them stupid.  It's fake; it's a disaster. I don't understand why people like them....It's not something to spend my time on, to watch these idiots talk on television....But Rocco's show is very nicely made, it's very realistic."

Eric Ripert, chef Le Bernardin

(New York Observer 8/25-9/1, pg 17)

WHA????  i think he was trying to be nice to his friend. (or looking for a similar...?)

I've admitted here before that I am far from anyone who knows much of anything about the food world. I like to eat, and that's about it. But is it possible that we're somewhat missing the point regarding how this entire show progressed? Is it possible that Rocco looked like an idiot because the time frame for opening was so much shorter than normal, and because at his other restaurants, he's not been the general manager dealing with employee concerns, but for the show, he had to be? I mean, all you have to do is look at some of the TV based sites about the show to know that there is a brand new audience of people who are mesmerized by the guy who would have never heard of him before this. Can we really determine that he's lost his ability to figure out what to do with a scallop because he hits on too many women and gives away scooters that aren't his to give?

Just a thought. I'll shut up now.

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Can we really determine that he's lost his ability to figure out what to do with a scallop because he hits on too many women and gives away scooters that aren't his to give?

do you think the owner of the scooter reported it stolen?

good point, though. i think most think he can still cook. i have to wonder how he treated the workers at UP though.

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no signs of th ethread slowing down despite the show's end, huh?  still can't escape rocco (conde nast traveler, gulp) and now this:

"All the reality shows I missed totally, and  I am very happy--I find them stupid.  It's fake; it's a disaster. I don't understand why people like them....It's not something to spend my time on, to watch these idiots talk on television....But Rocco's show is very nicely made, it's very realistic."

Eric Ripert, chef Le Bernardin

(New York Observer 8/25-9/1, pg 17)

WHA????  i think he was trying to be nice to his friend. (or looking for a similar...?)

I would agree with Mr. Ripert's point of view about the first couple episodes. The show definitely seemed to realistically portray the pitfalls and disasters of rush opening a new restaurant. But then things changed...

What happened on screen wasn't funny or real looking anymore.... to see incompetence, cold food, people falling on slick floors, overt favoritism, good people so frustrated they were compelled to quit, Mama get sick, or employees unpaid for services rendered, while being dished AmEx, Coors & Mitsubishi ad(s) nauseum (puns intended).

"Nicely made?"

I've had a whisky sour with gatorade that was better made.

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no signs of th ethread slowing down despite the show's end, huh?  still can't escape rocco (conde nast traveler, gulp) and now this:

"All the reality shows I missed totally, and  I am very happy--I find them stupid.  It's fake; it's a disaster. I don't understand why people like them....It's not something to spend my time on, to watch these idiots talk on television....But Rocco's show is very nicely made, it's very realistic."

Eric Ripert, chef Le Bernardin

(New York Observer 8/25-9/1, pg 17)

WHA????  i think he was trying to be nice to his friend. (or looking for a similar...?)

I would agree with Mr. Ripert's point of view about the first couple episodes. The show definitely seemed to realistically portray the pitfalls and disasters of rush opening a new restaurant. But then things changed...

What happened on screen wasn't funny or real looking anymore.... to see incompetence, cold food, people falling on slick floors, overt favoritism, good people so frustrated they were compelled to quit, Mama get sick, or employees unpaid for services rendered, while being dished AmEx, Coors & Mitsubishi ad(s) nauseum (puns intended).

"Nicely made?"

I've had a whisky sour with gatorade that was better made.

Whisky sour with gatorade, sounds great.

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I think the reason the show didn't appear realistic was because the situation wasn't realistic -- not just in the compressed time frame, etc., but in the fact that it was The Restaurant, not a restaurant. Rather like the difference between the Las Vegas Venice and the actual city. But I do feel disappointed. Admittedly, this is like complaining that the aerosol cheese didn't quite complement the Funyuns. I expected contrived melodrama and gratuitous booty shots -- hell, they could have called it Temptation Restaurant for all I cared. But if there was going to be all that, I also wanted the screaming matches between the kitchen staff and the suppliers who fouled up orders, and the insider's look into just how they calculate how much product they have to buy without running out or going broke on things like those red prawns.

The other thing -- sorry to shift topics so abruptly -- was how weird the kitchen staff structure was. I mean, who was in charge of the kitchen? For real? You know, the place that makes the food? Mama kept getting the title, sortakinda, but there was Tony the Kitchen Manager and Rocco. Let's see, Tony had the lung power and the tongs (I kept waiting for him to channel a certain other Tony and bark, "Shouldn't you be doing something?") but Rocco had the crown, even though the visitation agreement limited him to ten minutes on weekend evenings and only if another cook was present. Though I was dazzled by hs two-handed parsley chopping. Can anyone explain if the Mama/Tony/Rocco triad was a normal relationship in an otherwise bizarro universe?

My fantasy? Easy -- the Simpsons versus the Flanders on Hell's Kitchen.

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But I do feel disappointed.  Admittedly, this is like complaining that the aerosol cheese didn't quite complement the Funyuns. 

hell, they could have called it Temptation Restaurant for all I cared. 

but Rocco had the crown, even though the visitation agreement limited him to ten minutes on weekend evenings and only if another cook was present.

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

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