I’m completely lost as to what season I’m watching. Netflix says S5, but I’m pretty sure we’ve seen five seasons on PBS, all of them previous to this. I think it’s actually Season 8 for UK viewers, or Season one under new management. Anyway, I’m bingeing this week, and almost to the semi-finals.
Noel Fielding is doing a surprisingly good job. I thought at first they were crazy for using him. I’ve seen him in some of the charity rounds (on youtube) and he seems to know nothing at all about baking. He does his best to boost morale, but develops a nervous smirk when emotions get high which is unhelpful. But he does carry a childish innocence about him which helps support the old tone of the show.
Sandy Toksvig is a better support person, but she needs better writers. The short jokes were getting old by the third round. And she slips in the raunchy humour here and there.
Pru is good. She seems to have taken over the demanding professor roll which is allowing Paul to be a nicer guy.
Paul is looser and more relaxed, which is odd given the circumstances. He seems to be enjoying himself more.
Still a good show, but there is a definite change in tone, which I don’t like.
The cast used to be very protective of emotional contestants. I’ve seen Paul deliberately step in between a camera and a crying contestant. At the time I commented that an American production team would have fired him for that, as bringing the drama is the name of the game here. Now we see close-ups of crying faces. Boo!
Paul gave three handshakes in the same round (steamed pud) which has potential to dilute the meaning of the gesture.
There has been a lot of double entendre. It’s a bit more adult in conversation and tone. It’s twice gotten to the point that Paul was too embarrassed to continue and they had to cut away. Admittedly, It’s funny. It’s just not what I liked about GBBS. I want the show I watched while cuddled up with the Celtling.
Mary Berry was quite stubborn in finding something nice to say about every bake, and walking away from each contestant on a compliment every time. It was a very important element of the show’s style; that noblesse oblige on the part of the judges has been lost.
There’s a stronger competitive feel now. One would think they had a $100k prize at the end or something. It’s lost the neighborly good-hearted lightness.
The show before felt like the best of human nature. It was light, cheerful entertainment in which I also learned quite a bit about baking. I always walked away feeling better than I came in. Now it’s just not uplifting anymore.
I still like it, and it’s still gentler TV competition than we would ever get here in the USA. But I don’t like it quite as much as I did, and I don’t look forward to seeing it in the same way.
What do y’all think?