By Annie Barrett
Updated January 27, 2010 at 03:00 PM EST
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Over the weekend, I became obsessed with saved-up episodes of Big Chef Takes On Little Chef and grew very upset when there were no more on the DVR. Tragedy! But the final installment of the short 2009 UK series airs on Planet Green tonight. This show is a bit like Kitchen Nightmares, except the restaurant is part of a large chain and the visiting chef isn’t a total lunatic. Despite its Little People, Big World-esque title, the show is not a little person-vs.-big person kitchen showdown, as I had originally suspected…and hoped. Basically, Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal was given six months and a bunch of money to revamp the menu at Little Chef — which, from what I can make out, is like the British version of Denny’s: There’s one in every town, and it’s sort of beloved in a nostalgic way even though the food is gross. Blumenthal took over the branch in Popham, which it turns out is really fun to say in a British accent while thinking about Entenmann’s Pop’ems. There’s not a lot of high drama, as Blumenthal is even-keeled and cares DEEPLY about bringing free-range eggs to the commoners. There is, though, a profound sense of The Office‘s David Brent-iness in Blumenthal’s Little Chef boss Ian Pegler, an absolute joke of an executive who’s fired off inconsistent nonsense toward the earnest chef all season. He’s such a publicity-mongering tool; you can’t look away even though you want to because he is physically disturbing as well.

Tonight’s finale is called “Did Heston Change Little Chef?” I am dying to know that! (I’ll also be forever wondering why you would ever get rid of a side called fried bread, part of Little Chef’s former Olympic Breakfast. I understand that the Little Chef version of fried bread probably sucked, but why couldn’t Heston just retain the essence of fried bread and make it classy like Tyra makes it fashion?) Big Chef airs on Planet Green at 8 p.m. ET and repeats all week; check listings here.

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