80So we have some of the best, and/or most likable, contestants in the history of the franchise, we have the most entertaining judge back, and the first two challenges very smartly play off the history of both the show and its contestants. What's not to like? I doubt this brings me back for the next standard season, but for this one? I'm in.
60Their tone remains generally civilized, but also awkward enough to make for entertaining television. Still, the more casual viewer may find that All-Stars seems to throw around a lot of "you had to be there" jokes and dramas. The food drill remains the same--contestants cook, judges assess--but the interplay among the chefs clearly is shaped in part by the back stories.