Helluva Show...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Helluva Show...

...the Finn McCool's edition of Kitchen Nightmares had it all, including a packed house last evening at the former Matchbox.

Did I say Chef Ramsay's "scorched kitchen" offensive? It was brutal, especially toward proprietor "Buddy" Mazzio's son, Brian, in whose charge the restaurant's cuisine had been commended... the unfortunate chef in situ was the focus of the television host's measured evisceration to the extent that he tossed down his apron and stormed out the door in a late model snit!

(Let's not for a nano-second pretend that viewers aren't attracted to these kinds of "Reality" [shudder!] shows to see how cleverly Ramsay and American Idol's Simon Cowell verbally abuse partic­ipants.)

To his credit, Brian sucked it up and came back to learn.

And to his credit, Chef Ramsay, aware that he had made his point with the young man, back­ed off his ruthless criticism, and went into a teaching mode when Brian returned.

(But who knows what sort of paternal dis­cussion "Buddy" might've had with #1 son off-camera?)

The hour-long show (actually ±44 minutes with the commercial breaks and promotional announcements stripped out) really did "have it all," and while I'm at best an infrequent viewer, it was the top one in my limited fam­iliarity with the series... there was pathos, comedy, and the timeless story of a family achieving rapprochement that I found sappily compelling. Some­one could take this particular show and use it as a template to fashion a wonderful family flick... after expurgating some of the earthier exchanges between father and sons, it could probably be rendered into some­thing with a PG-13 rating!

The unscripted comedic parts were terrific, from the ordinarily cocky Brian's perpetual exophthalmic expression of incredulity as his kitchen routines are being called into question, to the look on his father's normally good-natured visage when informed that the fry cook had, on camera, committed an unpar­donable breech of basic sanitary procedures!

(The staffer's explanatory logic was un­assailable... a bubbling deep fat fryer will kill any­thing short of Mad Cow Disease, the prions of which cannot be killed by anything yet known... it was that the man was caught in flagrante delicto in front of the entire viewing audience.)

The strength of the show was that fact that it came across as absolutely authentic, even for a docu­men­tary-style entertainment... or as it is known, "Reality TV." [shudder!]

Sidebar: as a matter of pure coincidence, proprietor Mazzio was finally called to the bar of the Westhampton Beach Justice Court last evening two hours before the Fox show was telecast... at issue was the sign code violation which had existed since Chef Ramsay's team had presented the establishment with an ornate (and very Oirish) ground sign... without bene­fit of permit, of course!

Talk of the luck o'that particular nation­al­ity... 'twas but happenstance that the presiding Justice wore the family name of Kelly and the violations against Finn McCool's were put to rest without a fine!

During the same court session, however, it cost Ms. Elyse Richman, proprietrix of the Shock-brand establishments, $500 to tidy up her outstanding sign code vio­lations. She was, in conversation just prior to the telecast, she was remarkably phlegmatic about the matter, especially after it was pointed out to her that if she amortized that $500 over the almost 24 years she'd been defiantly resisting com­pliance, it was cheap!

The buffet the Mazzio's put out for multi-wide-screens telecast of the show last evening was a decent one, and the "new" version of their Shepherd's Pie was, in truth, improved, al­though I'd always enjoyed Chef-in-waiting Brian's original one.

Now, if they'd just put the Bangers'n'Mashed back on the menu and some good hard cider on draught, I could enthusiastically switch my watering hole allegiances to Finn McCool's.


1. Tony Jo Berk said...

Finn McCool's signs do not obstruct traffic or cheapen the surroundings in any way. Where as Shocks "signage" does. It's tacky, and especially on crowded summer days it blocks pedestrian traffic. Time to move the gawdy hand and the busy easel inside Ms. Richman....

Um, the relative aesthetics of the signs are not any part of the issue, TJB.

2. Tony Jo Berk said...

I understand WHB Village's signage law as well as the next "guy." They want uniformity. My point was Finn McCool's sign, although technically in violation of WHBV Code is not an eye sore or an obstacle like many others on Main Street.

3. Greg D said...

Finn's Rules! Please call for purchase information. 631-327-1807

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