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S02.E01: Cake Week / S02.E02: Cookie Week


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3 hours ago, Mabinogia said:

Is there a big cash prize in the US version? I haven't been paying attention. I know in the UK they get a big glass cake plate and some flowers, which also lends to the less win or die attitude of the bakers.

If there is it hasn't been publicized. I believe just like the original, it's bragging rights+trophy. Although, depending on if the show covers the travel to England, that's sort of prize-ier.

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I still feel that the casting brought in personalities over bakers.  Not all.  Or as many as last season.  There do seem to be some better bakers this time.  But I still feel it has the US reality show taint to it (though I should say that British candid reality is right up there with the US stuff-- says this somewhat avid hypocritical watcher). 

Still do not care for Nia and Ian.  Nia really doesn't understand restraint in her delivery at all.  It is like seeing someone flip a switch and she goes into banter mode.  Awkward unfunny banter mode. Ian is a little better but they both feel over scripted and rehearsed and makes me wonder what they are like at home since I do think Ian is a decent actor from what I have seen.

Courtenay leaving?  Give me a Hallelujah.  Way too "on".  I'm not sure if it was for the cameras, or he is one of those people that have to be just a bit extra to get more attention than anyone else.  But it was annoying as hell.

Johnny needs to go back to the clean cut look.  His rockabilly bit has been taken to a new level with some Sons of Anarchy thrown in.  I get he wants his own personal style but he needs to look a lot less like the villain the writers on Justified went a bit too far with and then realized was rather weak and killed off as soon as they could.   By this point in his life his style should be a part of him so it doesn't hide him.  Not wear him. 

I also find the instant rapport a bit forced here.  I noted it also on the Australian show (still way much better than this in terms of mixing homage to the original and making a small effort to be its own -excluding the horrendous Guy Ferry-esque weird first season on another network).  I think the producers of all the different shows know that a huge charm is the camaraderie that grows among them.  The willingness to help each other and applaud others efforts.  And here it shows a bit more for me.  As if they had a good orientation that said _be friends.  Be really really good friends.

About the icing skills, one without spoilers, I've yet to see anything approaching a couple efforts in the yet to be aired in the US last season of the Brit original.  But I also know some people who can Martha Stewart the hell out of some Pillsbury sugar cookies when it comes time to bring in something for the office during the holidays.  Icing doesn't mean shit if you can make a piece of cardboard look festive.  Its what is underneath that makes it worthwhile.

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On 12/2/2016 at 11:23 PM, Irlandesa said:

And I liked seeing Nia help Courtney with his structure.

Mel and Sue have done exactly that in the past, and that was the instant I warmed up to Nia.

18 hours ago, tenativelyyours said:

I still feel that the casting brought in personalities over bakers.  Not all.  Or as many as last season. 

I think that was dialed way down.  There's no huge cash prize, and as popular as the show is over here, no one is going to parlay this into a hosting gig or a newpaper column (not that Nadiya doesn't totally deserve that).  There are definitely some personalities, Courtney being the most obvious, but the majority give me the vibe that they're just there to see how far they can get.  I certainly like the majority of them, which wasn't true of the previous season.

Hell, I'm watching for Mary and her funny reactions to American things.  Everything else is window dressing.

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On 12/6/2016 at 7:44 AM, vibeology said:

I would imagine that they probably spend two to three weeks filming with maybe if the show was generous, or Mary insisted, a day between each episode.

That just seems crazy to me given how complicated the Showstoppers are expected to be.  Part of the benefit of the UK's format was that the contestants had time between filming to not just see their families, but to practice their bakes, sometimes many times over.  Since these are not professional bakers, having the time to do multiple practice runs during their time off seems critical for success.  

  

On 12/6/2016 at 1:52 PM, theatremouse said:

I'm not sure it's safe to assume same clothes=same day filming. I think it's fairly standard to have them wear the same clothes for a whole episode, even if they  were not faking the "two day" bit, so they can shoot pickups and THs and whatnot. So same outfit may be mandatory per "episode" so it doesn't matter what day they film an intro spiel or whathaveyou.

Yup.  I've seen a few "behind the scenes" articles on GBBO, and more than one of them said that the show requires that everyone wear the same outfit (plus hair and makeup for the women) all weekend for just this reason.  I assume it's the same for the US version.  

Edited by xqueenfrostine
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22 minutes ago, xqueenfrostine said:

That just seems crazy to me given how complicated the Showstoppers are expected to be.  Part of the benefit of the UK's format was that the contestants had time between filming to not just see their families, but to practice their bakes, sometimes many times over.  Since these are not professional bakers, having the time to do multiple practice runs during their time off seems critical for success.  

I am not certain of this so don't hold me to it, but I thought at least the Americans, if not everyone, got all the showstoppers before the show started. Certainly the Brits have an advantage having a whole week in between to practice. But I don't think that means the Americans got zero practice. I think there was time (probably several weeks) between being accepted on the show and going there, so they should've practiced in advance, or planned to do something they'd practiced somewhat. It's a disadvantage to have the practice potentially far before, and not having a few days to do multiple practice runs right before, but I do not think they're going into showstoppers on one day's notice. This also jives with what, to me, has been a much lower standard of expectation from the showstoppers on this version and it's previous holiday incarnation. I do think they're factoring in the less-practice in judging.

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Well by necessity, they'd have to get all of their baking directives ahead of time if there were no big breaks.  There's no way they could plan both a signature bake and a showstopper in 24-36 hours.  Not only would that be impossible for the contestants, it'd be hard for the production team that would presumably need to get ingredient lists from each baker to prepare for the show. Still I don't think being able to practice before the show starts filming would be enough to make up for not having several days off between each episode, since they'd have to prepare practice at least 16 recipes in that time.    It's comparable to the difference in difficulty of prepping for finals week in school compared to a exam in the middle of the year.  It's much harder when everything comes up at once than when you only have to focus on one subject.  

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I don't think my test-taking habits fit your premise, but I was basically suggesting they have, let's say (and this is a fake example because I don't actually know), four-six weeks at home to practice all the bakes. Then they go, and do a signature one day, showstopper the next, day off, rinse repeat til they're done. Or possibly M-T on, W off, T-F on, weekend off. That's what I am speculating happened. So, harder than having a week in between, but not impossibly so, especially given they're also not going back to their regular lives on the off days.

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I'm glad the show is back. I'm happy for any reason to be watching the Great Baking show whether its British or American. I like watching the competitions and different cakes, cookies and things being baked. I also like learning different recipes and things like what's common here like Snickerdoodle isn't common in other places.

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On 12/2/2016 at 0:22 PM, DeLurker said:

Bakers cast for the show will travel to England to compete in the “Bake Off” tent and get to meet the Mary Berry who will be judging the competitors.

As opposed to that other worthless Mary Berry who does not judge the competitors. Suck it, other Mary!

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This show just makes me smile. I love how this show reacts differently to mistakes than other reality competitions. Moments like Nia's reaction to Courtney's cookie showstopper falling apart with a helpful, "How can we salvage this?" to the way Mary and Johnny still find something to praise in an otherwise catastrophic result are so charming.  

The only downside is that looking at all the amazing cakes and cookies makes me want to ruin my diet. At least I can tell myself that if I'm going to eat empty calories, I should save them for something spectacular and not some generic oreo. 

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