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"The Restaurant" Reality Show Season 2


Gustatorian
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missed Monday's premiere episode. I forgot it was on. Normally, I would skip the rest of them, but now, after reading this thread, I am caught up. I can watch Monday and follow along. I follow that up with The Shield, and my night of yelling, cursing, double-crosses, and gritty realism is complete.

The Restaurant certainly has it's share of yelling, cursing and double-crosses

But gritty realism?

:hmmm:

Ah, on TV, yelling, cursing, and double-crosses are gritty realism...

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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Just saw this on Pagesix -

JEFFREY Chodorow's lawyers are wasting no time sending out subpoenas in their case against Rocco DiSpirito. The TV star-chef's dentist, Dr. Joe Levy, who is credited with giving Rocco his pearly whites, just received his order to appear in court to testify how much free food he received from the restaurant in exchange for brightening up the smiles of DiSpirito and his meatball-making mother. "There was a barter system," confirmed a Levy pal. The case is "only going to get nastier," the source confirmed. Levy declined comment.

Knowing how much most dentists charge in the US, this alone could be to blame for the restaurants losses....

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Katie, allow me to also congratulate you. Grace under fire is noble. Cheers, goodheart!!!

Thank you. :blush:

Dittos from me too, Katie!

You handled it well.

All the best to you!

edit:

Also, if I may add re: the show...

I saw the Apprentice crew on Larry King last night and Omorosa (sp?) was intimating the scripting thing and everyone involved, including Trump, denied any scripting.

All attested to two things.

Burnetts brilliance in casting and the fact that you can't edit something into an image w/o the raw materials.

Before I get incinerated, I have to say that I don't find the gossiping by the servers unrealistic.

Chowder and crew were having a meeting in front of everyone, with no discretion at all, and that doesn't surprise me in the least with Mr. Ex-con.

News travels fast in a restaurant anyways, they're always swirling with gossip, and these folks have the advantage of Page 6 to learn from.

Perhaps the situation is so cruddy we just don't want to admit it could really be unraveling this way?

Edited by tan319 (log)

2317/5000

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Katie, allow me to also congratulate you. Grace under fire is noble. Cheers, goodheart!!!

Thank you. :blush:

Dittos from me too, Katie!

You handled it well.

All the best to you!

edit:

Also, if I may add re: the show...

I saw the Apprentice crew on Larry King last night and Omorosa (sp?) was intimating the scripting thing and everyone involved, including Trump, denied any scripting.

All attested to two things.

Burnetts brilliance in casting and the fact that you can't edit something into an image w/o the raw materials.

Before I get incinerated, I have to say that I don't find the gossiping by the servers unrealistic.

Chowder and crew were having a meeting in front of everyone, with no discretion at all, and that doesn't surprise me in the least with Mr. Ex-con.

News travels fast in a restaurant anyways, they're always swirling with gossip, and these folks have the advantage of Page 6 to learn from.

Perhaps the situation is so cruddy we just don't want to admit it could really be unraveling this way?

What does being an ex-con have to do with anything here? Is it just a pejorative thrown in to give weight to your argument?

there are always 3 sides to every story:

my side

your side

and the truth

And no one is lying, shared memories serve each person differently

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Okay, everyone gets their two cents, so here's mine:

Choderow does come across as a prick, but so do many businessmen. Business is not about being soft and cuddly, hard decisions have to be made, things can get ugly. The successful guy is going to be the one who can do what has to be done. I respect him because, unlike a lot of business men I've known over the years, he seems competent.

As far as the being out of touch with the restaurant for months, I don't doubt it. The cameras don't just happen to be there. By the time they wrapped the first season, they probably had plans for a second one. Perhaps part of the plan was to let the place run into the ground a little bit, the deal with the drama. Would make for a more interesting story, wouldn't it?

First season, cocky Rocco lets the restaurant get away from him. Things look ugly, everybody is WHINING, trouble brews. But then out comes Super Rocco (in PA the previews actually called him that as he was doing his flashy mise) who gets into the kitchen and makes it all better. Season two, perhaps they hang him out to dry, make him the bad guy. Or maybe he'll see the error of his book signing rather than cooking ways. Maybe we'll see a return to the Super Rocco motif that we had in the first. Don't know, but it works, I'll be watching.

Regardless of what really happens in real life, a good editor can make the story they want. One of the late night things I did last fall was to dig through the personal web sites of the actors. Gives some real insight as to the sculpting the editors were doing.

