The Great British Bake-Off
Who would have thought that a show about cakes would capture the hearts of an entire nation? The Great British Bake-Off is more than a baking show, it's a lifestyle. So when the BBC lost the program last year to Channel 4, the nation was distraught about whether the program would still capture their hearts at its new network as much as it did at the BBC. Well, the time has finally come, and Bake-Off has officially made a new home at Channel 4.
This new series of Bake-Off has upped the ante for its contestants. During cake week the bakers were asked to make a signature fruit cake. Their skills were then tested in the technical where they were asked to create 12 identical chocolate mini-rolls. Finally, the first episode pushed the bakers to their limits by asking them to create an illusion cake for the showstopper. The bakers rose to the challenge and delivered some beautiful bakes, where one constant was named star baker and another was sent home.
Despite its rather terrifying promotional material, little has changed about the baking show following its move to Channel 4. Surprisingly, the network opted to keep the structure of the show entirely the same, not changing a single thing about the program (even Mel and Sue's iconic "On your marks, get set, bake!" is still included). Its strange that the Channel 4 executives didn't want to reinvent the show to make it more original to the network, but I guess the saying does go, "if it's not broken, don't fix it." Luckily for us, we get to keep our lovely program. So, for now, the show will always be seen as the great BBC program that moved to Channel 4 but without its great hosts and favorite judge.
During its messy move to its new home, Bake-Off lost its most popular cast members, Mel Giedroyc, Sue Perkins, and Mary Berry. Because of their loyalty to the BBC, the trio left the program leaving only Paul Hollywood and three vacant holes to fill. Subsequently, those holes were filled by Sandi Toksvig, Noel Fielding, and Prue Leith.
Fielding, a surprising addition seeing as a show about cakes doesn't exactly scream his brand, came off rather reserved compared to his normal flamboyant antics, which is a shame because his comedic styling could have been an interesting addition to the program. Toksvig left little impression after the first episode, and Leith certainly didn't replace Mary Berry, as her judging style is more similar to the harsh criticism of Hollywood than the kind remarks of Berry.
But the new additions don't take away from the real stars of the program: the bakers. In classic Bake-Off style, this group of bakers embodies the best of Britain -- a diverse mix of individuals all working together to make something great.
Regardless of its home, The Great British Bake-Off still holds the ubiquitous charm that made the show so popular among viewers. The Bake-Off is more than just a baking show. It's a reminder that there is still purity in the world -- in the form of lovely, delicious cakes. So, thank god, Channel 4 didn't mess it up.
The Great British Bake-Off airs Tuesday evenings at 8 on Channel 4