By Jadene Auerbach
If you’re in the mood for an entertaining onslaught of quirky bakers and intense competition, The Great British Baking Show is for you. The British TV series pits a dozen bakers from across the UK who compete to be named the country’s best.
Bakers compete in a weekly competition with three challenges: a “signature bake,” the “technical challenge,” and a “show-stopper.” The signature bake and show-stopper are themed challenges, while the technical challenge is recipe-based, where bakers attempt to bake the same recipe. One baker is eliminated each week, until three bakers remain to compete in the final bake-off.
What I love about this series is, unlike typical competitions, this show’s contestants act as if they’ve been friends for years, supporting each other through their failed bakes and moments of self-doubt. It’s a nice break from typical drama-infused reality television. Dominique Donio, a junior at d.tech, commented on this and said, “Compared to Chopped, [the Great British Baking Show] is way better because […] in chopped, everyone is yelling and out to get each other, whereas in the Great British Baking Show, everyone kind of helps each other out.” San Francisco State college professor, Debbie Miller, is also a recent fan of the show and watches it with her 4th grade daughter. She says how she appreciates “how everyone is nice to each other.”
The show also features a wide range of creative bakes. Frances Quinn, a former contestant, made Her vegetable garden-inspired canapés and a “picnic pie” in the form of a basket. On the other hand, some creations are not as unique. Contestant, Norman Calder, was an older man with flavorful bakes that lacked visual pizzazz. Regardless, Calder was applauded for mastering simple recipes with outstanding flavor.
So, if you are looking for an escape from the yelling and screaming of most reality TV series, and have a love of baking, The Great British Baking Show is highly recommended. It’s universality, authenticity, and its British quirkiness make it a fun show for anyone to enjoy.