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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Features professionals committed to their work and very little interpersonal drama; female chefs are well-represented on the show; cooking skills are taken seriously.
Positive Role Models
Some chefs are better sports than others but drama is given short shrift on-camera. The judges are professional success stories and offer helpful critiques.
Violence & Scariness
Occasionally, chefs may get mildly angry at judges or each other. Rarely, a chef's backstory includes the loss of a family member or homelessness.
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The very occasional curse word ("my ass was dragging," "damn") is unbleeped.
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Products & Purchases
Occasionally celebrity chefs appear on the show to promote something, though it's usually something non-commercial, like the White House chef promoting a new kind of food pyramid. The food products cooked on the show are generic, unusual for this type of show.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Alcohol occasionally appears as an ingredient in dishes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that unlike other competitive cooking shows that seem to value rivalries and behind-the-scenes drama, Chopped sticks to what's on the plate. Both contenders and judges treat each other with respect and the focus is firmly on food, flavors, and cooking techniques, making this show a natural for young culinary enthusiasts. On rare occasions, chefs exhibit brief poor sportsmanship, but that is definitely the exception.
Is It Any Good?
This show is ideal for kids who like to cook. Competing chefs take you through their pre-cooking thought process ("the white chocolate could be mixed with cornmeal and made into a kind of corn pudding to put on top of the fish") in a way that's both absorbing and educational. Commentary from the judges is blunt, but not nasty and personal; and though the chefs generally come on with some kind of "I'm the winner!" bravado, all the tension on Chopped comes from the chefs battling the ticking time clock and the oddball ingredients, not each other.
Speaking of those ingredients, that's probably the most entertaining element of the show. Watching professional chefs squirm as they try to marry ground beef, wonton wrappers and bananas is mighty entertaining. Don't be surprised if the kids start rooting around in your cabinets for odds and ends to turn into dinner, or "How could we cook this?" becomes a favored driving game.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.