STREAMING with STAMPS™- Hotel Wars, Restaurant Wars, Whale Wars & One Great CANCELLED Comedy

If you’ve ventured to the Amazon homepage post Kindle Fire announcement, you may have noticed an open letter that opens with this line:

“Dear Customer,

There are two types of companies: those that work hard to charge customers more, and those that work hard to charge customers less. Both approaches can work. We are firmly in the second camp.”

Ouch! Dem there be fightin’ words Netflix!  

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Amazon has ramped up its war with Netflix in the wake of its new Kindle Fire, especially with statements like that. Amazon hopes to convert those left jaded by Netflix over to their side gaining more Amazon instant streamers with the Fire.

Will this reasonably priced tablet bring down the giant that is Netflix?  Nope. I certainly don’t think so. Amazon just isn’t there yet and might never be. The good that I can foresee coming out of this is the pressure of an actual potential competitor breathing down their necks might make Netflix get it together. Pulling their head out of their ass and working to keep their customer base happy might just be the best thing that could come out of this. Because despite their recent actions I really like my Netflix service and I want it to get better. I just hope Netflix gets the message before it’s too late.

So let’s get down to what’s streamable with the…
Streaming with Stamps TV Edition!

Hotel Babylon is an English drama set in one of the best hotels in London. It follows the staff of the hotel as they fight each other and other hotels to stay at the top. Dealing with rock bands who want to trash their hotel room? Check. Raids by immigration? Check. Guests who want to leave with everything that isn’t nailed down? Check. Having a guest die at the hotel? Check. You get to see pretty much every situation that can happen in one luxury hotel. The best feature of the series is the occasional voiceover that both sets up and/or speeds the story along. I would say this whole series is great but that’s only half-true. Of the four seasons made, the first two are the ones worth watching. The third season was a slow and by the fourth the narrative was at a standstill. So if you feel like giving this one a try, stick with the first two seasons– then QUIT: You won’t be missing much.

So admittedly I’m not that familiar with Gordon Ramsay. Other than he’s a chef; one with quite a temper, I really don’t know that much about him. I’ve watched Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares but only every now and again. So when my on-again off-again boyfriend Netflix wouldn’t stop telling me just how much I needed to watch every show that Gordon Ramsay is in, I thought I should probably break down and watch one at least one of his series. Pitting the best restaurants in the UK against each other in order to determine the best restaurant is what this show is all about. The show consists of three stages. First Ramsey overwhelms the kitchen by bringing in 30 diners ordering food at the same time and seeing if the kitchens can feed all 30 in the allotted two-hour time frame. Then Ramsay– without the knowledge of the restaurants– sends in a secret diner to test the staff with demanding requests, seeing just how well their customer service is. After revealing this footage to them (the best part of the show) Ramsay pits them in a head to head cooking competition. They are ordered to cook one meal to perfection for a group of high-profile diners. Ramsay gives the restaurants hell when they deserve it and praise when they earn it. The only critique of the series is that the final cook-off challenge slows down the pace of the show a bit. This quickly picks up afterwards when it’s time to crown the winner. All in all, this is a fantastic show that will make you ridiculously hungry by the time you hit the credits.

Whale Wars is another one of those trainwrecks you can’t take your eyes off of. (a la the previously reviewed wonderful disaster Steven Segal–LAWMAN.) Taking place in the most far off parts of the sea, two groups fight each other tooth and nail. On one side you have the Sea Shepherd crew led by former Greenpeace bigwig Paul Watson. On the other you have the monstrous fleet of Japanese Whaling ships. Watching this show is very odd: At times you really side with the Sea Shepherd crew– but every now and again they do or say something so truly off the wall that you take a step back and question their sanity. After watching them navigate the ocean, let’s just say that I wouldn’t be hopping on ANY boat with these guys at the helm. What they occasionally lack in nautical skills, they make up for in passion. One of the show’s best qualities are the people, who seem to be truly dedicated– making the show all the more enthralling.  Whether you are with them or against them, Whale Wars really draws you in and won’t let go. It’s very worthy of your time.

