MasterChef Junior S01E01: MeEt tHe KiDs!

[Ed. Note: Sarah Ramos is an actress, director, and writer. Fox’s new series MasterChef Junior combines her (I assume) love of children, chefs, and cooking competitions in which children pretend to be adult chefs, so she will be taking us through the season! Welcome her!]

As television viewers, we’re used to watching people on TV be gorgeous and sexy or crazy and awful or all of the above. So when children are on TV, we don’t know what to do! The MasterChef Junior producers also don’t know what to do, and seem pretty afraid of either scarring the kids for life, getting sued by their parents, or offending any of the viewers, so the stakes in this show are already pretty high. Gordon Ramsay, although he is Gordon Ramsay, makes sure to compliment the child contestants to make it clear that the kids won’t be belittled or sexualized, like in a typical reality show. So it’s fun when they still kind of are, anyway. No rulez lol!

I feel like the producers (or whoever) (I don’t know, okay?) try to force the kids to say typical reality show stuff, like “I’m not here to make friends.” But they know that these contestants are like 8 years old, so when one contestant randomly says in an interview, “I didn’t come here for anything else but just to cook,” they’re just like, “Cool! Close enough!”

During one of the challenges, Gordon Ramsay uses the gnocchi that Jewels, 10, is preparing as a device to find out if she has a boyfriend. (“Have you cooked this dish for your boyfriend?”) When she says she doesn’t, he points to Tommy, 11, who’s making pumpkin ravioli, and says “What about Tommy? He’s been looking at you all night.” LOL! Like, did Ramsay say that because stirring up sexual tension between kids who have yet to hit puberty is cute and funny, or because he is most comfortable around kids when he acts like a creepy uncle at Thanksgiving dinner?

Imagine if he told an adult woman contestant, say a divorced mom, that another contestant who looked like, I don’t know, Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Happiness, has been looking at her all night. Could she sue him for sexual harassment?

Anyway, there were sooo many kids! Two of them cried: Dara, 12 cried “happy tears” when she turned in her herb and cheese spaetzle with rack of lamb or whatever. Go Dara! It’s ur birthday! Dara was pretty cute. And my favorite contestant, Nathan, 8 (the youngest), cried when his meringue roulade “didn’t poof up the way he wanted” so he got kicked off. :( There were too many kids to remember all of them, except for the oldest one, Alexander, 13, who is going on to the next round. So far what we know about him is that he likes cooking French pastries and “doesn’t like to be overly confident” — okay, Alexander! I’m sure we will get to know all the kids super intimately next week.

I can’t wait for MasterChef Junior Celebrity starring Suri Cruise, Apple Paltrow-Matthews, and the kids from Modern Family! I can’t wait to learn these kids’ full names so I can find their Instagram and Twitter handles! And I can’t wait to find out who wins the SmartWater water bottle, I mean, MasterChef Junior trophy! (But to guess anything right now would be pure speculation LOL.)

Later, dudes. Thank God this show is on Friday because I’m living for the weekend!