BFS Video // 2008 // 576 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Roy Hrab (Retired) // April 20th, 2010
@#*%#@** Out Of My Kitchen!!!!
The F Word: Series Four is the fourth installment of Chef Gordon Ramsay's (Hell's Kitchen) restaurant television program. The 12-episode season is presented on 4 discs. This season continues to prove that The F Word is by far the best of Ramsay's television offerings.
There are multiple components to the show. The main thread is the kitchen brigade competition. For this, as was the case in Seasons Two and Three, the judges are the 50 F Word diners, who are served a three-course meal and decide whether they want to pay for each dish or not. As always, Ramsay's incredulous reactions to large numbers of diners refusing to pay for a course for reasons he doesn't understand (e.g., they simply don't like the recipe) continues to be good for laugh.
The brigade that gets the most paid diners wins the competition. The prize is the privilege of cooking in the season's final episode. The difference this time around is that the brigades are led by UK celebrities, along with their friends and family. This results in a far less stern version of Ramsay in the kitchen compared to previous seasons, and if you've only watched Hell's Kitchen, you may think he's been body-snatched. He doesn't dare rip into these people for making mistakes as he would actual sous-chefs. Instead, there's much sarcasm and constant ribbing. This less abusive approach coaxes some very capable work from the amateurs. Indeed, it makes you wonder why Ramsay relies on berating staff in professional service settings.
The second main thread is British media personality Janet Street-Porter breeding veal calves. The calves are to be slaughtered in order to serve veal to diners in the series finale. These segments aren't particularly memorable until it comes time for slaughter, which, as in the previous seasons, is shown in all its gory detail at the abattoir.
In addition to the above storylines, Ramsay goes on some culinary adventures, looking for exotic foods and teaching people how to cook healthy meals from scratch quickly. With respect to food, Ramsay pursues a variety of game, including hunting wild boar and pigeons, sky-fishing for puffins in Iceland, and catfish noodling in Oklahoma. The teaching segments include a boxer, a bloke training for his first marathon, a comedian, emergency workers, and some U.S. marines. Recipes in these segments include spicy beef curry, fishcakes, lamb kebabs, soba noodle soup with chicken, and Cajun-style blackened catfish.
Also, there is the recipe challenge between Ramsay and a celebrity guest. Each prepares their own version of a dish- macaroni and cheese, sponge cake, shepherds pie- which are judged by a small group of diners. Unfortunately, Ramsay wins almost every competition this season, so there's isn't much of him blowing a gasket when losing.
The video and audio quality is as solid as ever. The dishes look good enough to eat and every Ramsay profanity is clear and uncensored.
There are no extras.
The F Word: Series Four continues the fine tradition of the franchise. Its multi-segment format prevents kitchen fatigue from setting in and is one of the main reasons this is the most entertaining of Ramsay's shows. Hopefully, it will inspire some viewers to prepare a meal at home rather than going for take-out.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: BFS Video
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 576 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Official Site