Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Back to You, and Kitchen Nightmares

A couple more pilots have shown up for free on iTunes. Here's my take.

Back to You is a new sitcom starring Kelsey Gammer. He plays a pompous news anchor, named Chuck Darling, who years ago, left the Pittsburgh nightly news to move onto bigger and better things. After an on screen blunder lands him back at his old station though he has to find a way to reconnect with his former colleagues, and make a home for himself. The biggest challenge is dealing with his old co-anchor though, played by Patricia Heaton. She is a woman who Chuck unwittingly had left pregnant with his child. Now upon returning to Pittsburgh Chuck finds he has a 10 year old daughter and a re-kindling romance with his on screen costar.

Back to You is a very typical sitcom, but I suppose it's funny enough. By that I mean sure it's canned, but it's also not especially offensive. I even mildly chuckled at a few jokes and wasn't overly turned off by anything. I think the actors are also uniformly excellent, and that has a lot to do with it's innocuousness. But this is also a show I don't intend to watch. There's nothing special here, but I know there's a market out there for this kind of thing. Maybe years from now I'll sit back anbd watch a weekend marathon of Back to You on TBS. I probably wouldn't mind that.

Kitchen Nightmares is Gordon Ramsey's new reality cooking show. Well, actually its more about managing a restaurant than any actual cooking. In the show, which is an American version of his UK show, Ramsey profiles a new real restaurant each episode. These are restaurants that for one reason or another are teetering on the edge of disaster, and the show follows Ramsey as he swaggers in with all his formidable British menace and basically whips everyone into shape. Of course throwing some money at these restaurants to upgrade their equipment and accoutrement's along the way, only adds to the excitement. I enjoyed the pilot, but once again would not really recommend the show. I've already got enough to watch and I don't need another 'uplifting' reality show. For my money I'd say stick with Hell's Kitchen, Ramsey's other show, and be happy.


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