Parents' Guide to

Life After Top Chef

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Ex-contestants carry on in saucy, absorbing reality series.

TV Bravo Reality TV 2012
Life After Top Chef Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

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Genius showrunners Magical Elves have done it again: Life After Top Chef is both smart and absorbing. It's also a rather clever new twist on reality shows. Will Life After Survivor or After Big Brother follow? Reality show viewers can't help but wonder if drama-filled competitions matter at all, and Life After Top Chef illustrates that they do. Sorta. Some of the chefs featured seem to have experienced greater success after being on TV. Fabio Viviani, for example, holds well-attended cooking classes at his Los Angeles restaurant, where a roomful of people laugh at his Top Chef quips. Jennifer Carroll, on the other hand, seems stuck in a down cycle, unable to raise money to open her dreamed-of restaurant.

Viewers get to see the chefs on the show as real people. They bark out orders in the kitchen and drape sauces over meat, then they come home to grumpy wives and teary kids, or sick moms who need help. Life After Top Chef is a lot less glamorous than Top Chef, with its celebrities and picturesque mystery locations. But it's more realistic reality, and the human-sized dramas are no less interesting than the competition. Kids who watch may wind up not wanting to be a chef -- it's a lot harder than it looks on Top Chef! But they will gain an appreciation of those who strive mightily to advance their careers.

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