So, I've heard, from another prick businessman I was friends with that if someone has a bunch of successful businesses, there's a good tax reason to have one that loses money. My guess is that Choderow knew there was going to be another season of his very successful and relatively low-impact show. He lets it fail a little bit, keeps out of it, takes the tax break. Then, when the cameras are ready to roll ,he gets back involved. Alas, the courts don't work on his schedule or the TV producers, so we don't get the neat denoument that would wrap the series so well.

As a new New Yorker, though, I haven't been there even though my old cook friends from VA keep asking me about it. If I'm gonna pay New York restaurant prices, I want good food. But then I live here now, I'm not a tourist.

Oh, and that intern, what are the chances that he WASN'T thrown in there to cause some trouble, some drama, to give us viewers someone to righteously hate. Come on, a wet behind the ears kid who's going to go in there and tell everyone how to fix themselves based on what? Stuff he learned in school? He's a plot device and not a well-disguised one. But again, I'll tune in to see him get his ass handed to him.

Ah, I feel better to have that off my chest.

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zachy, you're right.

Being an ex con has nothing to do with nothing.

I work with some, no big deal.

My apologies.

I don't notget what chowder is on about, losing money is a drag, etc.

I understand the art of editing, all i'm saying is that it has to be there to begin with to do this to individuals.

2317/5000

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zachy, you're right.

Being an ex con has nothing to do with nothing.

I work with some, no big deal.

My apologies.

I don't notget what chowder is on about, losing money is a drag, etc.

I understand the art of editing, all i'm saying is that it has to be there to begin with to do this to individuals.

Not to stick my nose in where is doesn't belong, but when an ex-con has his hands in the money, I believe it is a legitimate concern.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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Okay, everyone gets their two cents, so here's mine:

Choderow does come across as a prick, but so do many businessmen. Business is not about being soft and cuddly, hard decisions have to be made, things can get ugly. The successful guy is going to be the one who can do what has to be done. I respect him because, unlike a lot of business men I've known over the years, he seems competent.

Being a prick doesn't have anything to do with making tough decisions, and it certainly doesn't have anything to do with competence. I don't think anybody here is faulting Choderow for taking whatever steps are necessary to save his investment or at least stop it from bleeding more cash. But there is a significant difference between taking those steps and A) refusing to take any responsibility for their having become necessary, or B) taking them in a manner calculated to cause the greatest possible humiliation and discomfort to the people who will bear the brunt of them -- like snottily denigrating a business in front of its employees when they are in no position to respond or, for CHRISSAKE, snottily denigrating a business to the manager's mother.

I recognize that these scenes were almost certainly at least partially staged for the camera's benefit -- i.e., it's possible, maybe even likely, that Choderow, left to his own devices, would not have staged his pricky little "business meeting" at Rocco's. So we're really not talking here about Choderow, but about the character of Choderow, as played on TV. But in terms of that character, I don't find him remotely worthy of respect.

The ability to make money does not, in and of itself, render a person worthy of respect, any more than the ability to generate large numbers of sales -- as Rocco's has apparently done -- renders a business successful. In both instances, you have to factor in the costs involved as well, and if the costs are very high (whether you're talking about the price tag on the flatware or the humiliation of underlings), your business may be a failure, and your decency as a human being -- which is what makes someone deserving of respect, in MY book -- is similarly in question.

Edited by mags (log)
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Chodorow History:

In 1996, Jeffrey Chodorow, former Braniff International Airlines owner and board chairman pleaded guilty to two felony counts that charged him with impeding the Transportation Department's airline continuing fitness program and obstructing enforcement of aviation statutes. Chodorow received four months in jail and four years of supervised release for comparable offenses. Chodorow was ordered to pay $ 1.25 million in restitution to the estate, plus a $ 40,000 fine. Chodorow was accused of concealing the continuing involvement of Braniff executive Scot Spencer in the management of the airline, after the DOT banned Spencer from the company. Braniff ceased operations in 1992 and left 20,000 passengers without transportation and lost more than $ 1 million in ticket payments, and banks and other creditors were out $ 14 million.

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Chodorow History:

In 1996, Jeffrey Chodorow, former Braniff International Airlines owner and board chairman pleaded guilty to two felony counts that charged him with impeding the Transportation Department's airline continuing fitness program and obstructing enforcement of aviation statutes. Chodorow received four months in jail and four years of supervised release for comparable offenses. Chodorow was ordered to pay $ 1.25 million in restitution to the estate, plus a $ 40,000 fine. Chodorow was accused of concealing the continuing involvement of Braniff executive Scot Spencer in the management of the airline, after the DOT banned Spencer from the company. Braniff ceased operations in 1992 and left 20,000 passengers without transportation and lost more than $ 1 million in ticket payments, and banks and other creditors were out $ 14 million.

You forgot about the part where he got out of serving all his jail time by claiming his son had Tourettes and needed him at home.

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Chodorow History:

In 1996, Jeffrey Chodorow, former Braniff International Airlines owner and board chairman pleaded guilty to two felony counts that charged him with impeding the Transportation Department's airline continuing fitness program and obstructing enforcement of aviation statutes.  Chodorow received four months in jail and four years of supervised release for comparable offenses.  Chodorow was ordered to pay $ 1.25 million in restitution to the estate, plus a $ 40,000 fine.  Chodorow was accused of concealing the continuing involvement of Braniff executive Scot Spencer in the management of the airline, after the DOT banned Spencer from the company.  Braniff ceased operations in 1992 and left 20,000 passengers without transportation and lost more than $ 1 million in ticket payments, and banks and other creditors were out $ 14 million.

You forgot about the part where he got out of serving all his jail time by claiming his son had Tourettes and needed him at home.

daysee8, you make it sound as if he should have tried to serve the maximum amount of time.

there are always 3 sides to every story:

my side

your side

and the truth

And no one is lying, shared memories serve each person differently

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Chodorow History:

In 1996, Jeffrey Chodorow, former Braniff International Airlines owner and board chairman pleaded guilty to two felony counts that charged him with impeding the Transportation Department's airline continuing fitness program and obstructing enforcement of aviation statutes. Chodorow received four months in jail and four years of supervised release for comparable offenses. Chodorow was ordered to pay $ 1.25 million in restitution to the estate, plus a $ 40,000 fine. Chodorow was accused of concealing the continuing involvement of Braniff executive Scot Spencer in the management of the airline, after the DOT banned Spencer from the company. Braniff ceased operations in 1992 and left 20,000 passengers without transportation and lost more than $ 1 million in ticket payments, and banks and other creditors were out $ 14 million.

Thanks! I was wondering what passes for "management issues" these days.

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I think we have to acknowledge the fact that Mr. Chodorow has, by agreeing to be on the show, agreed to put himself (and his life) under a magnifying glass. Is it a fact that he served time for a charge which basically boiled down to "lying to/not cooperating with the government"? Yes. Does it speak to how he conducts his business in general? I have no idea. More importantly, to a viewer of this show, does it affect his position relative to Rocco DiSpirito's crappy management skills?

Probably not.

I think it was stated a few pages back... the show is more interesting because your two extremes--thus far--are not really wearing black and white hats. We've got a businessman who's entire demeanor and history makes us feel uncomfortable. And we've got a petulant irresponsible child on the other side.

I'll be disturbed if the show tries to make Rocco into a hero--the "underdog" they implied he was the first time. At the same time, I certainly don't want Jeffrey Chodorow shown inaccurately either. But it's impossible to know either of these men "in real life", and it's the nature of reality TV that the term itself is something of a lie. But to circle back to how I started this post... there isn't a single person around who, at this point, I feel can get away with professing ignorance about the "rules" of reality TV, and what's almost inevitably going to happen if you agree to go on camera. You WILL look as bad as possible. You WILL invite your past to be poked at and criticized. You WILL risk snap judgements, and you WILL risk either the truth or a distortion of the truth being projected to the whole world depending on editing and frankly... what you give them to edit with.

And by agreeing to go on the show--knowing from at least a decade of shows like this having gone by--you invite it. Even if you've never watched a minute of reality TV, certainly a family member or a lawyer of yours or an employee or someone has, and I don't think anyone can claim having gone into it blindly.

So if at times I say something unkind sounding like "Rocco and Chodorow deserve each other", that's the root of it. They both signed up for this.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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So if at times I say something unkind sounding like "Rocco and Chodorow deserve each other", that's the root of it. They both signed up for this.

I agree! And I was going to say something like "they do deserve each other, but the customers don't deserve the crappy food and service at Rocco's" but then again, they all know it's a TV show, and they only go there because they might be on TV. Same reason why this good looking girls show up at Rocco's book signings. So they deserva that, too. If they wanted good food, NYC has plenty of better options.

I just feel bad because the restaurant business is poorly depicted in this show. It makes us look anything but serious. Sure, there will be no show without all the drama, and my friends an I watch the show because we think it's just funny, but Rocco just makes us look bad!

Follow me @chefcgarcia

Fábula, my restaurant in Santiago, Chile

My Blog, en Español

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...but the customers don't deserve the crappy food ...

Why not? They have a choice between eating across the street or mama's meatballs.

And what about the biblical saying about publicity? Maybe Rocco looks the buffoon and casts a shadow on the profession, but the entire profession is reaping the benefits of the PR.

