What Fans Of Kitchen Nightmares Hope To See In Future Seasons

"Kitchen Nightmares" has been a beloved reality show in the U.S. ever since it first aired in 2007, so fans were left wondering why the show was canceled in 2014 only to return nearly a decade later. Whether they're watching chef Gordon Ramsay proclaim someone "a donkey" for their ineptitude, spit vile food into a napkin, or wave rancid chicken around a dirty kitchen, fans are hooked.

Season 8 is over, so while folks wait to hear whether or not they'll get new episodes, they're biding their time by pondering what a new season of the show would be like. One Reddit user even took to the "Kitchen Nightmares" subreddit in December 2023 to ask other fans what they would like to see in the future.

User responses unearthed several major themes. The most frequent requests were for the return of the narrator and for Ramsay to visit restaurants in places other than New York and New Jersey. Fans' overwhelming desire, however, was for the show to be more like its U.K. counterpart in future seasons, particularly in terms of the show's editing style and audio production.

Who has narrated Kitchen Nightmares?

Your favorite "Kitchen Nightmares" narrator may depend on which seasons you've watched. The show's first narrator, J. V. Martin, has an impressive back catalog. If you're a fan of true crime, you've likely heard him before — he's provided narration for "Cold Clues," "Ice Cold Killers," "The Crimes That Bind," and plenty of conspiracy and disaster shows. Essentially, he's the king of thriller voice-overs, and he certainly brings this experience to the show.

Martin left "Kitchen Nightmares" in 2009, and for the remainder of the show's original run, Arthur Smith took up the voice-over mantle. Although he's better known for his production work, Smith was no stranger to dramatic narration, having voiced an episode of "Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura."

Ramsay himself narrates Season 8, though the exact reason for the change has not been publicly addressed. Worth noting, though, is that Martin's exit coincides perfectly with his move into voice acting, and Smith is still producing the show, so it's perhaps fair to surmise that he's too busy for the booth. Ramsay is by no means a poor narrator, but fans have noticed the strange way in which his voice is edited. In a Reddit thread from October 2023, one user even asked if his voice was A.I.-generated because it was so oddly chopped up in post-production. Several commenters agreed that it sounded jarring.

Why was Season 8 only filmed on the East Coast?

Regarding locations, several commenters on the December 2023 Reddit thread pointed out that Season 8 was too focused on New York and New Jersey. Many folks expressed a desire for Ramsay to branch out and visit other locations, as was typical in previous seasons. Based on an interview with the show's executive producer, David de Angelis, this narrow focus was very much intentional. Speaking to Deadline, he said they chose New York and New Jersey for two reasons: practicality and culture. "On a practical production standpoint," he explained, "it's a lot easier to consolidate one area ... especially when you're trying to bring a show back." The subtext of this statement may be that folks could get their wish for a nation-trotting Ramsay now that the show's reboot has hit the ground running.

In terms of cultural differences, de Angelis felt that East Coasters were "a little freer with their emotions than other parts of the country." What de Angelis seems to be saying is that these regions make for better T.V. because folks from New York and New Jersey may be more likely to react emotionally.

Is Kitchen Nightmares too heavily edited?

The ways in which reality T.V. is produced and edited in the U.K. are quite different from the U.S., and comparing the British version of "Kitchen Nightmares" with its North American counterpart highlights this. Even the show acknowledges it, as its official YouTube channel shared a video comparing U.K. and U.S. moments side by side. In the first U.K. clip, the dull sound of an extractor fan serves as the only background noise while Ramsay practically hisses, "Shut up!" at the kitchen staff. In contrast, the first U.S. clip is bursting with quick cuts, and background music booms over every dramatized exchange. These two clips alone make it pretty easy to spot the differences in editorial direction.

Based on the video's comments, the U.K. version's stripped-down editing style is appreciated. Even Ramsay's infamous outbursts seem to pop more without the help of sound design, with one user stating that he "actually looks more frightening in the U.K. version."

On a July 2023 Reddit thread comparing the show's old and new seasons, one user describes the U.S. editing style as "lots of drama, shouting, screechy violin, and crying," and while this hyperbolic focus on a restaurant's lowest points makes for great moments in a vacuum, it's not a particularly dynamic experience overall. In fact, another element fans seem to miss from the U.K. show is Ramsay's humanity, with one user wanting more "authenticity" and another wanting footage of Ramsay "kicking it with the staff."

Will Kitchen Nightmares implement fan feedback?

When "Kitchen Nightmares" was first canceled, the decision to do so was Ramsay's. He explained to Entertainment Weekly that he enforced the cancelation after dealing with a difficult individual. While it's fortuitous for fans that he moved past this conflict, his initial decision does serve to remind viewers just how easily the show can be taken away.

Speculation persists regarding whether or not fans will get new episodes of "Kitchen Nightmares" in 2024, and with Fox neither confirming nor denying a renewal or further cancelation, it's uncertain if there will be an opportunity for the show to update its format. The sentiment from the fanbase is clear, though: They don't need a blown-out stock sound to tell them when a situation is getting hairy, and Ramsay's fury only has true bite when it's contrasted with empathy. Watching a New York kitchen get overhauled for the umpteenth time gets stale, and no matter how skilled Ramsay is at storytelling, you can't beat a trained voice-over artist who can read their script without getting shredded in post.

In brief, people want to see what made "Kitchen Nightmares" special in the first place: a dedicated master of his craft being pushed to the brink by incompetence, desperately trying to pull a struggling business back from a precipice. And yelling at people — a lot.