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 British Baking Show is a very fun, very polite competition series that's great whole-family viewing; contestants are pitted against each other to create delectable treats, but only one will be crowned the winner. The word "hell" is occasionally audible, and alcohol is a common ingredient. Occasionally there's some very, very mild innuendo that will fly over kids' (and even some adults') heads and a reference or two to "having a pint." Contestants are competitive, but there's no drama between them or the judges. Viewers can learn a few new baking tricks, too.
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What's the story?
THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW (known across the pond as The Great British Bake Off), is an award-winning reality competition that tests people on their ability to create delicious, creative, and technically perfect baked concoctions. Twelve contestants of all ages and backgrounds compete in 30 challenges over the course of 10 weeks in the show’s signature "big tent," under which state-of-the-art baking stations await them. There they spend two days of every week completing three challenges that revolve around a specific baking category. Though two of the challenges require them to present their personal versions of the baked good using their own personal methods, one requires them to follow a recipe created by one of the show's two renowned judges, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. Throughout it all, hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins offer their thoughts and humorous banter. At the end of each episode, a contestant is named star baker for the week and another is eliminated. The last person at his or her oven is crowned Britain's best amateur baker.
Is it any good?
Baking fans will delight in this fun, positive, and decidedly British series, which highlights the craft and beauty of baking while underscoring the work it takes to be good at it. It also allows participants, who range from construction workers to college-prep students from various cultural backgrounds to showcase different ingredients, taste profiles, and techniques that they've developed in their own homes.
Contestants are competitive and the judges are direct, but you won’t find any Top Chef or Gordon Ramsay-like drama here. Instead, you will find an entertainingly polite show full of endless close-up images of sweet and savory oven-fresh goods and lots of recipe ideas and advice to try at home. The one drawback? It's difficult to watch without having your mouth water.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what inspires people to bake. How do people go about creating their own recipes or flavors?
Do you or your family have a favorite baking recipe? Where did it come from? Does it have special ingredients? Is it for a special occasion? How will that recipe be passed down to future generations?
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