Popular reality shows have an easy way of branching off and increasing their visibility by simply creating copies of themselves with different demographics. The two most popular variants of such programs are those using celebrities or children instead of employing average adults to compete in their challenges, although there have been specials or shows using grandmothers, only women, and local casts for extra-national markets. Chopped Junior is simply a juvenile version of the hit Food Network show Chopped.
Juvenile can be a pejorative term, but in this case such a nuance would not be warranted. #ChoppedJunior’s contestants might be younger than what we are accustomed to seeing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are less competent, mature, or interesting. Quite the contrary is what we see on the show. The people selected have a passion for cooking and their nose to the competitive grindstone trying to reach the $10,000 prize and, often more importantly to they who usually claim to have no particular use for the prize money outside of saving for college, the glory of being the CJ champion for the episode.
As people, the contestants are also fascinating. We might even say that they are more interesting than the normal adults competing on the mother series. They speak very openly, not only opening up a surprising wealth of experience and interests for the viewing audience, but emoting heavily. We are treated to the poignant experience of feeling the pangs of their every disappointment or victory through their histrionic facial expressions and voice.
In this sense, the only subset of adults who can regularly compete are the celebrities who are accustomed to putting on a public performance. Even then, celebrities aren’t affected much by the outcome, so their jadedness about the whole experience might dull the broadcast of their true selves. Comedy Central is currently spearheading a movement of drunk and high TV hosts in experiments such as Drunk History or Getting Doug with High. If the effects of drugs can be controlled on screen and the actors can be kept on track, it might lead to some more openness in normal adults who are being outpaced by the uninhibited children in shows like #CJ.
The middle school competition show does not have a very strong internet community. Perhaps this is because the Food Network is correct in assuming that its main consumers will be children and their parents in a family night setting. Young, single adults, even staunch foodies, may even be disinterested precisely because of the negative associations they may have about the maturity of children on screen. All parties involved may enjoy the show without feeling passionate enough to rate it online. IMBD is the only major ratings site where users have bothered to judge it. A mere 46 votes have pegged it at 6.7 out of 10.
The show is currently in the middle of its 4th season. Each season has an odd numbering structure, with episodes running almost continuously on a weekly basis since the debut of the second season in April and being broken down into new “seasons” every 13 episodes. This is the same structure followed by the main Chopped Series. It looks like near the conclusion of the 13th episode of the current season sometime in late January or early February, we’ll be getting an announcement for season 5.The brisk production of new episodes demonstrates that Chopper Junior can enjoy great longevity on the channel.
Whatever the case may be, we’ll have all the latest information as soon as it becomes available. Sign up for our E-mail notification list down below. We’ll send you a quick message when #ChoppedJunior
What is your opinion of the show? Do you prefer watching Chopped or the children’s version? Does the addition of celebrities to the judging panel make a difference for you? Which chef have you been most impressed with so far? Give us your comments and opinions down below.