Gordon Behind Bars - Formulaic TV at its Worst
Tonight I caught up with the last episode of Gordon Behind Bars on 4OD where our intrepid celebrity chef submits a gaggle of poor inmates to a barrage of forced obscenities whilst repeatedly slapping the back of his hand. Classic Gordon right? Now it sounds like a good recipe (PUN ALERT) for a show. A volatile environment, a volatile chef and some fairy cakes. But Gordon Behind Bars fails miserably in more than one department.
Gordon Behind Bars is more formulaic than Deal or No Deal.
The show is only 4 episodes long.
Because probably, not enough footage was captured and the production team realised that there are only so many shots of a prison kitchen resembling, well, a prison kitchen, that you can get away with. How long did it take for them to get 4 episodes worth of footage? 6 MONTHS. OUCH CHANNEL 4, OUCH.
Try it, you might like it
I really tried to like the show, and with all the inmate back stories it seems like we are supposed to identify with the key characters thrust into the limelight. But, I don't. Even with all the cheeky banter between the inmates and Ramsey, I'm not really bothered.
The first few episodes reinforce to us that the prisoners think that prison is a bit of a holiday camp and don't like changes in their routine, but there is no further evolution of this apart from a bit of manipulative storytelling to make the prison guards look like bullies.
The guards are on the prisoners backs? Imagine that? Poor them. Not that they seem to mind, but Gordon sure is persistent in sticking up for them.
What happens next?!
Nothing much. There is no real suspense of any kind. Will Gordon be able to sell a few cakes to a mid-weight UK coffee shop? Yes. Of course he ruddy will. It's Gordon Ramsey with a full film crew and a band of inmates. Would you say no?
From other food based shows we have learnt that getting a 'trial' in a shop is a success. Course it is. The show gets the neat wrap up and end to the story, the shop/cafe in question gets a bit of free advertising and the products are quietly dropped a month or two later when everyone forgets about the TV show. The perfect crime (PUN ALERT)
I have enjoyed one televisual treat from Gordon Ramsey this year. Getting mown down by Teddy Sheringham. Ahh, now that's some good TV.