If you felt the jadedness of society this Monday in particular (me!) or just "have a lot of feelings" I have just the ticket to melt your heart and bring it to boiling point in a flash. This magic remedy is called: MasterChef Junior and it is masterfully, adorable. If you've heard of MasterChef, a chef competition TV series that is judged by the infamous Gordon Ramsey, restaurateur Joe Bastianich, and renown chef Graham Elliot, a minor amount of guesswork will lead you to exactly what you hope this show is: Kid Chefs that can actually hack it. Specifically, "kids" is classified as 8-13 yr. olds. In my opinion, MasterChef Junior is the best reality show to hit the air, ever (and trust me, I know my way around the reality TV circuit preetty well).
While watching the first two episodes; I laughed, I cried, I cheered, and I pleaded.. and I am dead serious. No doubt because they are just kids, the stakes and their feelings make you feel much more emotionally invested and affected by their raw reactions and pure naïveté. They don't have any secret motives and don't subscribe to the ruthless competitiveness that plagues other reality competition shows. To the contrary, they actually cheer for each other (unheard of!) and cry when their opponents are sent home (cue the flash flooding in my tear ducts). Basically, for the two hours that my eyes were glued to the screen (which gives the impression of passive watching, which it was not... I was actively engaged throughout the duration), I literally felt my heart swell. Kind of like that feeling you get when you see puppies or babies, but multiplied. So, the takeaway? If you're having a bad day, watch this and I guarantee your faith in humanity will be restored..
But, even more amazing than the amount of utter cuteness, is the fact that these kids are remarkable chefs! Truly. It's like you're listening to adult chefs make and talk about food but the voices are coming from these tiny beings. That have to stand on stools to reach the counter.. A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E. (Think: the e-trade baby commercials).
My favorite kid is the one who certifiably has ADHD and needed help reaching some of the ingredients on the shelves of their mini "market" where they collect the ingredients they need. Like, stop it. Or actually, my favorite is the girl who looks just like a mini version of Jenna Lyons.. Or wait, the kid with a thick New York accent, that wears a different Hawaiian shirt each episode. Ok actually, I can't decide, they are all precious.
The kids are subject to the same standards as the adult chefs in that they must produce palate-pleasing AND visually appealing dishes (through proper "plating") within the 60 minutes allotted for each of the challenges. At the end of the show, the winner will win $100,000. Many of the kids have aspirations to use this money to open a restaurant, take their brothers to an amusement park, go to culinary school.. or become a pro wrestler.
If I've piqued your interest, the show airs on Fridays 8/7c on Fox but is also available to watch online, here. (I found it on my On Demand).
Pure goodness. I promise.