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'Kitchen Confidential' Serves Up Savory Comedy

(Posted September 24, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)









LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - It's been a little more than seven years since producer Darren Star spiced up the sitcom landscape with "Sex and the City," an Emmy magnet from HBO that, at least temporarily, raised the bar for TV comedy writing.

Happily, Star is dishing out sophisticated fare again this fall in "Kitchen Confidential," a winning FOX comedy series airing Mondays after the critically acclaimed "Arrested Development."

Loosely based on celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain's book of the same title, the series focuses on talented chef Jack Bourdain (Bradley Cooper), who is looking for a second chance after his earlier runaway success foundered on a lifestyle of booze, women and drugs.







In last week's pilot episode, Jack unexpectedly snagged that second chance at a top New York restaurant, where he hastily assembled a motley crew of past colleagues, including Steven (newcomer Owain Yeoman) and Seth (Nicholas Brendon, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), along with klutzy but enthusiastic young pastry chef Jim (John F. Daley, "Freaks and Geeks").

Jack's opening night proved rocky, partly due to the kitchen hijinks of his gifted but irreverent colleagues as well as more dubious "help" from lovely but ditzy hostess Tanya (Jaime King) and waitress Mimi (Bonnie Somerville), who would love to see Jack fall on his face. If Jack ultimately managed to snatch victory through his sheer talent, his success clearly is going to have be won again meal by meal.

Star, who changed the first name of the main character to make it clear Jack was a fictional homage to the real Bourdain, says a glitzy restaurant makes a rich backdrop for the kind of sophisticated, character-driven comedy he's serving up here.

"People eat out more today than they ever have before," he points out, "but they have no idea what's going on behind the scenes. For that reason alone, there's a lot of curiosity about what happens in a restaurant.

"All great TV starts with great characters, and Anthony Bourdain's character was what directed me to the book. The book distinguishes itself, not so much in what you learn about a kitchen but because you're attracted to this guy who is very, very flawed."

While "Kitchen Confidential" is fundamentally an ensemble comedy, the show is anchored by Jack, a role that required an actor who could tread a fine line between being charming and driven. Star immediately thought of Cooper, who had gotten his first TV acting gig via a guest role on Star's "Sex and the City."



Source: Zap2it
 


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