We’re still trying to reclaim our lives after the time suck that was Top Chef Season 7, so we were slightly alarmed yesterday when we received a screener for the first episode of Top Chef: All-Stars. How could it possibly be time for yet another round? Hadn’t we endured enough? And shouldn’t Bravo be subject to some sort of federal regulation restricting the broadcast of more than one season per year?
Figuring that, if nothing else, watching the screener could help us scrub lingering memories of Season 7 from our brain, we submitted to the first 55 minutes of Season 8, which premieres on December 1. And, surprisingly, it wasn’t awful, although there’s something ineffably sad about the fact that any so-called professional chef feels his or her name and/or career can somehow be vindicated by appearing — again — on a reality show.
So while we can’t say we’re eagerly anticipating Season 8, here are eight reasons why it looks like it won’t suck.
1. Anthony Bourdain is a guest judge. For the entire season!
2. Season 3’s Tre Wilcox says the following about his fellow contestant, Season 1’s Stephen Asprinio: “I don’t think he came out of the trenches. I think he came out of the Macy’s Day Parade.”
3. Season 2’s Marcel Vigneron: same haircut, same asshole.
4. Everyone already looks angry and combative, possibly because they’re willingly doing the television equivalent of re-taking high school finals after everyone else has graduated.
5. Later episodes will feature such New York-ish celebrites Jimmy Fallon and the Muppets. And Paula Deen, who is New York-ish in her fantastic freakishness.
6. Early indications suggest that Padma may have gotten a stylist who won’t make her look like a taxi cab, a pirate hooker, or Kermit the Frog with camel toe.
7. Angelo Sosa is back “for redemption,” which may be found in the fact that his memorable character flaws are already being rapidly eclipsed by those of his competitors.
8. While riding the elevator to the Top Chef dorm, Season 5’s Fabio Vivani observes, “We’re going up, but it feels like we’re going to hell.”
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