A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Contestants learn what it takes to be a good chef at an upscale restaurant.
Positive Role Models
The chef uses humiliation and anger to motivate contestants. He also praises success, though much less frequently. Contestants are sometimes unsportsmanlike and conniving.
Violence & Scariness
The chef pushes plates of food into contestants' chests. Cooks sometimes cut and burn themselves accidently.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Female contestants occasionally appear in skimpy bathing suits or dresses.
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The chef's insults are full of foul language, and the contestants curse often as well. All severe cursing is bleeped and mouths are fuzzed over. Words like "hell" and "damn" are frequent.
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Products & Purchases
Gordon Ramsay is himself a commodity, and sometimes the show plays this up. Shots of his magazine covers and restaurants appear occasionally.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Contestants drink and smoke when they're off kitchen duty.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this competitive reality show features a foul-mouthed chef who regularly insults and humiliates the contestants. Those who remain calm under pressure and work through the pain of insults, cuts, and burns are rewarded with an occasional compliment from the raging chef. When out of the kitchen, the contestants drink, smoke, and linger in the hot tub wearing revealing attire.
Is It Any Good?
Ramsay's British restaurants are top-tier, and he has expectations to match -- outside of the kitchen he's a nice guy, but inside he's brutal. Those who've worked in professional kitchens know that his intense demeanor isn't unusual for chefs under stress, but he surely plays it up for the cameras. Ramsay rages at every mistake, calls the cooks names, and sends back plate after plate of attempted dishes. Some nights the kitchen turns out zero entrees, despite being open for hours.
But if you can handle Ramsay's rudeness and the annoying reality-show elements (constant replaying of key moments, odd editing, and overly dramatic music), the action is nail-bitingly delicious. Many of the competitors have professional cooking experience, with a few exceptions, but even the tenured folks have a hard time acclimating to such intense circumstances -- tears of frustration, explosions of temper, thrown plates, and more emotional moments season the action. The contestants work as hard as they possibly can to impress the chef and turn out edible food, but in order to succeed, they must work together, stay calm, and avoid the wrath of Ramsay -- never an easy task. By watching Hell's Kitchen, teens with any illusions about celebrity chefdom will get a glimpse into the harsh realities of the professional kitchen.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.