I recently started watching Cutthroat Kitchen on Netflix. I’ve seen it once or twice on someone else’s cable TV and wasn’t a huge fan, but I love Alton Brown. Plus, let’s face it, I’ve already powered through all the episodes of Good Eats, Chopped, and Man v Food streaming on Netflix so I need some other foodie fix.
I usually opt out of most reality TV because I don’t like watching people be mean to each other or creating unnecessary drama.
But, just like I watched America’s Next Top Model for the make-up and costumes and not the annoying teenage girls, I can watch Cutthroat Kitchen for the skill and on-your-feet thinking.
If you can look past the bravado of the chefs themselves, and the cruelty of making chefs sabotage each other in the first place, it’s kind of an interesting psychological study.
We all know life isn’t fair.
You start out with your perfect plan, but then life shits on it.
And you have to make do anyway.
That’s kind of what Cutthroat Kitchen is like.
Chopped makes chefs think on their feet in one way, and Cutthroat Kitchen does it in another.
Can you stay cool under pressure, or do you let your emotions run away with your rationality?
Can you keep haters from getting under your skin?
How do you bring your skills and creativity to the table when your plans keep getting hijacked?
Can you still make something good and interesting in less-than ideal conditions?
Man, those are good life skills to have.
In a way, the show is also kind of a metaphor for privilege.
At the end of each round, the judge isn’t aware of any of the sabotages, and can’t be informed of them.
All they are judging is the finished product.
They don’t care about the obstacles you had to face or the unfair advantages others had which you didn’t.
They also don’t know if you had one of those advantages but squandered it.
Sometimes in life, people don’t care about our sob back stories. They only care about our finished products.
And it can be hard to lose when you know the game was rigged.
But it is interesting in a way to watch people in high-pressure situations and learn from it.
Oh, if I was more like that person in this way that would be better.
Or, I never want to be like that person no matter how bad it gets.
I don’t know. I imagine some people get schadenfreude from reality TV.
But I just think it’s interesting how people work.
I would never want to be in the position of sabotaging others, but it’s useful to be prepared for how to react when others (or just random “acts of God”) sabotage me.
Because as we know, nothing ever goes according to plan.