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Mar 12, 2008 11:59 PM

TC #4 -- what's with all the swearing?

I'm no prude. I was a chef and I know the kind of language that goes on in the kitchen.

But that is the back of the house. All this cursing on TV -- and therefore in the public eye -- is *incredibly* unprofessional. Can you imagine a chef going out to the dining room and cursing up a storm? Or a chef at a book signing? Or a chef speaking to some school kids?

I will not let my younger kid watch the show anymore, and I'm not far behind. I've been working for years to get them to *think* when they speak; to learn to express themselves so that they are fully capable of communicating cleanly. Profanity has its place, but not on Top Chef.

And Bravo is worse -- maybe some of the cheftestants are incapable of expressing themselves without swearing, but there is no law that says Bravo has to air it. I'd wager the cheftestants would clean up their language dramatically if they knew it wouldn't get on the air. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be surprised if Bravo is encouraging it.

What a shame.

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  1. I didn't notice the continuous swearing/cursing. Personally speaking, there are MANY shows on cable that obsessively curse and are extremely worse compared to Top Chef.

    Plus, it seems a bit more refined than most reality - and sitcoms - that are on cable nowadays. I have just watched TC twice tonight, and do not see where you are coming from. All extremely vulgar language is bleeped out (which is almost nonexistant, go watch MTV for a dose of vulgarity) and is still a good source of entertainment and culinary skills.

    6 Replies
    1. re: cocktailqueen77

      In the intro alone you have Andrew or Spike saying, “Oh did I get f#$%ed!” Then the very next clip is a Mark blowing up the blender saying, “F@#$ me!” I am not saying that those words would not have slipped out of my mouth in the same situation, but Bravo could have edited it out instead of showcasing it. Throughout the rest of the show they show most of the male chefs continue to drop the F bomb in the one on one interviews. You would not expect to have a reality show with a bunch of sailors without expecting a lot of editing. They should just leave some of it out.

      1. re: cocktailqueen77

        I expect it from MTV, and my son doesn't watch. it. I know he will someday, learning to curse and swear like me when I'm alone driving in my car.

        I'm not happy with the language on many of the other shows, and the language on on one or more of those others doesn't justify it on this one. The bleeping is irrelevant; everyone that knows these words knows what they're saying.

        Here's another perspective: imagine the judges talking this way. It's not as if they never do, it's that it's unprofessional in public. A celebrity chef that spoke that way in public would quickly lose fans and likely endorsements. (Well, maybe Bourdain wouldn't...)

        An unseen kitchen is the back of the house, and I expect and I engaged in profanity. Fryolater burns, cuts, dense coworkers, etc., etc. When you get in the weeds it's a perfectly appropriate time.

        But now think of open kitchens -- I would be amazed if workers weren't told to watch their language. Being on TV is about as "front" of the house as you can get. And a third: The challenges where the cheftestants are in the public eye -- the fancy buffets, street food, etc. -- would the judges tolerate foul language in those settings?

        Let 'em swear at home. Yes, they may in the midst of battle, but Bravo doesn't have to air it. And when being interviewed keep it thoughtful and clean.

        TC has never been an expose of the behind the scenes look at an active kitchen. Even the "create a restaurant" challenges, while closer, are little like real life. (AB's latest where he goes back on the line is a great look at a real working kitchen.)

        Let's have a show where professionnals know how to act in public.

        Rant over, for now.

        1. re: cocktailqueen77

          Wow - I can't see how you *didn't* notice it. In the opening preview scenes, throughout one cheftestant's one-on-ones with the camera (Andrew, I believe). It was constant. It's almost like they swapped out the product placement comments with F-bombs.

          1. re: LindaWhit

            I think I'm a bit desensitized to it because I didn't realize there was excessive cursing. Guess I'm used to a lot of shows (whether it's reality, sit-coms, stand-up, cartoons) having cursing. Cursing used to be considered a big deal when I was growing up (boy, do I sound old). However, as it seems very commonplace now I just tune it out.

            In my opinion, some of the contestants look like posers. They curse excessively because it thinks it makes them look bad-ass when they're really insecure people who were probably branded as geeks at one point in their lives. Person that really comes to my mind is Judge Michael of Michael's Genuine (how ironic) from Season 3.