And hey, whatever happened to all Rocco's Roccettes who posted here last year? Do they still have websites? I wonder if the "apprentice" has a website yet. Can I just say I love all this shit?

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This whole travesty can be spelled out in two words.

"BULL SHIT"

There was in professional estimates considerable less then $2,000.000.00 Dollars in Cash actually ever invested into the "Rocco's" operation. I'm pretty sure that was the total amount originally mentioned regarding the investment.

The $4,000,000.00 Investment is part of the entertainment provides for those Gullible to believe that there are actually $600,000.00 in Operation losses incurred since they began doing business. I'm even skeptical about the business cards costing the price quoted. Even kickbacks are that blatant.

The easy part to a professional negotiator, observer was picking up the "TIC"S" in almost all the participants during this performance of the travesty of a restaurant.

This rendition has hit the bottom of the barrel for reality television. I was somewhat bemused watching the first 6 shows, but the series has started off being nothing but irresponsible and annoying without anything endearing. I will predict that this 6 showings won't be comparable in the rating's as the initial performances.

The only amusing thing to watch is how badly the actors/restaurant employees try to act credible, while being filmed on camera. In the orient being two faced is not considered appropriate, but everyone at "Rocco's" is acting multi faced. Even the best performers aren't capable of pulling that off.

Am I the only viewer who has seen through all this GARBAGE ?

I'm amazed that the Director with his ability to cut, manipulate and edit couldn't find any way to put anything amusing, funny or human interest into this opening show. There wasn't any positive hooks or connections with anyone this segment.

Well that's my opinion, I feel that the whole hour was not entertaining.

Irwin

I felt that it was appropriate to begin this posting with my previous post as a "Quote".

What perturbs me the most about this "Rocco's" Restaurant is why the heck we all pretend that in this kind of a JOINT that it require a so called CHEF.

Get real "Rocco's" is serving food that at best only superficially different then that served at any of the many so called Italian Chain Operations. Such as the "Spaghetti Factory", Macaroni's", "Olive Garden", "Bueppo" or all the others. None of these place has a Chef, what they do have is a Kitchen Manager/Expediter who is in charge of getting the food to the customers and training/overseeing the employees. Many have little or no previous experience, are provided with written instructions, picture and job descriptions. Those who are only slightly on the ball are promoted, given raises and quickly rise thru the ranks. This type of system works well with most Chain operations such as TGI Fridays, Outback Steakhouse, Red Lobster and most of the others. This is beneficial to the Industry as a whole because many competent professionals have evolved thru this network.

"Rocco's" only real hook currently is his Mother who provides some feeling of care and authentically into the operation. To continue this travesty it would help having several Italian/American Hosts front persons to schmooze with the customers to continue the business visual success.

It's definitely not the place to eat or be seen by real New York Restaurant customers, certainly not the pretty people or celebrities. Thats apparent by the fact that the Bar isn't established as a place to be seen or hang out.

I feel that even the Court Case, that still proceeding even after the shooting of the televisions 6 episodes have been completed will eventually go nowhere, considering the speed of New York Courts until you face the Judge is measured in years not months. The Judge require that every attempt to settle this matter be exhausted before actually hearing the case.

If all the allegations had any merit it would result in various types of Bankruptcy before getting that far since time is a reality not a television series.

The only losers are those of us gullible enough to actually have feeling for any of the principals involved. After all is said and done they will come out of this situation in better financial shape then before they entered. Don't forget the residuals income from replays into different markets begins to add up into macho bucks very quickly. It certainly a Cash Cow to NBC and the Producer with the entire expense of all 12 Shows, including all the money invested by the principals and all loses is still much less then the actual costs involved in a 1/2 Hour segment of "FRIENDS" or "FRASER" with the Multi-Million Dollars Weekly Payrolls for each show.

To me what I've tried to express is the actual "REALITY" of "Rocco's".

I wonder what everyone else thinks about my opinions ?

Irwin :wub::shock::blink:

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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This whole travesty can be spelled out in two words.

"BULL SHIT"

There was in professional estimates considerable less then $2,000.000.00 Dollars in Cash actually ever invested into the "Rocco's" operation. I'm pretty sure that was the total amount originally mentioned regarding the investment.

The $4,000,000.00 Investment is part of the entertainment provides for those Gullible to believe that there are actually $600,000.00 in Operation losses incurred since they began doing business. I'm even skeptical about the business cards costing the price quoted. Even kickbacks are that blatant.

The easy part to a professional negotiator, observer was picking up the "TIC"S" in almost all the participants during this performance of the travesty of a restaurant.

