“The Great British Bake Off” is worth your time


Gracie Cox, Editor-in-Chief

If you have a Netflix account, chances are that you have seen the “Great British Bake Off” (GBBO) promoted while you browse. You may have quickly skipped past it as you navigate through the “Popular on Netflix” section. This is completely understandable. At first glance, it looks like one of the many mundane, cringeworthy cooking shows that fill our streaming platforms. “GBBO,” however, stands out from its competitors.

The premise of the show is relatively simple: 12 British amateur bakers are chosen to compete against one another in the ultimate baking competition for 10 consecutive weekends. Their work is meticulously evaluated by the two acclaimed judges, Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith. Each weekend, the contestants complete three different timed challenges that follow the episode’s theme.

 The first challenge is called the “Signature Bake,” wherein the bakers must produce a specific dish, but they get to choose what flavors to use and how they decorate their work. The next challenge is the “Technical Bake.” For this one, the bakers have no choice in what they create. Instead, bakers  are asked to replicate one of the judges signature, traditional recipes with only limited instruction. It is considered to be one of the most difficult challenges for many contestants. The final challenge is accurately titled the “Showstopper,” and it’s the bakers’ last chance for surviving to the next week. Bakers must complete an arduous, hours-long challenge similar to the “Signature Bake,” but much more tedious and ideally ends up looking and tasting like a masterpiece.

One of the viewers’ favorite aspects of the show is the hosts. To everyone’s delight, the hosts serve as much-needed comedic relief. They tell jokes, interact with the contestants and judges and overall make everyone feel a bit more joyful. Their flamboyant role may seem like a waste of time to some, but is that necessarily a bad thing? It can be nice to have a break every once in a while and just watch them fool around in the tent. 

Throughout the show’s 11 seasons, the hosts have changed multiple times. It all started out with Mel and Sue, a well-loved British comedy duo. Many believe that they were the best at the job, but they sadly left the show in 2016. In the most recent season (Series 11), Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas attempt to fill their predecessors’ rather large shoes. It’s a difficult job, but they do well. All throughout the season, they keep things lighthearted and poke fun at the always snooty Hollywood. In my opinion, it’s a job well done.

For a cooking competition, “GBBO” is strangely calming. Maybe it’s because of the cheery music or the posh accents, but either way, this show will put you to sleep if you’re tired enough. Strangely, that’s not a negative comment. The vast majority of our TV-shows tend to be pretty intense, so it’s nice to have something to watch as a break from it all every once in a while. When the atmosphere of a show is this soothing, it seems a shame to not at least give it a shot. Who knows, you may become your own star baker after binge-watching the first couple of seasons. All of the contestants had to start somewhere, so perhaps you’ll find your way into the tent with a Duncan Hines brownie mix and a head full of dreams.