By Kari Croop,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Reality show about family business mixes sweet and sour.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show promotes hard work and teamwork, but the family members/co-workers don't always treat each other with respect.
Positive Role Models
Buddy and his talented team work hard to keep their bottom line strong, typically putting in 15-18 hour days between five and seven days a week. But when things get tense, tempers can flare, and arguments are common.
Violence & Scariness
Nothing physical, but there's plenty of yelling between Buddy and his extended family. On at least one occasion, a bakery employee express his feelings by slamming huge bags of sugar down on the counter, causing them to burst open.
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Buddy uses "freakin'" and "friggin'" a lot, as well as descriptive phrases like "go scratch" and "break my balls." You'll also hear words like "hell," "bitch," and "damn," as well as some bleeped language when arguments get heated.
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Products & Purchases
The show is filmed inside Carlo's City Hall Bake Shop in Hoboken, N.J., and directly promotes the business.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this show portrays the inner workings of a family business -- but the family isn't exactly squeaky clean. Family members who work together tend to communicate in raised voices, which often escalates to flat-out yelling and bleeped language -- and sometimes results in physical outbursts involving slamming, etc. Because it's filmed inside the bakery and centers on the bake shop's outspoken owner, the show also serves as a not-so-subtle commercial for the business.
Where to Watch
Based on 13 parent reviews
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What's the Story?
CAKE BOSS follows the day-to-day efforts of Buddy Valastro -- a successful cake artist and master baker at Carlo's City Hall Bake Shop in Hoboken, N.J. -- to keep his family-owned business running smoothly and honor his late father's entrepreneurial spirit. But because Buddy's team also includes his mother, sisters, and brothers-in-law, family quarrels sometimes get in the way.
Is It Any Good?
Cake Boss is clearly taking its cues from the Food Network's Ace of Cakes, a popular reality show following the day-to-day shenanigans at a spirited Baltimore bakery. (Sound familiar?) But while Cake Boss does at-home bakers one better by offering a bit more explanation of complex cake design and difficult decorating techniques, it relies so heavily on interpersonal conflict between Buddy and his extended family that it runs the risk of forgetting that cakes can be fun.
While it's true that Buddy isn't quite as intimidating as, say, Gordon Ramsay, he's less likable than Ace of Cake's jovial baker-in-chief, Duff Goldman. And in a head-to-head taste test between two shows built around baked goods, that could prove to be Cake Boss's downfall.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the popularity of "behind-the-scenes" reality shows about businesses. Is it the business that's interesting, or the people who run it? Do you think they're different in real life than they are on the show?
What are the pros and cons of having family members pull double duty as co-workers? Are blood ties a recipe for success -- or disaster? Would you enjoy working with your family? Why or why not?
- Premiere date: April 19, 2009
- Cast: Buddy Valastro, Danny Dragone, Grace Faugno
- Network: TLC
- Genre: Reality TV
- Topics: Cooking and Baking
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: February 13, 2023
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