Me: I am so upset that they're going to bowdlerize Kitchen Confidential. You can't make a network television show about a heroin-addict chef and his misogynistic illiterate kitchen crew.
Spacewoman: I love Bradley Cooper. Willage!
Me: Crap, I kind of like this.
Spacewoman: Oh, I'm not paying attention.
So it's not the greatest show I've ever seen (not even the best show I watched tonight -- Steve Holt! indeed). But it has a great ensemble cast who grew up in quality TV. In addition to the charismatic Cooper, there's Bonnie Somerville, rejoining co-creator Darren Star, with whom she worked on the late lamented Grosse Pointe, one of my favorite shows of the last 10 years. There's John Francis Daley, Sam Weir from Freaks and Geeks, an even better show. There's Xander from Buffy, which I understand had some fans. You've even got John Cho (Harold sans Kumar, or MILF Guy if you prefer) and, for eye candy, James "Jamie" King. For good measure, Fred Savage directs.
And it's pretty well put together. They threw most of the autobiographical stuff out of the book, but they didn't emasculate Bourdain. He yells, he is a recovering addict, he completely loses control of his staff, but it works pretty well. And they shoot it single-camera on location, so it looks pretty good. Crap -- after I complained about the idea to all those people, I actually like it.