The Great Canadian Baking Show is a wrap. As promised, my thoughts on this inaugural season. Warning: I’m low on sugar content.
First to you the bakers: I salute your passion and creativity. Your skills did not go unnoticed in this sugar headquarters: I was left inspired to up my game. Yes indeed, I will corral my baking peeps and have a night of trials and plenty of errors fuelled by wine. There is no better way to shake off the work day then getting your hands into a ball of dough. I was inspired by your gorgeous creations and your good humour throughout in trying to pull them off in time limits the rest of us pretenders to the throne never have.
Mostly though, I loved your kindness to one another. BAKERS ARE THE BEST PEOPLE. As I wrote in my food memoir, baking is hardly ever a solitary sport; but for bad break-ups and midnight ice cream pity parties of one, it is almost always communal, although one or two solo eaters I know and love can polish off in their pjs an entire pan of brownies with a fork in one go. (Anne Langford, with love and sugar).
We bakers bake for others. And the support the baking contestants had for one another makes it unlike any other cheesy reality show on television. When host Dan Levy said he was moved by the finalists, I too was with him.
Now to the producers: I’m afraid I cannot gush on your behalf. This is Canada. You called it The Great Canadian Baking Show and then relegated any Canadian baking content to one single episode. Shameful. Producing a show entirely derivative in format was a colossal lost opportunity, down to the insipid bucolic cutaways to birds in the trees. This left the show open to obvious comparisons to the British original (a spectacular success in producing great television). Currently that franchise is now spinning out Christmas episodes with past charismatic guests who were not even winners. That’s how much content and pizzazz the Brits have to work with. Their show is full of snap, spice and innuendo: all lacking in this Canadian iteration. Being derivative is dangerous: you end up with what all posers and imitators face: if you’re not yourself, everyone senses it. How to make it more Canadian? Now that will cost you. This producer is on standby.
Your cast was also a whitewash but for Vandana. See above for Canadian reality. You forgot to anchor the show with over the top characters. All the hosts and judges were fine. Nice enough. Zero chemistry with one another. Zip. The only thing over the top was Vandana’s gingerbread treehouse and Sabrina’s wedding cake.
That’s it. Will I watch another season? Of course. You knew that already.
Christmas is almost here and I’ve got joy to the world earworm thanks to an annual carol party I attended last night that set my Christmas mood to Jolly Elf status right about now. I’m baking with shiny red nails. Yes, they’re chipped already. You knew that too.