Tonight at 8 p.m., Fox airs the episode of Kitchen Nightmares we've been waiting for, where notorious hothead Gordon Ramsay takes on Honmaster General Denise Whiting and aims to save her and her restaurant, Cafe Hon, from the torrent of bad press over her trademarking of the word "Hon."
For those who just can't wait, the entire episode popped up on YouTube and is below... Watch and let us know what you think!
SPOILER ALERT: I'll offer some thoughts on the episode below...
The episode gets off on a TERRIBLE foot—at least with locals—with this opening line: "Hampden, Maryland: a proud community located just outside of Baltimore." Of course, I don't need to tell you, dear Baltimore readers, that Hampden is a neighborhood well within the city of Baltimore."
From there, the show follows a very typical reality show script. The first half is disaster after disaster, set to dramatic music, and Whiting comes off as slightly less likable than the proprietor of Cafe Nazi.
In the second half, the show would have you believe that Ramsay cured years of animosity, a dysfunctional staff, and a dying business by adding a flamingo chandelier and adding some seasoning to the fries. Of course, he did also get Whiting to give up the trademark (which we already knew), but on the show, the result is a wholesale turnaround in the city's feelings about Cafe Hon, including a newfound love of its decor and food—even Terrell Suggs says "that steak is off the chain!"
The real reality, of course, is that only time will tell whether Cafe Hon and Whiting are back in Baltimore's good graces. One thing's for sure: the publicity gained by showing her restaurant and herself in the harsh light of reality TV—and I mean harsh—will undoubtedly help the business thrive. Hey, nobody said she wasn't a shrewd businesswoman...