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Ramsay's American Nightmares

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Remember when you were a very little kid and someone else was in charge of getting you to eat? They'd sit immediately in front of you within arms' reach, and scoop up a manageable bite of whatever was on the bland and pureed menu and aim it at your mouth, and when it was perhaps a tougher task to get you to open wide and chew and swallow the spoon became a space ship or a race car or a choo-choo-train, complete with sound effects. "Here comes the locomotive!" you'd be told in a cloyingly sweet tone, "open up the tunnel and let the train in!"

Like a sucker, of course, you'd fall for it, and another mouthful of strained peas and carrots disappeared down your naively unsuspecting hatch.

The folks who were in charge of importing celeb chef Gordon Ramsay's immensely enjoyable UK Kitchen Nightmares series to the States clearly have fallen prey to the notion that the best kind of televised entertainment is the kind that is overblown and mindless--it's a clear enactment of spoonfeeding their behemoth American viewership baby. They took something fully palatable and easily digested and added all sorts of dumbed-down bells and whistles aimed at making their audience drop their vulnerable jaws in order to shove something down their throats.

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In short, Fox's version of Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares is calling us stupid and feeding us heaping spoonfuls of American crap.