A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Contestents are competing for the chance to win $50,000, a rather small sum considering that they may have quit their jobs to participate in the reality show. However, the bakers are skilled, and their hard work is evident in the show, as are the rewards for a job well done.
Positive Role Models
Unlike most reality shows, the competition and game playing is not intense. There are several instances of cooperation and camaraderie, and players who engage in this behavior are shown to be strong and skilled. On the other side of the coin, the one player who does attempt to sabotage teammates makes a poor cake.
Violence & Scariness
Some raised voices and yelling between contestants
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
One contestant makes a cake called "The Better Than Sex Cake." A different cake is described as "sexalicious."
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Occasional swearing and iffy language, including "hell" and "sexalicious."
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Products & Purchases
The show heavily promotes Buddy Valastro's business, Carlo's City Hall Bake Shop.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cake Boss: Next Great Baker involves minor swearing, some raised voices and yelling between contestants, and moments of stress, but is otherwise a rather mild reality competition. There is little questionable content in the show -- that is, unless your kids are on a sugar-free diet. In that case, the show is definitely not for them. Culinary-minded kids will enjoy the wild, imaginative cakes and the secrets behind butter cream, fondant, and other cake decorating ingredients.
Is It Any Good?
While most reality shows go for the jugular, this one goes more for the belly. Audiences will likely be salivating over the yummy looking cakes. But while there's plenty of high temperature baking going on, the show ulitmately has little fire. Then again, this may not be a serious fault. True, there are few shocking moments in the show, but there is something for everyone in the family. From clever decorating tips (use rice cereal treats for sculpting cake elements) to the use of pyrotechnics (one contestant fills his cakes with confetti, smoke, and even dynamite), every member of the family may have to scratch a baking itch after each episode ends.
Of course, what sets the show apart is the force of Valastro's personality, as well as the personalities of the contestants, and personalities certainly abound. There's also a nice representation of diversity, too, with pastry chefs from a variety of backgrounds. But the formula of the show -- where contestants have to quit their jobs or leave their successful businesses to compete on this show -- makes little sense given the relatively small payout. The only logical answer is that contestants are hoping to capitalize on the show's publicity, which may or may not ultimately pan out.
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.