In some sort of ominous black hole-creating planetary alignment, this June we'll see the premieres of new seasons of the top three food reality shows, Hell's Kitchen,The Next Food Network Star, and Top Chef. Have these three shows ever all run at the same time? It's not like they're competing in the same time slot or anything: they're all running on different days of the week. To wit:
· Season seven of Fox's Hell's Kitchen premieres tonight, Tuesday June 1st. America's favorite shouty British chef returns to torture people who are clearly unqualified for the supposed job that is the prize. Will contestants stand up to Ramsay and/or remind him of his unpaid bills? Will people have the unfortunate pleasure to be called a "Donkey"? One can only hope! Bonus points for being the only show that allows people to excessively smoke on-screen (other than Mad Men).
· Season six of The Next Food Network Star premieres Sunday, June 6th. The judges will throw around the term "culinary point of view" a lot but never actually define it, making everyone feel inadequate. Will the winner be the next breakout star Guy Fieri or nonentities like Aaron McCargo Jr. or Melissa d'Arabian? There will be crying.
· And season seven of Bravo's Top Chef premieres Wed. June 16th. The franchise has moved to Washington D.C. Twatty Toby Young is out; Culinary ??????? Eric Ripert is in. Padma now has a child. Tom Colicchio is one year older and got awarded a Beard Award. We look forward to the personalities of a dozen or so civilians being wildly distorted through the Magical Elves lens and their cooking skills debased, expanded and judged via ridiculous product placement challenges.