Review of “The Great British Baking Show”
By Avery Wickersham (TheLorian)
“The Great British Baking” show, available on Netflix, is just as described by the title: great, and most definitely British. For anyone who watches baking shows in their spare time, this would be one to watch if you are looking for a peaceful, soothing show to have on in the background.
Cooking shows such as “Hell’s Kitchen” turn the tension level to a boil with the competitive and aggressive commentary made by chef extraordinaire, Gordon Ramsey. In contrast to the high-stakes set of “Hell’s Kitchen,” “The Great British Baking Show” takes place in a quiet, pristine, and decidedly less aggressive white tent situated in the lovely countryside of Berkshire, England. Many shots are taken of the setting of the show, and it seems like something out of a fairy-tale—rolling hills of green grass, beautiful sunshine, wildflowers poking through the soil, and leafy trees. It’s a wonderful, peaceful setting for the show.
Even more peaceful is the way the actual competition is set up. Not to be cliché, but “The Great British Baking Show” seems angelic in comparison to “Hell’s Kitchen.” When watching the British hit, the judges–Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, to name a few–are very kind to the contestants, who are also kind to each other despite the overarching competition. In multiple episodes, contestants help each other out, which isn’t necessarily encouraged but is also not denied.
The show, while much more idyllic than others, is still a competition. There are contestants that are sent home each week. However, the judges are much more emotional about sending contestants home, often times crying along with the contestant. It’s quite touching.
The challenges from the show are quite interesting. There is the signature bake, the technical bake, and the showstopper bake. Each one is designed to showcase the baker, or reveal their lacking skills, and is high-stakes. The signature bake is individualized for each baker. The technical bake asks the baker to prove their skills. The showstopper bake asks each contestant to provide their absolute best work. Because of the diversity of the show, there is always a wide array of goodies.
The recipes from “The Great British Baking Show” look absolutely delectable, and many of them can be found at https://thegreatbritishbakeoff.co.uk/recipes/. The website also includes finalists from each season and links to their shop. Sweet and savory recipes abound, including recipes for tea (which, of course, just makes sense), desserts, lunches, and special pastries. The website is a wonderful reflection of the show and provides another place for fans to visit.
Ultimately, “The Great British Baking Show” is something worth getting invested in. It’s advised not to watch on an empty stomach, and if you feel the urge to bake, try a recipe from the show!