The kids are back in the kitchen on Masterchef Junior for season four. Once again young kids will battle it out to win the coveted trophy and $100,000. And once again we get the vaudeville acts this show is known for from judges getting dunked and crazy special effects. It underlies though the seriousness of what is going on, which is a cooking competition for kids. It means kids are going to get chopped because their dish did not pass muster with the judges. In the past I have noted that the judges, despite saying these are kids, really look at them as chefs trapped in small bodies. And this sometimes means that line between treating them as kids and adults sometimes gets a little blurry.
In a recent episode the judges appeared in spacesuits. It was neat but more interesting was that an actual astronaut stopped by to show them what is eaten on the space station. Essentially it is dehydrated and needs water to become edible. Now I thought the challenge would be to craft a space station worthy meal that could be served to them with the astronaut to tell them whether it is space ready or not. The astronaut was sent home leaving the kids to cook with cheese (as in the moon is made of). Mind you there were some interesting dishes made but it missed a potential here and why the show often falls on its collective behind.
I look at this show as part comedy, part education, and part cooking. They got the comedy down well and the other two are a mixed bag.