Great British Baking Show - Netflix new episodes Sept. 2018

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?

Thanks, I’ll give it a try.

Wow. I have watched all they have shown on PBS. Not sure what season we just finished. Sounds like things are gonna change soon. I love Mary Berry. The two hosts are strange birds. I thought they maybe were failed comics or something. Friendly enough though.
These are more words than I thought I would ever say about this inoffensive and pleasant show. There’s that.

I agree with much of what you said. I didn’t understand Noel’s casting when it was announced, and I still don’t. He settled in some, as the season went on, but he didn’t find the right tone. He needed to strike a note between himself, Sue Perkins and sedate, and shockingly, he landed on sedate for most of it. And Sandi. Good grief, she could not have been less charismatic or more dull.

I was mostly okay with Prue. It seems an odd choice to choose me one who doesn’t like sweets to host a baking show, though. :confused:

Finished the binge about 5 minutes ago… I kinda got a little teary eyed.
Yes it is american season 5 but #8 overall. Netflix does not have the first 3 seasons. I did enjoy the whole season. The end of credits on the final had little notes about each contestant which was cute.
Noel was an interesting choice but I didnt know if I liked him or not. ( He was still the creepy guy from the IT crowd -british sitcom- to me)

Paul seemed a lot more nicer than previous seasons… and I sort of think of him as the Simon Cowell of Baking.


I’ve never seen that show, but you cannot possibly be more creeped out than those of us who remember him as “Old Greg.”


I’ve seen two episodes on Canadian television (the CBC has broadcast rights, it seems). Did they get rid of the technical challenge? Or did they just edit it out for length on CBC?

I don’t like Noel, although Sandy’s okay, from what I’ve seen. Still not sure about Mary’s replacement.


The format hasn’t changed that I can see.

If you mean Noel and Sandy they are very successful comics just not as well known outside of the UK.

Do Americans not understand the concept of a “bake off”? I don’t understand why they’d change the name of this show. It seems so gratuitous.

Pillsbury owns “Bake Off.” And Americans definitely understand the concept of a lawsuit.


The Pillsbury Bake Off has been around since 1949. I think they have a pretty established claim.

I went to their website and Pillsbury has a big ® over every instance of “Bake-Off”. They really want to let you know who owns the trademark. Sheesh.

On a whim, I put in “bake off” into Google. No Pillsbury, no British, just “bake off”. The first things it gave me were the top news stories on the Great British Bake Off show. Then it offered the Wikipedia page for GBBO. Then the Twitter feed. And more news items and websites talking about the Great British Bake Off. Pillsbury didn’t come up until page 3. Someone should be sued.

I was a big fan of the original, but I’m cool with the new cast, too. Maybe because I already adore Noel and Sandy.

I am happy Noel is not in full-on madcap mode. When he isn’t, he comes across as warm and cuddly, really.

They’ve kept the format exactly the same. Which means that in it’s new home on Four (a commercial channel) it has the somewhat unusual running time of an hour and a quarter, rather than the hour it ran on BBC.

One thing we (almost) never got in the US is the educational snippets between challenges. Are those still around since the show moved to its new home in the UK?

No they aren’t, but I have the feeling they were dropped sometime during the BBC run.