Hell’s Kitchen adds winner Heather as sous chef, plus anger to its chefs’ incompetence

CBS’ Big Brother gets additional competition tonight in the trashy, guilty pleasure reality TV genre from Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen, which returns for a sixth season starting at 8 p.m. ET. Back is season two winner Heather, who is the new sous chef for the women’s team.

This season’s winner gets to be the executive chef at Araxi in Whistler, British Columbia, perhaps because no more American restaurants are willing to advertise on the show that does nothing but illustrate how incompetent its future chef is.

During Hell’s Kitchen 6‘s two-hour premiere, Gordon Ramsay says “for the first time ever in Hell’s Kitchen” a lot, but that’s pretty much an impossibility at this point, because it’s the same show season after season. The redesigned dining room even looks like the exact same one from last year. After last season, I decided the show–once started off as a fun, if formulaic favorite because it was so ridiculous–quickly became no longer worth watching because it got boring, with the same thing happening season after season. Watching the first episode, I can’t imagine continuing to watch this season, either, at least not until little Gordon makes his guest appearance. There’s just nothing new for Gordon Ramsay to say or do besides, you know, stabbing one of the chefs. There’s nothing shocking about him yelling, throwing something, or kicking them out.

All this season really has is the potential for one of the chefs to get violent, because they’re now angry and incompetent. A former Marine gets confrontational with Ramsay immediately, and in the second hour, challenges him to a fight, which is somewhat interesting.

Otherwise, it’s the same as before. There’s a twist I won’t spoil, but let’s just say it’s obvious from about a half a mile away and is thoroughly scripted; the narrator even calls it Gordon Ramsay’s “plan.” Ultimately, it proves that the cast is just there as Gordon’s playthings, and as this clip illustrates, he’s played with these toys before:

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.

Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.