A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Cupcake Wars is a cooking competition that's clean enough for kids, but which may spark cravings for junk food. Like Chopped, Cupcake Wars brings together contestants for a one-day competition, which means contestants don't get to know each other and bicker endlessly as on some other reality competitions. Contestants are also often small businesspeople from various areas of the country, which may inspire entrepreneurial dreams. This is a decent show for kids who like to cook, particularly those who like to bake. Positive messages about the value of hard work, following directions, and taking suggestions well are all part of the series.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Four contestants are recruited each week to compete in the baking competition CUPCAKE WARS. Contestants are asked to make cupcakes on a certain theme using ingredients supplied by the show that the competitors learn about just before they're expected to cook. One competitor is dropped in each successive round of baking. The final round between two competitors is the hardest. Competitors must bake 1,000 cupcakes in two hours and meet with a carpenter who whips up a custom display. Best cakes displayed in the most ingenious way wins the maker $10,000.
Is it any good?
It is nice that like Food Network predecessor show Chopped, Cupcake Wars focuses on the cooking and food rather than drama between contestants. But watching cupcakes getting made is simply not as entertaining as watching meals get made. Why? Because cupcakes are by their nature limited. Contestants whip up batter, scoop it into tins, frost. Over and over. And over. It all lacks the excitement of watching a cake decorator sculpt a towering cake, or a chef make a unique dish out of what was just a bunch of ingredients.
Cupcake Wars looks like something you could do, and that's just not that much fun. Mark this one for bakers-to-be and cupcake fanatics only.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why a cupcake baker might want to appear on Cupcake Wars. Would it be good for a business if the baker won? What about if she lost?
How do you think the contestants who appear on Cupcake Wars feel when they stand in front of the judges? Is there a time at school or in your life when you have to stand up and be judged like this? How did you feel while you were standing? After you sat back down?
Many of the battles on Cupcake Wars feature an organization that is going to have a party. Why do you think these organizations appear on the show? What do they get out of appearing? Free food? Publicity?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love reality shows
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