This rendition has hit the bottom of the barrel for reality television. I was somewhat bemused watching the first 6 shows, but the series has started off being nothing but irresponsible and annoying without anything endearing. I will predict that this 6 showings won't be comparable in the rating's as the initial performances.

The only amusing thing to watch is how badly the actors/restaurant employees try to act credible, while being filmed on camera. In the orient being two faced is not considered appropriate, but everyone at "Rocco's" is acting multi faced. Even the best performers aren't capable of pulling that off.

Am I the only viewer who has seen through all this GARBAGE ?

I'm amazed that the Director with his ability to cut, manipulate and edit couldn't find any way to put anything amusing, funny or human interest into this opening show. There wasn't any positive hooks or connections with anyone this segment.

Well that's my opinion, I feel that the whole hour was not entertaining.

Irwin

I felt that it was appropriate to begin this posting with my previous post as a "Quote".

What perturbs me the most about this "Rocco's" Restaurant is why the heck we all pretend that in this kind of a JOINT that it require a so called CHEF.

Get real "Rocco's" is serving food that at best only superficially different then that served at any of the many so called Italian Chain Operations. Such as the "Spaghetti Factory", Macaroni's", "Olive Garden", "Bueppo" or all the others. None of these place has a Chef, what they do have is a Kitchen Manager/Expediter who is in charge of getting the food to the customers and training/overseeing the employees. Many have little or no previous experience, are provided with written instructions, picture and job descriptions. Those who are only slightly on the ball are promoted, given raises and quickly rise thru the ranks. This type of system works well with most Chain operations such as TGI Fridays, Outback Steakhouse, Red Lobster and most of the others. This is beneficial to the Industry as a whole because many competent professionals have evolved thru this network.

"Rocco's" only real hook currently is his Mother who provides some feeling of care and authentically into the operation. To continue this travesty it would help having several Italian/American Hosts front persons to schmooze with the customers to continue the business visual success.

It's definitely not the place to eat or be seen by real New York Restaurant customers, certainly not the pretty people or celebrities. Thats apparent by the fact that the Bar isn't established as a place to be seen or hang out.

I feel that even the Court Case, that still proceeding even after the shooting of the televisions 6 episodes have been completed will eventually go nowhere, considering the speed of New York Courts until you face the Judge is measured in years not months. The Judge require that every attempt to settle this matter be exhausted before actually hearing the case.

If all the allegations had any merit it would result in various types of Bankruptcy before getting that far since time is a reality not a television series.

The only losers are those of us gullible enough to actually have feeling for any of the principals involved. After all is said and done they will come out of this situation in better financial shape then before they entered. Don't forget the residuals income from replays into different markets begins to add up into macho bucks very quickly. It certainly a Cash Cow to NBC and the Producer with the entire expense of all 12 Shows, including all the money invested by the principals and all loses is still much less then the actual costs involved in a 1/2 Hour segment of "FRIENDS" or "FRASER" with the Multi-Million Dollars Weekly Payrolls for each show.

To me what I've tried to express is the actual "REALITY" of "Rocco's".

I wonder what everyone else thinks about my opinions ?

Irwin :wub::shock::blink:

Frankly, I thought your 2 word description was sufficient ;-)

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Don't forget the residuals income from replays into different markets begins to add up into macho bucks very quickly.

wesza,

I love your posts and your usual but sometimes wackily delivered wisdom. However, I'd think the producers made damn sure no one with a SAG card was hired or shown on camera--except maybe for Bourdain who probably gets a check for five bucks every month for his Rocco appearance. Come to think of it, lack of SAG talent in the front of the house may of juiced up the first season.

PJ

"Epater les bourgeois."

--Lester Bangs via Bruce Sterling

(Dori Bangs)

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Residuals? Dream on. That was a freebie.

I doubt even Rocco gets residuals.

Your probably right.

Especially considering that apparently important papers weren't signed by Rocco, and he was naive enough to believe that a 50/50 deal when your not putting up the money is mutually advantageous.

I'm sure being familiar with New York lenders that everything that transpired has personal guarantees required to be signed by all principals.

That's the reason that my biggest laugh watching the performances occurred when "Rocco" said get me my "Lawyers". Oh yeah they sure give him good advice, how this type of mess could ever happen, especially in NYC where the Liquor Commission checks over every document making sure that everything that needs to be signed has been signed before issuing a Liquor License doesn't seem credible.

I've had several Liquor Licenses in NYC thru the years, plus many others all over the States and I'm sure that no where is the criteria to get a License more through then NYC except for Rocco's of course.

Irwin

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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