Our third round in the tent finds us confronted with Paul Hollywood’s specialty: Bread Week. Every time the show does Bread week, Mary spends the week deferring to Paul Hollywood, and the episode spends every chance they can reminding us that this is Paul’s domain. It also means that Paul lords over the contestants with his knowledge and his great non-advice like “Well, it could be fantastic, but it could be a disaster.” Helpful!
This is the week where we also get a preview of who is the real deal and who is going to spend the rest of their time in the tent not actually pulling off whatever it is they’re aiming at. Also, for the first time in the American airing, we get a glimpse of how this show isn’t quite the fair shake it seems. When it first started airing over here, one of the things that bowled me over was that the contestants got to go home and practice over the week, and then come in and bake on weekends.
But for the first time we see how that really favors a certain kind of contestant: the stay-at-home mum or dad, or those who have jobs that are willing to give them half days to stay home and practice. Those who still have to go to work and have long commutes? They’re just not as able to keep up.
Continue reading The Great British Baking Show: Season 3 “Bread Week”
“Have another biscuit.” -Nell, Legend.
Week Two in the Tent, and Americans have sat down for the third season in a row of having to accept the idea that the proper name for “cookie” is in fact “biscuit.” With only one challenge under our belts, it’s still a matter of feeling out the contestants, and seeing whose successes last week were mostly a fluke, and who might actually be the real deal.
Last week Marie took Star Baker, while Dorret’s crash and burn was given a pass due to Stu’s complete thick-headed behavior. One of those turned out to be a massive fluke. The other, well, let’s just say I think we’re all a little concerned for Dorret, and hope she pulls it together for Bread Week.
Continue reading The Great British Baking Show: Season 3 “Biscuit Week”
BBC America has problems. PBS keeps beating them to the punch when it come to recognizing what will actually work for American audiences. BBCA continues to fail by trying to bring over stuff that doesn’t translate like Stephen Fry’s QI, while completely missing the British Bake Off train, leaving them the land of Star Trek reruns, Doctor Who and endless, endless Top Gear.
Perhaps that might be enough if the latter hadn’t started imploding last year with Jeremy Clarkson finally being too much of a public arse to ignore. Now the new version–complete with shoehorned in American co-host Matt LeBlanc as a sop to poor BBCA is going nowhere. Ratings are collapsed. And Chris Evans, who was in a stand off with the BBCA that either he or LeBlanc was going to be fired or the other one would quit suddenly found himself on the wrong end of that when someone’s lawyer found “sexual misconduct” allegations last week. Evans was out after a measly five episodes.
All of this makes the following video I found on BBCA’s YouTube channel just that much sadder. It’s BBCA trying to join in on the return of Bake Off to the US (even if it’s not on their channel) by having Evans (who is now only on their channel because they’re behind in airing the show) interview Paul Hollywood in a segment called “Cars or Cakes?”
Continue reading Car or Cake with Paul Hollywood
Welcome back to Sue and Mel and silliness, as the Great British Baking Show hosts try to decide if our contestants this year are warriors or worriers. Only in British English is this a joke. The season, which actually taped over a year ago, and originally ran from August-October of 2015 on the BBC took its sweet time getting over here. And then it took its sweet time airing, as the lack of a Masterpiece Theater like mothership meant there was nothing to enforce most PBS stations to air at the same time.
PBS, it is very hard to live tweet when half the audience won’t see it until Sunday–and the main PBS Food account is tweeting along to one that started 30 minutes prior to your own. Furthermore, it is difficult to get event television to work if it’s not eventing across the country all at once. Please make a note of it, and rectify this promptly.
Continue reading The Great British Baking Show: Season 3 “Cake Week”
Part of missing most of the spring is that I totally missed the press release that PBS had indeed renewed The Great British Baking Show for Season 3. They just opted to run it as a summer program instead of a late spring one as they did with the first season in 2015.
And as I had very much hoped, PBS will indeed follow the pattern and air Great British Bake Off‘s Season 6 as Season 3. *PLEASE NOTE: Even though PBS’ website says July 1st, and the show airs tonight on my channel, several readers have told me it does not air for them until Sunday. Check your local listings.
To recap for those who find this statement confusing: PBS brought over the BBC’s hit Great British Bake Off the year after it expanded the budget and moved to airing on flagship BBC One from home-and-garden oriented BBC Two. And so since it had just moved, PBS started airing Baking Show with that first season on BBC 1–which was actually five seasons into the run. So Baking Show Season 1 is actually Bake Off Season 5. (The name change is to be blamed on Pillsbury, which apparently believes that “Bake Off” is owned exclusively by their fat little mascot.)
Continue reading Great British Baking Show Season 3 Returns Tonight*