Stream or skip? +2023

Bake takes the formula from his craft contest parent show I’ll do itwhich is essentially the format of The Great British Baking Show, and comes full circle again by mixing a baking contest with the hilarious banter from the original series. Eight teams of two will compete for a $50,000 prize, with their baking creations being judged by a group of opinionated – but warm-hearted and friendly! — grandmothers. Season 2 of the show brings some changes, most notably a change in co-hosts.


opening shot: Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph sing a song about the second season of Bakeincluding the lyrics, “It’s our first time hosting together, so who knows?”

The essentials: Yes, in Season 2 of BakeAndy Samberg was jettisoned in favor of Poehler, who is also producing this show I’ll do itthe craft competition from which Bake was expelled. Rudolph jokes to the baking teams who entered the kitchen set that Samberg can’t make it because of “global supply chain issues.” Of course, Poehler is a more than capable replacement, given her history with Rudolph and the fact that she’s Amy Poehler.

However, the Opinionated Grannies – Nana Harriet, Grandma Anne, Gigi Sherri and Bubbe Norma – are all back, and they’re the ones who will judge the baking teams on presentation and taste. It helps that all four are savvy bakers and that they’re all pretty damn funny.

The hosts promise that the new season will feature more action than the last, and demonstrate it by taking a complex-looking three-tiered cake that Amy is said to have baked and blowing it up. In “Big Ol’ Bake” for the episode, teams must recreate the appearance of the cake from memory. The inside of the cake can be something that reflects what kind of baker they are, and there’s been a variety: a peanut butter and honey cake, a cinnamon roll cake, a churro cake, and more. The teams, which consist of friends, couples and colleagues, can also create a customized cake topper.

Photo: Jordin Althaus/PFAU

What shows will it remind you of? As we said last year Bake is The Great British Baking Show mixed with the sense of humor of I’ll do it.

Our opinion: Unlike the first season of Bake, the second season has no holiday focus and the backing challenges are more varied; For example, in the second episode, people bake representations of their biggest fears. There is a celebrity focused Bake holiday special which will air December 12 on NBC for people who want to get their fill of gingerbread and sugar cookies, but we appreciate the creative freedom the show’s writers have in not being tied to the holidays.

As with the first season and the run of I’ll do it, the show is as much about the hosts fooling around with the attendees and each other as it is about the baking. Really, the fun but good-natured tone is what sets the show apart TGBBS or its American counterpart, The Great American Baking Show. It goes without saying that Rudolph and Poehler have the chemistry of the old friends they are, and they have some good-natured interactions with the contestants. They even attempt to bring up the famous “Sweata Weatha” skit with the Queens-native couple — though they had no idea what the women who used to do the “Bronx Beat” skits were about.

The grannies are hilarious and the wild card really makes a difference Bake stand out from other cooking competition shows. One of them talks about a good solo night for her, downs a bottle of Barq’s Root Beer and “belches like a sick cow,” then says, “Oh, they’re never going to show that on TV.” Saw the show last year ? But behind the grandma’s exterior are four seasoned bakers whose criticism is always fair but spoken with love.

The contestants seem to have a certain personality this year, but as usual on the first episode of a show like this, it’s difficult to spot any standouts in the crowd. What they are all are pretty good home guards so there won’t be any Made!-Style disasters in this competition, which is a good thing.

gender and skin: Food porn shots, but that’s about it.

farewell shot: The grannies hug the contestants who were sent home, then they hug the rest of the contestants, then the contestants hug, and Maya and Amy hug. There’s a lot of hugging on this show.

sleeping star: The grannies aren’t sleepers anymore so we’re giving this to Kandyy and Sevn, a couple who found each other when one slipped into the other’s Instagram DMs. We love her because Sevn cries right off the bat and Kandyy is there to support her and bring her focus back.

Most pilot line: When Amy and Maya joke about the “spin-offs” in the making/baking Universe – “our version of the MCU,” says Amy – they form a show called Jaking itabout famous Jakes, and don’t even mention Jake Peralta, Andy Samberg’s character in Brookyn Nine-Nine.

Our appeal: Stream it. Bake takes things up a notch in its second season, with Poehler in the fold and a more general theme for the baking challenge. And as long as Grandma stays where she is, we’ll keep watching.

Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting and technology, but he doesn’t fool himself: He’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, Salon,, VanityFair.comFast Company and elsewhere.

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