Is the Great British Baking Show Truly Great?


“Great British Baking Show” has returned to Netflix this past September. (Courtesy of Twitter)

Isabella DeRosa, Contributing Writer

Starting on Sept. 16, the “Great British Baking Show” has returned to Netflix with a new episode filled with challenges for Britain’s “greatest” home bakers every Friday. “The Great British Baking Show” has been popular on Netflix for its creativity, comedy and intense competition. This year, the show is being led by hosts Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas along with judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith. 

This season’s hosts and judges are personally my favorite mix. Fielding and Lucas make a comedic duo that creates fun energy during the competitions. Hollywood and Leith are also a great duo that I personally find comedic, though I believe it is less intended. Hollywood has a tough exterior and his tactic is definitely to scare the bakers during the competition. However, given that this is a show about desserts, I can’t help but find his seriousness incredibly funny. Leith is definitely the kinder judge I would say, and I think she gives great critiques. Though she is not exactly an overwhelming personality, I think all together it is an iconic judging panel. 

As for the contestants, I think this year’s bunch is a good group of bakers. In comparison with other shows, no one has truly wowed me just yet, but then again, they still have so much more to go. I also think this group is very kind. Every contestant appears to be a gentle soul, and they all are keen to help each other out with challenges. There is no competitive drama just yet, and I’m not exactly sure whether or not that makes this season better or worse. Of course, drama adds to the entertainment, but this season has me rooting for all of the bakers. This makes the announcement of star bakers even more exciting and the announcement of who is leaving even sadder. Everyone seems generally sweet and likable  — though I do have to say the lack of strong (or funny) personalities within the bakers makes the show slightly less entertaining. 

Within the competitions, the showstopper challenges are not as show-stopping as they have been in previous years. This year the contestants have gotten very creative with their flavors and overall bakes, considering the prompts they were handed. I do think, however, that it is possible for the judges to get more creative with showstopper requirements. Although there were some incredibly clever bakes, I do think that there could have been more. Nevertheless, I am hopeful that the stakes will increase as the competition goes on. 

Technical challenges have been my personal favorite. I think the contestants tend to be more clueless about this challenge which makes it fun to watch. I think that the technical challenges definitely lead to the funniest moments. I also like them because ideally, their bakes are supposed to turn out identical, though this is never the case. It is enjoyable to see how each baker is given the same directions and takes entirely different approaches. 

Overall, I did really like this season so far. If you are someone who has watched this show in previous years, this season is worth watching. However, if you are someone who has never seen the “Great British Baking Show,” I would recommend starting off with an earlier season, as I believe those were more entertaining.