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The Great American Baking Show
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Great American Baking Show is a holiday-themed baking competition based on the The Great British Baking Show. Despite some frustrated reactions (which include the occasional "damn") and subtle innuendo (most of which will go over kids' heads), it’s mild enough for family viewing (though kids may not be clamoring to see it). The KitchenAid logo is visible throughout, and books and recipes created by the judges are sometimes featured.
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What's the story?
Based on the popular series The Great British Bake Off (known in the United States as The Great British Baking Show), THE GREAT AMERICAN BAKING SHOW features 10 stateside amateur bakers competing for the title of America's Best Amateur Baker. Actors and real-life couple Nia Vardalos and Ian Gomez host the competition, in which competitors bake creations ranging from cakes and cookies to French pastries and lots of other sophisticated goods. Pastry chef Johnny Luzzini, baker Jeremiah Bills, and Britain's own Mary Berry judge their work. Those who impress with their presentation and flavors get to bake another day, while those who do not are eliminated. The winner gets a trophy and the right to boast about their victory.
Is it any good?
Originally titled The Great Holiday Baking Show, this mild series features a diverse group of people attempting to bake refined, unique, and tasty oven-baked goods. But it's not the most animated of cooking competitions, thanks to a merely semi-successful attempt at matching the charming flavors of its British counterpart. Nia Vardalos manages to add some zest, but occasionally her jokes fall as flat as a bad soufflé.
If baking doesn't appeal to you, The Great American Baking Show will seem as dry as an over-baked Bundt cake. However, those who enjoy the craft may feel differently. Judges and contestants offer helpful tips, and the recipes featured are interesting and mouth-watering. Despite the lack of some original ingredients, the show is sweet enough to inspire bakers to try their hand at some of the treats shown here.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of cooking and baking shows such as The Great American Baking Show. Are these shows created only for people who like cooking and baking, or are they intended to appeal to a broader audience?
What are the challenges that come with adapting a TV show from another country? Should the adaptation be exactly the same as the original? Why? How would you compare The Great American Baking Show with The Great British Baking Show?
For kids who love cooking shows
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