Parents' Guide to

Around the World in 80 Plates

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Cooking under pressure brings out chefs' worst sides.

TV Bravo Reality TV 2012
Around the World in 80 Plates Poster Image

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Beautiful travel show-worthy footage of foreign cities and their natives eating adds glamor to a show that would otherwise be hard to distinguish from the other cooking competitions on the air. When Around the World in 80 Plates focuses on the food culture in the cities it visits, it scores. Watching a Brit explain why a good chip shouldn't be thin and crispy, or why steak-and-kidney pie is all about the sauce, is fascinating stuff that makes the viewer excited to see where the show will go next.

Less exciting: The focus on contestant drama above all else. Contestants are clearly coached to rank each other out in their solo behind-the-scenes interviews, and any and all conflict is ramped up with editing and dramatic music. It's trite, it's been done, and it takes focus away from the far more interesting part of the show, which is learning about a different way of eating and watching someone from your own part of the world try to mimic that style. Around the World in 80 Plates should stick to what's on the plate.

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