‘Rat In The Kitchen’ Is A Fresh, If Flawed, Cooking Competition Show –
Is there anything new under the sun in the food competition world? Yes, apparently. That’s both in terms of networks and concept. TBS has gotten into the cooking competition game with Rat in the Kitchen, which has one of the higher concepts among these shows. At first, I wasn’t going to watch. Then, I started to warm more to the idea and decided to check it out. If nothing else, it deserves credit for originality in a well-worn area.
There are six chefs who compete on Rat in the Kitchen, although one of them is not part of the team. They are the titular “rat,” and it is their job to sabotage the work being done by all the other cooks. There are two rounds, and the chefs and the rat each have their respective bank. Every successful dish puts money in the chefs’ bank, while every dish that fails goes into the rat’s bank. At the end, everybody votes on who they think the rat is. If the chefs guess correctly, they get the money. However, if the rat avoids being detected, they get the money.
Clearly, this is a cooking competition show that is less about the food than most. It’s about the game at hand, and also the mystery. The viewers find out who the rat is the same time the contestants do, so when you are watching you don’t know who the rat is. That was a wise decision. If I knew, I don’t think I would have any interest in the show.
The host is comedian Natasha Leggero, who I have liked in other things and who is good for a role like this, though she hasn’t been asked to do a ton necessarily. The chef host, and judge, is Ludo Lefebvre, who is fine. While I enjoy watching the show, it can feel a little chaotic at times. Several chefs are all working in a confined space at once. Also, they seem to focus more on chefs with “personalities,” and that’s the least interesting part of basically any cooking competition show.
I don’t see myself making Rat in the Kitchen appointment viewing, but it’s definitely worth checking out. It’s definitely a show I can see myself flipping over to during commercial breaks in what I’m watching, and sometimes getting caught up in it and forgetting to flip back. Well, except for the fact it seems like they are showing the same episode 90 percent of the time. I’ve already seen it. Maybe cool it with the repeat airings?