The question of what the legendary fiery Gordon Ramsey would be like around kids is answered with Fox’s “Masterchef Junior.” The answer, not surprisingly, is much more controlled. Outside of Ramsey’s lighter side coming out, the pilot proved to be a little too over-expository and predictable, but does have promise to get more entertaining and even bring out Ramsey’s darker side.
“Masterchef Junior,” a spinoff of the popular “Masterchef” series, found twenty-four of the best young chefs in the country between the ages of eight and thirteen. To say the least these kids are incredible in the kitchen, and not just for their age. They came up with interesting dishes far beyond what you’d expect an eleven-year-old to know.
That leads to show’s biggest problem. No one wants to see children be yelled at for slightly undercooking something that eighty percent of the world would burn to a crisp, but that is one of the allures of its predecessor. We have certain expectations of Ramsey, and while it was nice to see a lighter side to him, if he doesn’t get a little more fiery the show will get stale really quick. The judges could have been a bit more entertaining, overall. It was fun to see them interact with the kids, but when they were standing together and discussing things it had no better insight than a viewer at home.
The pilot immediately cut the contestants down to twelve after their first challenge, but the results could be seen a mile away. Outside of an animated eight-year-old named Nathan, the only contestant interviews the show ran were of the kids that moved on to the following round, and that trend was quickly noticeable. Then when they were having their dishes tasted, if there was any commentary beyond an ‘incredible,’ you knew they’d be axed.
The goal of this episode was to highlight the talents and creativity of all these kids, which they did. It should be fun though getting to know them all moving forward. Again, outside of Nathan, we didn’t get a whole lot of the kid’s personalities, but now down to twelve they should focus on each a little more.
“Masterchef Junior” got itself off to a nice little start on Friday, but there’s tons more to explore with these kids and to push them to see who really is the best of the best. Solid introduction, but if the format and sweetness from the judges stay the same, it could turn into a snooze fest.