TV Reviews: Restaurant Express / Church Rescue


Geek Alabama TV Reviews

This TV review post is going to talk about two new shows airing on cable.  One show features chefs riding on a bus who are trying to win a restaurant job.  The other TV show features three gentlemen who rescue churches that are struggling.  Let’s go!

Restaurant Express

Restaurant-Express

Food Network loves to premiere brand new shows.  And this one is the first of its kind.  We have seen other cooking shows like Hell’s Kitchen where the winner gets to be the chef of a new restaurant.  This show called Restaurant Express features nine chefs who will travel on a bus across the western US and compete in challenges.  The winner will get to be the executive chef at the flagship restaurant The M Resort, Spa and Casino in Las Vegas.

In this series, nine finalists have to survive a culinary road trip by proving not only their fearless culinary chops, but their business-savvy mindset if they want to keep their seat on the Restaurant Express bus.  Each week, it’s up to the contestants to prove their staying power and to impress Robert Irvine, a notoriously no-nonsense chef and experienced entrepreneur.  On each episode, the bottom three have to stand nervously outside of the bus and answer to Robert.  While the safe chefs look through the bus windows.  At the end, one chef is left behind while the rest of the contestants travel on the bus to the next challenge.

Restaurant Express Contestants

I think this show is a big winner for Food Network.  The challenges each week are not easy.  The chefs not only have to cook good food, they have to run a business as well.  It’s the ultimate real world experience.  To run a restaurant, not only you need good food, you need good business skills as well.  The chefs have to figure out how to shop on a budget, cook good food, and price their items right.  And it’s going to get harder as the episodes get deeper.

And Chef Robert Irvine is not easy on these chefs.  On the first episode, one chef was eliminated immediately before the competition even began because their concept would never work.  If your food is not good or you are not running your business right, Robert is going to let you know.  I hope the winner of this competition will do well in Las Vegas.  And the restaurant is not on the Vegas Strip like the show says, it’s 10 miles to the south.  Going to Food Network Gossip to learn more about these shows is great!  Restaurant Express airs new episodes on Sunday nights.  To learn more about the show go to: http://www.foodnetwork.com/restaurant-express

Church Rescue

RNS-CHURCH-RESCUE

A new show began airing on the National Geographic Channel this week.  And this show follows three mission-minded entrepreneurs who will help struggling houses of worship across the nation to avoid bank foreclosure.  The show features three church consultants who run an outfit called Church Hoppers.  The guys are business analyst Kevin “Rev Kev” Adams, marketing specialist Anthony “Gladamere” Lockhart, and spiritual counselor, Jerry “Doc” Bentley.

The guys travel the country helping faith-based organizations in need of help. They use the scriptures and a little ingenuity to pull off some inspiring renovations of the church building and the church leaders.  The first episode found the guys in North Carolina at New Hope Baptist Church which run by Pastor Larry Roseboro.  This largely African-American congregation is described as “Bapticostal”—a Baptist church where people get “slain in the Spirit” and the service lasts four hours.  Yes, the church service lasted for over four hours when the Church Hoppers visited.  And the building had no air conditioning which meant people sweated and fell asleep.

The pastor had a dream to build a brand new church to replace the small run down old church.  The problem, was the cost.  The church only had around $40,000 in the bank and the new church would cost over $1.4 million.  After the extremely long church service, the Church Hoppers talk to Pastor Roseboro and they discover torn carpet, no air conditioning, and rainwater flowing in the back door.  The church used to have a deacon but he left, and Pastor Roseboro was doing all the behind the scenes work for the church, including that over four-hour long church service.

church-rescue

After sitting down to dinner, the Church Hoppers hatch out a three-point plan which involves investing in the current building, spliting the four-hour service into two services featuring more focused sermons, and reconcile with Curtis and reinstate him as deacon.  The Church Hoppers took Pastor Roseboro to see how big and how much it costs to run a big church.  That was an eye opener for the pastor.  They then took him to a downtown   area to teach Pastor Roseboro to be better organized and more precise in a shorter amount of time.  During his 10 minute message, people stopped but kept on walking because his message was all over the place.  The pastor then did two five-minute services, and the crowd came and actually stayed!

The Church Hoppers did a great job fixing up the current church inside and out with new carpets, new curtains, a new sign outside, new plant decorations and a new lawn outside, and a kids playground.  And the front door was updated to be more inviting.  Deacon Curtis who left the church came back to be a part of the church, and Pastor Roseboro did two services instead of one long service.  During the credits, we learned that the church went back to one long service.  And I hope the church continues to do well!

I thought Church Rescue was a good show.  As you know, the south is deeply Christian and you can find a church on every corner.  Some churches do extremely well while some churches are on the verge of closing.  The Church Hoppers did a good job improving the church building, the pastor, and the relationships between people.  Lots of good stories were told during the first episode of Church Rescue.  And future episodes are going to be interesting.  The Church Hoppers will be visiting a biker church, a cowboy church, and a synagogue.  Church Rescue is the religion version of your average fixer-upper show you see on TV.  I am glad National Geographic Channel is doing this show because churches hold a community together, they need to stick around.

New episodes of Church Rescue airs on Monday Night on the National Geographic Channel.  Learn more about the show at: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/church-rescue/

All images and videos copyright from Food Network and National Geographic Channel

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