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S08.E01: Cake Week 2017.08.29

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Cake Week sees the bakers take on a fruity challenge. Prue sets her first technical - a kids' party favourite. Plus, the trickiest showstopper ever set in the first week of Bake Off: an illusion cake.

 

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I thought it was good. Those singing cakes in the ad breaks though "Who doesn't like baking?" "Weirdos!"  Heh!

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Sigh of relief because other than the hosts and one judge, everything else is the same. Even the opening credits.

I think Noel fits in well and he was the one I expected would. He can be very friendly and gentle. It is funny seeing the height difference between him and Sandi. Sandi is OK and so is Prue. I still miss Mary on this show.

What really works is this batch of contestants and most seem to be much more ambitious. Stephen deserved his Star Baker win. I like the look of Yan, Sophie, the blacksmith girl, Julia... most of them really. I outright love Flo the grandmother from Liverpool. She's extremely charming.

Overall, I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

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Chanel Four has been posting official clips on YouTube. There is one of three showstoppers, but alas, not the 'cake'wich. There is another one that compiles some of the jokes.

As expected, I liked the combo of Sandi with Noel, especially when they strayed from the cheesier, planned lines. Sue's been grating on my nerves in recent seasons and I can't complain about having some new energy in the tent. I expected him to tone down his usual surrealist observations, but I didn't anticipate that Noel would be solid at voiceovers.

The showstoppers were impressive, especially for week one. Besides the banana ramen, sandwich and watermelon I was impressed by that iced champagne.

I'm ambivalent about Prue. The voice and strong glasses will take some time to take in but I do like that she has some energy in her contestant interactions.

Other quick thoughts:

  • It made me chuckle that someone from Siberia would complain about the weather in West Sussex.
  • Are zucchini (courgette) cakes unusual in the UK?
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You could feel the production team did their best to keep its tone as close as possible to the original and I think they did a good job of it. They may have been a bit too greedy for my liking but sure know what they're doing and why the show was so loved.

-The ad breaks didn't bother me as much as I was worried.
-Hilarious to read tweets that make fun of Noel's attempt to appear normal and polite. LOL
-The final round was a proper showstopper challenge, so we're off to a good start in that regard. 
-As per usual, all contestants seem lovely. I may have fallen in love a little bit with Yan for her 'Science!' though.
-One thing is clear, if there was ever any doubt. Mary Berry is a national treasure and her unique charms are irreplaceable .

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For the past few seasons, Mel and Sue used Paul as their straight man and punching bag, and I think he was getting tired of being the brunt of their jokes. He seemed more relaxed tonight. Hosts didn't try too hard, so I can put up with them. Obviously, Love Productions was going to be sensitive to the fact that people were going to be ready to pounce on anything major, so they tried pretty hard to make it seem like just another season, which was probably the right decision. I wanted to dislike it but couldn't find much to fault.

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It was, to my relief, mostly the same.  I do miss Mel, Sue, and Mary, but I'm sure I will get used to to Noel, Sandy, and Prue.  There were several fun moments, like Yan's "Science!" and Noel's look of concern/confusion/panic as he watched Sophie (I think) mold her champagne bottle.  I didn't remember what what she was designing, so when they first showed her molding the top of the bottle, I had a moment of, "WTF? Is she making an X-rated cake?!"

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Relieved to see that, overall, everything was mostly the same, and had the same kind of energy.

That said, since early rounds are always messy and somewhat underwhelming (and also since I'm on a Bake-Off kick, this summer, and I just came out of watching a couple of our french Meilleur Pâtissier seasons), I wasn't too impressed by most of the cakes produced this week. It's bound to get better, though.

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Well, I don't like the breaks, but a lot of the production beats were the same, and the casting team were clearly able to round up another group of lovely people with a pretty entertaining mix of skills.  A lot of ambition, especially in the Instagram showstopper round.  Yan and Liam are adorable.  There seems to be no crush bait though.

I'm still getting used to the new judging and presenting energy, but I thought Paul was doing a bit much handing out two handshakes in the first episode.  In the first challenge even.  Steven and Kate seem impressive so far, and that sandwich cake might be the most impressive thing I've ever seen on any Bake Off iteration, but come on.  They were also trying too hard to make "exposed bottom" happen with the swiss rolls.

I can't lie; I do miss Mary, Mel, and Sue.  But anyway, I'm in for next week.

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I was amused that Paul was having to be a lot nicer and kinder in his judging as Prue is nowhere near as warm or sweet as Mary. So the comments ended being more negative than they would be. Especially in the signature. 

Sorry about the man who went home but good otherwise. Flo's my favorite for now. 

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Yeah, Prue was, as she described at the start, a firm but fair judge. However, on the first episode of An Extra Slice, she came across far more relaxed and friendlier. Maybe it's simply because An Extra Slice is a different type of show or as a newcomer she was also a bit nervous at the start of filming and we'll get to see a softer side of her as the series progresses.

