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Show of the Moment: Great British Baking Show

I normally don’t consider myself a cooking show person. Nor do I really enjoy reality shows. So, imagine my surprise when I fell in love with the Great British Baking Show (titled the Great British Bake Off in the UK) and ended up binging an entire season in a single night.

Shocked.

Let me fill you in on a not-so-secret discovery: The Great British Baking Show is worth your time. Upon watching it, you’ll find the series deserving of your emotions—sincere love, as well as empathy, sadness, and hope—the whole gambit, wrapped up in a tidy and bright Netflix package.

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If you live in the US, the series starts a bit abruptly. There’s no real introduction or explanation, because you are thrown in mid-series. They’d been making the show for years in the UK, and started the US showing somewhere in the middle, maybe 4 or 5 seasons in. Most watchers have known about the show and what its about for quite some time.

It doesn’t take long, however, to figure things out. There is a tent of bakers, all there competing for the title of “Best Amateur Baker.” They bake over the weekend, spending Saturday with a “signature” challenge and a “technical” challenge, then conclude on Sunday with a “showstopper” challenge.

For the signature and showstopper challenges, they prepare their own recipes within the challenge parameters, and they have the week prior to practice at home. For the technical, they are given a recipe at the time of the challenge, and expected to make it to perfection, usually with vague or unhelpful instructions and a tough time limit.

You’re there with the bakers through it all, cheering them on, lamenting with their stresses, and hoping they can pull off their amazing designs. They often shock and awe, impress, and bring out the food critic within us all.

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The Great British Baking Show is wonderful, and I highly recommend watching. You’ll fall in love with everything about it: the tent, the contestants, the judges, and the hosts. The bakers grow each week, and you’ll find yourself invested in their success. It doesn’t take long to get attached, and feel overwhelmed whenever someone has to go home.

You’ll also notice a shift in regulars, when the GBBS changes networks, but fear not. Whether it’s Paul and Mary or Paul and Prue, you’ll appreciate the expert judging and their many years of experience. And whether it’s Mel and Sue or Noel and Sandy, you’ll giggle, swoon, and appreciate the pair that give the show an extra flair of flavor.

Bonus

After watching all of the available episodes and mourning the loss of a current series, new episodes recently popped up on Netflix.

Chad and I were visiting some good friends in Denver when we got the alert. Apparently, Netflix released a single season to the US, from one of the earlier years. As soon as we arrived home, Chad and I turned on GBBS and settled into the show, feeling very much at home. The best part? The season was excellent and did not disappoint.

My Advice

Grab a friend while you watch. Whether it’s a spouse, best friend, parent, sibling, or the only British person you know, grab them. Invite them over, settle into the couch, and watch together. This show—with all its endearing energy—is meant to be shared.

Now that’s a good bake.

Charlotte-Russe

 

Happy watching,

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22 thoughts on “Show of the Moment: Great British Baking Show

  1. The original is so much better. Noel Fielding is a Dollar Store Russell Brand and aggressively unfunny! (Yes, I have thoughts on this. LOL)

    Also, if you can find them, watch the masterclasses with Paul and Mary, especially the Christmas ones.

    1. Ha! Although I feel a special connection with Mel, Sue, and Mary, I still enjoy Noel and Sandy’s chemistry. I think Mel and Sue were a little better with their skits, while Noel and Sandy are more funny in their conversations in the tent. I can see why you think that, though, lol. Did you hear that Prue accidentally tweeted out the winner before the show aired???? That’s insane. I’m almost surprised they invited her back.

      I’ll have to check those out. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Oh gosh I LOVE British cooking shows! Luckily we receive BBC 1&2 in the Netherlands so I can watch as soon as a show airs. The great british bake off is fantastic, but if you get the change, also check out The Great British Menu! And The Hairy Bikers because they are so much fun to look at. And Mary Berry is such a sweetheart!
    Enjoy the show 🙂

    1. Ooo, thank you so much for your great suggestions! I will definitely check them out. Honestly, I think I love the show so much partly because in America they are SO cutthroat and competitive, and often mean spirited. Nothing like the GBBO. Thanks for reading! 🙂

  3. GBBO is always a family favourite at home and it’s the one cooking show that we are all happy to watch. I think the combination of great hosts, insane baking, and character makes this such a charming show.

  4. The Great British Baking Show sounds like I would enjoy it too. I like challenges where you have to make your own recipe. I did not realize that this show was available to the U.S. via Netflix.

    1. When I was living in dorms as a freshman, I distinctly remember my roommate watching several seasons of Masterchef. Whenever I think of the show, I’m transported back to doing sociology homework with the judges in the background. lol. Thanks for reading! 🙂

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