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The Great British Baking Show: Series 8 (2017)
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Popular among men and women, young and old, it keeps what's left of Britain's tattered dream of pluralism and equality alive.
C4 hasn't messed with the format, which is so strong it turns out the presenters don't much matter.
The Great British Bake Off, a teetering edifice of delicious tiny morsels itself, held together by the sweet bonds of love, nostalgia and charm, has survived the move from BBC oven to Channel 4 table.
Dough devotees can rest easy. Mary, Mel and Sue might be gone but the show's recipe remains as winning as ever.
But as much as I love optimism, for me, every single change to the show has been for the worse.
We want to hate the new version, but just can't. Turns out Prue Leith, an old friend of Mary Berry, is delightful.
The food isn't the only ingredient that's going to make this new Channel 4 series brilliant. It's the bakers, the suspense and, of course, Noel and Sandi's comedy sideshow.
In its entirety, the whole series was a moderate soggy bottom. It desperately misses Mary Berry, the doyen of baking, and the presenting duo of Mel and Sue who were just funnier than the incumbents.
Some of the hosts were different, but the series smartly decided to keep things just as they were otherwise, helped by some instantly likeable contestants such as Liam Charles and Yan Tsou.
The baking is as tough as ever, including an eye-popping showstopper round packed with inventive artistic delights.
To watch and enjoy it is to applaud the march of British soft power and the illusion that "niceness" and not colonialism is the most quintessentially British phenomenon.
Audience Reviews for The Great British Baking Show: Series 8
Nov 13, 2020Prue really brings down the show. She is petty, hyper critical for no reason, intimidates and misleads the contestants, she is pretty terrible and I hope her contract runs out and she is not renewed. I really miss Mary Berry.
Oct 16, 2020The GBB as it will be referred to is a simple cooking show that takes a kinder approach to the world of food critique game shows. The show has a very simple layout: every episode a mix of creative cooking and recipe based competition. This mix is not off base of different shows but It has a different magic to it that other cooking shows don't have. There is a series of guest judges that changes with each season but some are series regulars. They are either small celebrity personalities or chiefs in the cooking world. This show is able to present drama, while still not having any screaming or anger like every other cooking competition show. This is because of the calmness of the judges and the actual critical criticism that they give. The show is more like a peek into a small cooking class where people come to show their skills as well as learn more than what they did before. Unlike other shows that offer a cash prize or a lucrative job at a top kitchen this show offers a trophy as well as bragging rights, people aren't fighting for their future but are rather there to have fun and show their skills to a large audience. The only drama within the show usually isn't cooking based but rather small annoyances like some contestants helping one another. This dynamic has an odd effect on the viewer as these are real life things that you can totally relate to. Instead of colossal freakouts like in Kitchen Nightmares, there are people that won't stop talking to the person next to them, or someone who always needs to borrow things. It reminds the viewer of coworkers and classmates and makes the drama more realistic. This also makes you laugh out loud at some of the quirks people have. The progression of the show is much slower as well, it lets you build a connection with some of the contestants. This lets you see their personality as well as their cooking ability which has you rooting for them as well as wishing other contestants off the island. Another large distinction from other shows is, that instead of multiple dishes per show the GBB does only a handful and also shows you in detail what they are doing which has you guessing which contestant is going to win from the very start, up until the timer their dishes are prepared. Overall the GBB is a very good show, it uses realism and low stakes to create a fun environment which amplifies everything that happens. To elaborate, because things are so calm within the show when a judge is truly grossed out by something due to a contestant, it is devastating and shocking. This is a slow paced simple show that hooks you in from the very beginning and must be binged, ideally all at once.
Jan 15, 2020One of the most lovable groups of amateur bakers yet. Marred only by the severely mediocre example of "Pizza Margherita" used by Paul and Prue in the technical challenge during Italian week.
Oct 25, 2019I now know how to make a proper English breakfast. So much more delicious than IHOPS in America.