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I was skeptical... I worried that without Mary, Sue, or Mel, the cozy comfort of the show might be lost.  I am happy that the show is more-or-less faithful to the original series.  Watching it with the commercials cut out really makes the two incarnations seem similar.  I am not too sure about the new hosts, but I can envision them growing on me.  The startling lack of innuendo was a nice change of pace.  I didn't quite get the steampunky hot air balloon intro, perhaps it makes more sense for British viewers or others already familiar with the hosts.  I wish Noel would speak louder during the voice overs though. 

My current favorite is Steven, who is unreasonably adorable.  Flo seems like a lot of fun, in a faux cantankerous way.  Tom brings some nice eye candy.  All in all, the bakers seem like a pretty skilled batch.  I'm excited to see how the season progresses. 

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Um, zucchini in chocolate cake makes it insanely moist and you don't taste the zucchini. So shut up, Dave.

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Noel nearly won me over with the deadpan eating of the marigold. But then he kept trying to top himself later on and it just seemed a bit like trying too hard. 

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On 9/1/2017 at 3:17 AM, Sheena said:

...wait, there's an episode of The Mighty Boosh in the canon?

No, I misspoke but it is close. I forced Sarah to watch the Crack Fox episode here: http://previously.tv/extra-hot-great/ehgm-0228/

On 9/1/2017 at 4:50 AM, Pogojoco said:

Um, zucchini in chocolate cake makes it insanely moist and you don't taste the zucchini. So shut up, Dave.

Ok. Hostile.

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FWIW, my all-time-best, for-medicinal-purposes-only chocolate chip cookie recipe uses vinegar. My understanding is that the extra acid allows you to use less baking soda, so you get a good rise without the soda aftertaste. You can't taste the vinegar at all.

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On 9/3/2017 at 1:10 PM, heatherkay said:

FWIW, my all-time-best, for-medicinal-purposes-only chocolate chip cookie recipe uses vinegar. My understanding is that the extra acid allows you to use less baking soda, so you get a good rise without the soda aftertaste. You can't taste the vinegar at all.

The gingerbread cookie recipe we use in my family uses vinegar. It adds a needed bit of snap.

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One minute into Season 8 and I'm missing Mel, Sue, and Mary terribly. *cries* It's not the same!! I don't like the new guy's narrating. 

Prue: "A baked good must be perfect and it must be worth the calories." ...WTF?

I like Sophie, an Army officer. Very cool. And Steven. Hollywood handshakes for both of them on the first signature challenge, wow. 

Those illusion cakes were so cool. 

I loved that Steven got the first Star Baker. I like him. 

Okay, I guess this isn't all bad. Most of the charm is still there. 

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I will definitely follow it although I am having difficulty in looking up the schedule.  Same lovely people that support each other which is so refreshing.

Paul remains as a judge with Prue Leith the other one.  She sounds for all the world like Mary Berry!  If I close my eyes, it's her.

The hosts are fine, just need to get more used to them.

The odd thing is that there is no technical bake!  They go from the challenge (this week "fruity cakes") to the show stopper.  Not sure if they do one and it's cut out due to time constraints since there are commercials.

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That's some bold editing decision. They definitely did the technical round (12 chocolate mini rolls). With showing only two challenges I wonder if some final decisions (Star Baker / who to be eliminated) wouldn't make sense for the viewers.

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36 minutes ago, sum said:

With showing only two challenges I wonder if some final decisions (Star Baker / who to be eliminated) wouldn't make sense for the viewers.

I am thinking that it will.  With just the two bakes it will be more difficult to guess who is going.  But I will watch anyway!  

CBC does seem to have an awful lot of commercials...

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Better than nothing but it's unfortunate. 

Having moved to a commercial channel in UK, it's now given 75-minute air time to compensate 15 mins of commercials & to maintain the same 60-minute format.

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I only caught the end on CBC....and they're cutting the technical challenge??? No gingham altar? Nooooooooo! Damn you CBC!!! But honestly I'll probably keep watching because any GBBO is better than no GBBO. But still....grumble grumble grumble.

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13 minutes ago, Lilac2000 said:

I only caught the end on CBC....and they're cutting the technical challenge??? No gingham altar? Nooooooooo! Damn you CBC!!! But honestly I'll probably keep watching because any GBBO is better than no GBBO. But still....grumble grumble grumble.

I saw a note whilst watching that you can view the technical bake on the CBC app. Not sure how I feel about that. 

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10 minutes ago, hula-la said:

I saw a note whilst watching that you can view the technical bake on the CBC app. Not sure how I feel about that. 

Also at their website, where I'm watching it. I hope they don't plan on cutting out the technical every week. I really enjoy the technical as I think it shows the contestants' natural aptitude/talent for baking since they're all making the same thing.  As for the showstoppers, Yan's bowl of ramen, Flo's watermelon and Steven's baker's lunch were all spectacular looking. Wow.

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6 hours ago, hula-la said:

I saw a note whilst watching that you can view the technical bake on the CBC app. Not sure how I feel about that. 

But not unless you are in Canada or at least not trying from the US.  You get a message saying "This content is not currently available outside of Canada".

Edited by Kohola3. Reason: specificity
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Detroit here who gets Canadian channels - I watched this episode and like all of you I am glad the formula has not changed much.  I do miss Mary but the guy from IT gives me the giggles just because I am a big fan of the IT.

