Chopped: After Hours

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Chopped: After Hours TV Poster Image
Judges tackle ingredients in good watch-together web show.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Chefs are ethnically and culturally diverse, and praises of various types of cuisine from all over the world are sung, giving a subtle message of global unity.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The chefs are cooking, not talking, so they're not exactly role models, but they do treat each other and the audience with respect and deference. Both male and female chefs compete.

Violence

Audiences may occasionally see ingredients butchered or fileted, as when chefs cook a whole fish, for example.

Sex
Language

Very little rough language and no cursing; chefs may occasionally rib each other good-naturedly: "This is how you filet a fish," one says to the other. "Just so you know."

Consumerism

The labels on ingredients are hidden and generic but each online show does contain ads.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol may appear as an ingredient.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Chopped: After Hours is a web series on which professional chefs cook with mystery ingredients. It is absolutely fine for family watching, with very little to worry any parent in the way of cursing, drinking or drugs. The chefs are respectful to each other and really just interested in making the best dish they can given odd ingredients, though they may sometimes playfully rib each other by, for example, implying another chef doesn't know how to do a simple kitchen task. Kids who like to cook will be all over this, and the show may spark their own experiments using ingredients creatively in the kitchen.

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What's the story?

After the competition is over on Chopped, Food Network's companion broadcast series, the cameras stick around for CHOPPED: AFTER HOURS. The judges who worked that week's Chopped are given the exact same basket of ingredients that contestants were given, and in 30 minutes, must come up with delicious and unique dishes that incorporate odd ingredients like coconut/almond candy bars, pink beans and halibut. At the end of the time, each chef tastes each dish and criticizes or praises it.

Is it any good?

Watching a seasoned professional work under pressure is, by now, well known to make for great TV. Just ask the showrunners behind Project Runway, Face Off, or the innumerable other shows that use this concept. Chopped: After Hours has the delicious added bonus of serving up humble pie to its contestants, with the same judges who criticized the efforts of chefs on Chopped having to now try their hand at the same challenge, with varying levels of success.

Thus Chopped: After Hours has much of the same appeal as Chopped, with a fun turnabout-is-fair-play aspect in addition. The briefness of each episode (just 10 minutes) and the fact that it goes up after its companion episode of Chopped has just aired, will probably make Chopped: After Hours an indispensable first stop after Chopped fans have just watched an episode. You think you're so smart, judges? Well, then: You try it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about web shows. Try watching Chopped before you watch Chopped: After Hours. Does the web series improve when watched with its broadcast companion? Does it add something to the "real" TV show?

  • Chopped has become a very popular TV series. Why would Food Network want to make more versions of this show? Why did they start with a web series?

  • The ingredient baskets on Chopped: After Hours usually contain one jarring ingredient. Why do the showrunners do that? Does it make for more interesting watching than if the baskets held ordinary ingredients?

TV details

For kids who love reality shows

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