Great Holiday Baking Competition

The 4-episode series debuted this week. The six contestants are all from America, but the show was filmed at the same British location as the original.
Same tent, same music. Mary Berry seems quite game, enjoying her introduction to the idiosyncrasies and quiddities of American baking. She’s saying “cookie” rather than “biscuit”. She was at first taken aback by the bacon in a maple cookie, but ultimately approved. The early favorite, Lauren, is Jewish, so less bound by traditional Christmas bakes than the others. Her impressive “gingerbread house” was a pagoda because, she quipped, Chinese
food is the traditional Xmas dinner for American Jews. :wink:

I missed the second episode but fortunately they’re on Hulu (Hulu Plus?) It’s as close to the original as one could hope.

I’ve watched the last/first 2 episodes and - full disclosure - I know one of the contestants. However, I do feel that the entire lot of the American contestants would have their heads handed to them on the British show. Most of their decorating skills are lacking and it seems as they might get ripped apart for muted flavors.

I have no inside information on the casting but from Googling it looks as if they were having trouble finding male contestants. I have a very hard time believing that there were no interested, qualified male American bakers. And while I can believe that some of the contestants had never made certain bakes before, I also have trouble believing that skilled home bakers had “never heard of” certain things before. I feel as if the producers were trying to cast for certain types, rather than simply choosing the best contestants. I don’t feel any connection to any of them and if I didn’t know one of the bakers already, I probably wouldn’t care about her, either.

It’s a reasonably enjoyable show if you ignore the American hosts, but doesn’t hold a candle to the British original.

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Certainly something I feel happens with “Great British Bake Off”. Gotta make sure the diversity quota is filled - there’s the compulsory gay man, the camp one who proves not to be gay, the “pretty young thing” who giggles, the older granny type, the “northern working class” woman (she gets eliminated in round 1 or 2), etc.

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Amanda Platell? Is that you?

Damn. Outed at last.

After the hoohaa about the diversity of the last series, the producers talked a bit about how they get to the 12 from the thousands of applications. The key two skills need to be able to cook (of course!) but also to be able to talk engagingly or even at all, while cooking. That’s the bit that would count me out. I do like to concentrate! They also get rid of anyone more interested in celebrity than baking!

I’ve been watching, and it’s been interesting. But I agree with rockycat that these bakers cannot hold a candle to their British counterparts in the decorating.

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The series ended with something of a thud, IMO. Perhaps because there were only 6 contestants and 4 episodes. There were no surprises here. I found the hosts very scripted and unfunny compared to the two women who present the British version and appear to be ad-libbing as they go.

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Possibly Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc have the advantage in that they are a professional comedy duo.

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The American hosts are husband and wife. Although they aren’t a comedy partner act, they ARE both comic actors. This may be a good example of why spouses shouldn’t work together. The show doesn’t seem to have gotten a lot of interest - if it HAD, given the execrable increase here in religious intolerance on the part of so-called Christians, there’d be a social media kerfuffle about the fact that the winner is Jewish.

The hosts are boring as all hell and I couldn’t wait for them to stop talking. The show itself wasn’t much of anything, at least not compared to the British version. But could you imagine if, like the British version, there were contestants wearing headscarves? Hoo boy, that would have made for some interesting reactions.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold