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 this baking business reality show delves into a lot more than just cupcakes, with one owner going through infertility treatments, the other living sober as a recovering alcoholic, and an employee who's working as a transgendered woman. There's also some bleeped language (mostly "f--k") and moderate use of words like "pissed" and "hell." The series obviously serves as a commercial for the featured business, too, with name-dropping and logos frequently visible.
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What's the story?
This WE channel reality series follows the highs and lows of THE CUPCAKE GIRLS -- longtime friends and business partners Heather White and Lori Joyce, who run a successful franchise of cupcake bakeries based out of Vancouver, Canada. Simply enough, the business is called "Cupcakes." But the day-to-day operations are rarely so simple, with Heather's mom serving as the general office manager and her dad pulling duty as the bakery's official delivery man. The bakery also employs a transgendered woman named Cadence, whose excellent customer service skills and uncommon look make her a real stand-out.
Is it any good?
The Cupcake Girls has a bit more spice than its most obvious competitor, TLC's DC Cupcakes. And that's a good thing, especially in light of a TV marketplace that's overpopulated with shows about cake, including Cupcake Wars, The Ultimate Cake-Off, Cake Boss, and Ace of Cakes. Even diehard baking junkies run the risk of getting a TV toothache. But at least with Cupcake Girls, you get something more substantial to go along with all that sugar.
Although Heather and Lori seem far more level-headed than DC Cupcake's often-frazzled sister-bakers Sophie and Katherine, they still have their fair share of screw ups ... and that's a curious trend among these cupcake-driven reality shows. Are major screw-ups merely manufactured for the sake of drama? Or do they really happen as often as the cameras make it seem? Either way, it makes baking "professionals" look awfully amateur.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the cupcake/baking show trend and why cupcakes, in particular, seem to be so popular. Would opening a cupcake bakery be a smart business decision? Would there be any risks?
How does this series compare to other TV shows about baking? What does it do differently -- and does it work?
How do Lori and Heather rate as role models? What about Heather's parents, who are also employees? Kids: Would you ever want to be your parents' boss?
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