I thought the level of baking is elevated and the showstopper was very well done by all.

This run's on a Windsor channel the same time the American run of the old series.  

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On ‎7‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 10:10 PM, Kohola3 said:

I am thinking that it will.  With just the two bakes it will be more difficult to guess who is going.  But I will watch anyway!  

CBC does seem to have an awful lot of commercials...

YES!  Watching the CBC airing, I don't know who the idiot is who decided to cut the technical bake in favor/favour of seventy-million stupid commercials.  Canada, I thought you were better than that.  Make the show an hour and a half...I don't care.  I am deleting my recording and will wait until it's aired on public TV.  Probably in the year 2020, but I can't see missing out on one of the REQUIRED components of the competition.  

On ‎7‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 12:07 AM, hula-la said:

I saw a note whilst watching that you can view the technical bake on the CBC app. Not sure how I feel about that. 

I don't do apps.

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21 minutes ago, Red Bridey said:

I don't do apps.

For what it's worth, their app has terrible ratings.  I might try it and see if it works in the US since the website does not.  And see how really bad it is.  Apparently it still has all of the commercials.

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CBC can eff off. Give us the whole darn episode. I'm not using the app, but the site is ... functional.

Steven is my new crush. Adorable and that sandwich cake was amazing.

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Well, I was all prepared to be huffy about the new iteration of GBBO, but it looks like it's going to be rolling along much as usual.  I like Prue and the hosts are just fine.  The star of this show has always been the contestants and this is a good group.  Thanks, Netflix for bringing this to the US.  I'm loving it.  My laugh out loud line was right after the hosts set the mini-roll challenge.  Don't know names yet but one of the contestants said, "I've never made mini-rolls in me life.  Why would I??"  Indeed.

Edited by limecoke.
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I was relieved.  I like Prue, especially how she’s a bit more direct than Mary, and the contestants are as lovely as ever.   One thing struck me:  there was a recent discussion (I think it was about the season that recently aired in the US on PBS) about whether there was a bias against older contestants.   My personal feeling is no, but perhaps some of them are less willing to experiment with different flavors or to show as much willingness to step out of their comfort zones as younger folks.  

Flo was a perfect example of that to me:  while she seemed to be quite a nice person, I was completely unimpressed by her watermelon cake.   While competently done, it was totally unoriginal.  Maybe it’s a US thing, but every grocery store around here has them, and usually much more realistically done.   

anyway, just glad the show is not only back but watchable.   Thanks Netflix 

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It was like opening a present to see the first episode of the new season.  I thought some of the bakes were absolutely incredible.  I'm just glad the show is back!!!!  Thank you, indeed, Netflix!

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I actually hated it. I think I will be one and done.

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Two Hollywood handshakes in the first episode?  Unbelievable!  I was gobsmacked by the baker who went home.  I was betting someone else would leave the tent.

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I was relieved and happy that the new producers kept to the formula that worked.  It did feel a bit more informal overall but I didn't mind that.  Prue is OK but she really can't replace an icon like lovely Mary.  I never cared a lot for Sue but I did miss Mel.  Paul was more relaxed.  The biggest surprise, for me, was Noel.  I knew nothing about him and was leery of his Goth look but I ended up liking him a lot.  

I was totally surprised by the elimination.  I thought sure the woman who kept having disasters would be going home.  Star Baker was definitely deserved.

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Whatever the sundae-brownie-blondie-cookie-tower something was in Liam's intro clip with his nephews? I want that. I am rooting for him now based on that clip alone.

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I was very impressed with the quality of most of the illusion cake show stoppers. Wow, and in the first episode.  I was surprised too that the blonde lady who had all the baking disasters didn't go home.  I am guessing the judges must have seen some promise in her while the older gentleman who was the first to leave seemed to lack both confidence and his bakes, while not disasters, were clearly considered too "simple" by the judges. 

Well, I took to Sandy and Noel right away, warm, funny and sweet. I like them.  I don't mind Prue but I admit to missing Mary.

Liam is adorable.

Edited by magdalene.
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One thing I will note is that the contrast between the BBC’s third season that just finished airing and the US to the showstoppers in this season was crazy! 

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I just finished the episode.  I kind of feel like it's a spinoff of the show I used to watch. I'm not feeling the connection with Prue, Noel, or Sandi (whose name I couldn't even remember & had to look up). Hopefully as time goes by I'll become used to them & they won't seem so strange. I was impressed by the showstoppers this time, especially since I recently finished watching seasons 1 & 2, & the comparison between then & now is extreme.

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Those illusion cakes were quite a step up from the earliest seasons, particularly for the first week!

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25 minutes ago, TheNewJanBrady said:

I keep mixing up Sandi and Prue. Love Noel, tho.

Interestingly, I thought Noel would be the most difficult to adjust to, but I think he does quite well. Not so sure about the other two, especially Sandi, who doesn’t seem the right fit on the show to me.

I used to think that on a good day, I might be able compete on the show, but some of the decorating skills on this episode are far beyond anything I could do.

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