An Ode to The Great British Bake Off

Stressed over college courses? Need a break from your annoying roommate? I have one solution for you: The Great British Bake Off. Okay, so it’s not a permanent solution, but I maintain that GBB is one of the better, more fulfilling distractions.

 

Source: https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/2019-08-26/great-british-bake-off-secrets/

 

With 7 “collections” on Netflix, the show is simply what it sounds like: a baking competition. Set in the scenic field of Berkshire, a tent is assembled and ten to thirteen bakers are chosen to compete in a number of challenges. For basics, each episode is comprised of three parts: a signature challenge, a technical, and a showstopper. The contestants can practice the signature challenge and the showstopper throughout the week as the show is only filmed on the weekends. In the signature challenge, the criteria are more informal in tone. The contestants are to make recipes that would serve friends or family- a more wholesome alternative to many other cooking shows. The technical is a surprise where the contestants are given minimal instructions to a bake they may have never even heard of and are tasked with making a succinct number of them. The showstopper is the big kahuna, each contestant must make something that is impressive in stature and skill, but also tasted delicious. The judges, of the most recent seasons, are Paul Hollywood and Prue Lieth with comedic co-hosts Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding. Noel Fielding might sound familiar if you’re a fan of the skit “Old Greg,” a blast to the weird past of my middle school days.

 

Source: https://www.radiotimes.com/news/2017-08-29/the-great-british-bake-off-who-was-the-first-baker-to-leave-the-tent/

 

So, what makes the show just THAT good? By all accounts, it seems like just another baking show. I can assure you, however, it’s not. It has this charisma that you don’t get from a lot of shows. The contestants, judges, and hosts are all having a great time being there. The contestants are stressed, obviously, but they encourage each other and crack jokes with all members of the crew. There’s a quirky charm to the show where the people on the show are actual people. You can empathize with and recognize both their struggles on the show, but also their struggles in their day to day life. Because the show is not shot all at once where the contestants live in a house, but, rather, they go home and work throughout the week, this show truly is a labor of love for them.

 

Source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/08/19/great-british-bake-goes-millennial-2019-youngest-ever-line-up/

 

The co-hosts are cheesy, and Paul Hollywood is the stereotypical looks mean, but is a sweetheart character. Prue is a lovely older woman with a penchant for drinking, and each of these things plays off each other to create an environment that makes everyone jovial and comfortable. At the end of each season, there is a b-roll of the contestants on the show being actual friends in real life and establishing genuine connections with each other (some have even started dating!) The judges, hosts, and other contestants are genuinely upset when people leave, and, on the other hand, are genuinely excited and happy for those who win each week. Malice and bad attitudes are almost never seen in the tent, and really for that reason, it just lifts viewers up. Not to mention, you actually learn a little about baking when watching!

Source: https://www.hellomagazine.com/film/2017100943046/sandi-toksvig-cries-great-british-bake-off/

 

I’m just saying, if you want your life to be impacted in a positive way, you should start watching The Great British Bake Off. You can start with collection 1, or you can start at the most recent collection. Either way, you’re going to be met with a show that makes you just a little happier. It’s 90 minutes of pure joy that you can pay attention to, or just play as some background noise with doing other things. If you want my advice, though, collection 6 is my favorite… maybe start there.