This half hour comedy is light, funny and well written. It features a talented cast and the humor is well-timed… So that must be why FOX cancelled it. Featuring the always funny former Arrested Development cast member Will Arnett, this series follows spoiled billionaire Arnett trying to do his best to win over the one woman he could never have. That woman (played by Keri Russell) is, unfortunately for Arnett’s character Steve, an environmental activist hell-bent on taking down companies that threaten the earth… :ike the one owned and operated by Steve’s dad. Torn between the love of his life and his money– hilarity ensues. The truly funny moments happen whenever Steve’s fellow billionaire neighbor Fa-ad (played by Peter Serafinowicz) is involved or when Arnett’s fellow Arrested Development cast member David Cross shows up. If the idea of Gob Bluth and Scrooge McDuck mashed together– then forced to cohabitate with those hippies you see on YouTube crying for trees– amuses you as much as it does me… Then this show should be at the top of your watch list… If, like I already said, it wasn’t already canceled! Due to extreme funny, Running Wilde is the IMJ Streaming with Stamps™ Stream of the Week.

Stamps can be found on twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/Stamps1723
And in the Inveterate Media Junkies comment sections
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10 Responses to STREAMING with STAMPS™- Hotel Wars, Restaurant Wars, Whale Wars & One Great CANCELLED Comedy

  1. Insideman says:

    My favorite Ramsay show is Kitchen Nightmares. I like the parts where they try to make it seem like the Chef has been there breaking his back all night to retrofit the restaurants with new booths, kitchen appliances, etc. I can’t tell you the number of times I have slowed down the fast forward on these scenes just to see if I might catch SOME glimpse of the Chef just standing there… He doesn’t have to be doing anything… He just has to BE there. NEVER see him.

    It’s also the show that best shows Ramsay’s genuine emotions… Whenever someone cusses at him. I love it when he gets offended… Those are often the real moments that “reality” shows are supposed to capture.

    And then, of course, I love it when he WALKS AWAY from every restaurant at the end of each episode.

    We always go, “Where the FUCK are you going, Chef?”

    “You going to WALK back to London?”

    GREAT COLUMN STAMPS!

  2. Locusmortis says:

    Hotel Babylon had the lovely Emma Pierson in it, thats reason enough to watch it.

    If you can find Season 2 of Time Gentlemen Please online, its worth a watch.

    • Stamps says:

      Time Gentlemen? Never heard of it. I’ll definitely have to give it a watch. Cool title for sure.

    • Stamps says:

      Thank you Ian! Now that I’ve watched Best Restaurant, watching more Kitchen Nightmares is on my to do list.

      • Insideman says:

        You should see if you can watch the first KITCHEN NIGHTMARES he did specifically in EUROPE.

        Instead of going to Rahway, New Jersey… (Or some place you would automatically figure would have a challenged restaurant)… He goes to restaurants in France and seaside communities in Spain… Showing that this problem is UNIVERSAL.

        And if you think Sal at the Pizza Joint/Bar in Rahway has an attitude… Wait until you meet a French Chef (being told by an English Chef) that he/she sucks.

  3. ed2962 says:

    It’s been a while since I’ve seen Hell’s Kitchen. I used to think what’s all this screaming about? I mean, I got the entertainment value, but did it ever make anyone a better cook?
    I’ve been busy so I haven’t watched too much interesting TV or movies online this week. ‘Cept I did watch a recent episode of the new Charlie’s Angels on Hulu ( it was late at night and I was drunk and couldn’t get Miami Vice, don’t judge me!). The weird thing about the show was the plot had something to do with the stars being in a Cuban Jail, the villain was going to force them into prostitution. So they are “forced” to dress in fancy dresses and make small talk at a cocktail party? I’m no expert but I’m sure human trafficking doesn’t work like that.
    I rented Red State from Kevin Smith earlier today. I haven’t watched it yet, I mentioned it because it was available online a few weeks ago before it was available to rent physically. I’ll probably get to it tomorrow after work. Anyway, another fun column, Stamps!

    • Stamps says:

      Yeah I too am guessing human trafficking isn’t anything like that.

      Red state just hit netflix and it’s in my Que but I haven’t had a chance to watch it either.

  4. Ryan schaefer says:

    Big Gordon Ramsay fan. I could listen to him bitch people out all day. I’d love to get a pep talk from him and hear about how I’m being an ass and need to work harder. It would push and motivate me, I’m sure. Another great column Stamps!

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