Parents' Guide to

Zumbo's Just Desserts

By Mandie Caroll, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Family-friendly baking competition with a magic twist.

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The fantasy setting, drool-worthy desserts, and gripping suspense of this Aussie baking competition will win over fans of the genre. Zumbo's Just Desserts is set in a cavernous, technicolored hall with a Willy Wonka aesthetic called the dessert factory and it intends to wow. The Harry Potter score provides a soundtrack to slowed down sequences of billowing steam, creamy liquid chocolate being poured and tempered, and ingredients being gently folded into batters, adding to the magic and drama. While the Sweet Sensations tasks play to the baker's strengths, the Zumbo test is a mighty challenge full of tension and emotion. After a theatrical, dry-ice fueled reveal, bakers gasp at the impossibly constructed dessert. The two unlucky contestants toil through the test, and viewers will agonize right along with them. The judges provide detailed feedback and it's a joy to watch the bakers who don't get eliminated grow their talent over time. The judges' personalities are, admittedly, a bit lackluster, but the show is otherwise so satisfying that many viewers won't much care. The refreshing absence of nastiness between contestants means even younger kids can watch, so it's a great pick for the whole family.

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