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Pressure Cook: Season 1 (DVD Review)

1 Jun, 2008 By: Rachel Cericola

Pressure Cook

Street 6/10/08
Special Interest
$24.98 two-DVD set.
Stars Ralph Pagano.

Ralph Pagano has no idea where he is. However, he can usually cook his way out of any situation.

That's the idea behind “Pressure Cook,” a show that airs exclusively on the cable network Mojo HD.

In each episode, Pagano, the runner-up from the first season of Fox's “Hell's Kitchen” (recently released on DVD from Vivendi), finds himself dropped off in exotic locales such as Iceland, Belize, the Amazon, Macau and Wyoming. Wait, Wyoming? Yes, no matter where Pagano is dumped, this friendly, funny guy can usually find a way of working his Jersey charm into a plane ticket home.

He'd better, anyway. Because if he can't pick up enough odd jobs to finance his return fare, the alternative is that he must sample local “delicacies,” which include decayed shark meat, lamb brains, nasty cheeses, habanero peppers and even maggots.

A cross between “Dinner: Impossible,” “Survivorman” and “Dirty Jobs,” this show seems like the perfect marriage of the Discovery Channel and Food Network. Pagano also has a way of making his subject matter seem mouth-watering, with the exception of an occasional worm and/or hearty helping of bird saliva soup, of course.

The two-disc set is presented in 16:9 widescreen; however, original viewers might miss the high-definition, which is the Mojo network's specialty. Other than that, there are no extras here, which is a shame. Considering the situations Pagano is working with, there must be a killer blooper reel around somewhere. 

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