MasterChef Junior

Common Sense Media says

Kids cook and compete in this whole-family treat.

Age(i)

2
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5
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8
9
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13
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The young chefs on the show are treated with respect and their talents praised. They must work hard under pressure and persevere despite obstacles.

Positive role models

All the kids on the show love food and want to do their best. Parents are invited on to support their children. Many of the young chefs on MasterChef Junior profess to want to work with food someday.

Violence

When working with knives and hot food, there's always a possibility of injury.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

Occasional language like, "Where the hell is the anchovy?"

Consumerism

All the adult chefs on the show have books, restaurants, and other shows; viewers may want to check these out after watching.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know MasterChef Junior is a family friendly cooking competition featuring contestants age 8 to 13. Contestants are under stress and pressure, asked to cook under time constraints for judges. One is eliminated on each show; viewers will watch kids react and even cry. The young cooks are working with knives and hot food, so there's a possibility for injury. Drama is amped up with music, camera cuts, and strategic pauses. For the most part, judges are gentle with criticism, always praising contestants' efforts and talents while pointing out deficits in their dishes. Contestants likewise treat judges with deference and respect. Very young viewers may find watching other kids compete stressful; older ones are likely to be inspired to pick up a knife and a spatula themselves.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

Kids invade the kitchen in MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, a pint-size version of the MasterChef amateur reality cooking competition. Kids age 8 to 13 are given ingredients, instructions, and time constraints and must produce dishes that are tasted by host Gordon Ramsay and his chef cohorts, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliott. On each episode, kids cook together in the vast MasterChef kitchen as the judges (and sometimes their parents) watch; judges then taste each dish and offer the cook feedback. On each show, contestants are eliminated until the last one standing wins the MasterChef Junior trophy.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Since Gordon Ramsay is known more for his expletive-laden tirades than for gentle mentoring, it's likely that everyone who turns on MasterChef Junior will be tensed up waiting for him to let loose on some poor 9-year-old who left out the salt. Fear not: Ramsay, Bastianich, and Elliott have dialed back the harshness they occasionally show on MasterChef. Contestants are always praised for their efforts and for their talent, even if the dishes are failures, and criticism is restricted to gently noting problems with a dish.

A kid is eliminated on each show, and it can be hard to watch their childlike, genuine reactions. Some burst into tears, and others run into their mothers' arms. Parents and kids alike may find this painful to watch. The most enjoyable moments of MasterChef Junior are less fraught: the smile on a young face when his macaroons are praised, the joy a 10-year-old displays when Ramsay says he could serve a dish in his restaurant, the impressive competence displayed by chefs who can barely reach the top shelves of the pantry. If nothing else, MasterChef Junior will make kids watching believe they can cook, too -- and may inspire them to get in the kitchen and give it a shot.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how one gets to be a "master" at anything. What makes a "master" cook? Time? Talent? Experience? Practice?

  • Does it make you upset to see contestants eliminated? Do you think eliminated contestants should get a prize for competing?

  • On MasterChef Junior, contestants are competing for a trophy. Would you like to have this trophy? Why or why not? If no, what would you rather have for a prize?

TV details

Cast:Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot, Joe Bastianich
Network:Fox
Genre:Reality TV
Topics:Great boy role models, Great girl role models
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

This review of MasterChef Junior was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 17 years old Written byDanceMomsAddict May 30, 2014
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Cute

Nice show! Very sweet and kid friendly.
What other families should know
Great role models

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