            1. re: Miss Needle

              In my opinion, some of the contestants look like posers. They curse excessively because it thinks it makes them look bad-ass when they're really insecure people

              Agree on this. Will be interesting to see if the producers told them to watch it on the amount of cursing, or if it continues throughout the season. I did see (as someone else mentioned in this thread) that several people had posted about it on Tom's blog. Will be interesting to see if he responds to it as well next week.

              1. re: LindaWhit

                I haven't read the posts about the cursing, but as the majority of the season has already been taped, I think they may make some revisions to the editing.

        2. I noticed that there was one idiot in particular who swore all the time. It did get a little tiresome listening to all the 'beeps'.

          11 Replies
          1. re: Withnail42

            That's the cocky loudmouth from Le Cirque, of all places. Not one to censor anyone, but yeah, I grew tired of that one-note "f-in'" everything. Not the sign of articulation or particular social grace.

            1. re: Scortch

              I don't think Andrew was at Le Cirque -- at least, it's not showing up on his bio. But Manuel/Memo did some time there (as well as at Babbo), and we didn't see that much of him in this first epi.

              1. re: momjamin

                I could be wrong, but I thought that it popped up on his on-screen ID tagline that Le Cirque was where he worked. I could have been wrong.

                If so, apologies to Le Cirque!

                1. re: Scortch

                  I noticed a lot of "big name" places in the taglines - but not that one off hand. Public was one, Buddakhan (sp?) another, I think.

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    Just Googled "Andrew" "Le Cirque" and "Top Chef"


                    Thank god! I thought I was in for early senility!

                    1. re: Scortch

                      Glad you are not (hmm but am I?), and thanks for getting the info.

                      1. re: Scortch

                        Thanks for checking. I might expect more from him now that I know he's well-employed and not just an arrogant street/potty mouth ;-)

                        1. re: momjamin

                          Don't get too attached to him, if he keeps cooking like he did in the premiere (and blaming everyone else for his problems), he won't be around long.

                          1. re: Buckethead

                            My husband and I, both just 30 and definitely not prudes, refer to him as Trash Mouth. His swearing is unnecessary and makes him come off like a scumbag.

                            1. re: invinotheresverde

                              I think he wants to be seen as a scumbag, but he's really just a poser. He's so fake with that phoney hip-hop speak. Yeughhhh. I hope he burns his risotto cake or whatever BS he makes this week and gets the ax.

              2. re: Withnail42

                Agree completely. To me, it's a sign of limited intelligence. In addition to the proliferation of f-bombs was the continuous, annoying use of "street" or hip-hop terms. He's not a teenager, trying to fit in with the cool kids, is he? So why does he talk that way? Are we supposed to be impressed with his street cred? Blech.

              3. I was thinking the same thing! I think swearing has it's place, but is was excessive during some of the individual interviews. I was actually put off by it. And they were all F-bombs. Do they not know any other curses?

                1. i think that fn is intentionally showing one particular contestant with a diarrhea mouth (foul & running constantly), and his other manic, ocd habits-- basically to bait & set up the viewer:

                  "look, we've got a real tweaker this time! doesn't he drive you nuts? a loudmouth, unprofessional spazz! bet you can't wait until he loses-- bet he's really going to flip out then, can't miss that, can we? gotta watch the whole season now, just because this guy drives us all flippin' *crazy*!"

                  ack. it's working.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: soupkitten

                    I agree, soupkitchen. It will, however, have the opposite effect with me. I won't let my son watch it so there will be fewer opportunities for me to do so. I find the swearing boring yet distracting in a jarring way, and it lowers my opinion of them and the network.

                    I'm sure I'll try to catch an episode or two, but if they don't clean up their act there are plenty of other choices on TV. Or maybe I could experiment with my own food creations!

                  2. If you read the comments posted to Tom C's first blog entry you'll see a LOT of people are calling them out on the foul maybe they'll do something about it (although it also seems likely is that most of the episodes are already in the can, so to speak)

                    Tom's Blog: