Not sure how I should feel about myself after this, but I somehow wound up getting sucked into the world of competitive baking shows on the Food Network. First it was Cake Wars, hosted by the dude from Mean Girls. Normally when a movie/TV star is relegated to hosting some mindless game show, it means their career has tanked. In this case though, he has a steady paycheck coming and isn’t in rehab, so he’s already doing better than the star of the movie Lindsay Lohan. Solid win for him.
The show sucks you in with it’s themes, at least that’s how they got me. An hour of contestants baking cakes devoted to things like Batman, Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons and other shit that you loved as a kid and still secretly do to this day grabs your attention. From there the cakes border on horrendous looking monstrosities to beautiful works of art that you wouldn’t ever think you’d want to ruin by cutting into it and eating.
Somehow the show manages to stress me out wondering if the contestants will have enough time to finish their cakes or if they’ll be able to move their cakes to the judging table without dropping them. The amount of times I’ll openly gasp watching a cake wobble is the equivalent of my dad groaning in disappointment watching me play sports growing up. It’s constant. The show is mesmerizing.
Once I exhausted all episodes that peaked my interest, I even ended up binge watching the others that I felt even more awkward about watching, like Hello Kitty and Power Puff girls. I was addicted to the show and would take my fix anyway I could. After catching up on them all, I was jonesing for more, and therein lies how I stumbled upon Kids Baking Championship. Rock bottom for an addict.
It’s hosted by Duff Goldman, who had a show about his awesome cakes he made in his bakery in Baltimore, MD. He looks like he enjoys sweets so you know he knows his confectionery creations. It’s also hosted by Valerie Bertinelli, who if you’re under 50 you’ve probably never heard of. Remember what I said about TV stars now hosting game shows? Almost applies here, but she has been on some TVLand show recently and has her own cooking show on the Food Network, so this one makes sense.
Now normally I hate this shit with kids. First off I can’t stand kids, especially show-biz kids who’s parents have pretty much forced them to try to fill the hole of their own unfulfilled fantasies of fame and fortune. Second, the kids usually are too young to even realize their heading down a path of failure, so it feels wrong rooting against them. Third I hate watching kids with talent because of the fact I’ve lacked any my whole life and the little shits on these shows usually have more in their whisking hand pinkie then I do in my entire body. And last, this stuff is a holy grail for pedophiles. Can’t watch children at the park anymore because concerned nannies have called the cops too many times? Here watch them from the comfort of your own parents basement where nobody can judge how sweaty you are. This is especially true for those child beauty pageant shows, which is a breeding ground for kiddy diddlers.
These kids on the baking show though, holy shit they are smart. Some of them are like ten years old being given the task to make things like eclairs on the spot. If I had to make eclairs I’m running to the bakery and buying a box of them. These kids are spewing out things like “my pâte à choux (eclair dough, sound it out yourself, I fuckin can’t) is too wet and won’t pipe right.” Their speakin other goddamn languages and I’ve barely mastered English. (misspelling they’re in the beginning of that sentence was to prove my point, jerks.)
I can barely make the pre-made Pillsbury sugar cookies from the roll without burning them and these little bastards are churning out dozens of them on the spot, adding things like a hint of rose water extract. Fuckin rose water? It’s like these kids are rubbing it in our faces how much smarter and classier they are than the buffoons at home eating an entire Entenmann’s cake in their pajamas, hating their lives. The judges name desserts I’ve never even heard of and these kids are off and running to the Food Network pantry looking for lavender oil and thyme to make a lemon meringue-spring infused macaron. I don’t even know what the fuck I just said.
The best is at the end of the episode, a kid is basically thrown off, survivor style, until one is left standing at the end of the season. We’re talking like 12 kids, so 11 losers. Of course I immediately pick who I am rooting for and against during the first episode, and I don’t care if it’s wrong to hate 11 year old children, I have no problem openly cursing them out while watching, second guessing their every move. That’s showbiz, baby. The look of disappointment in their eyes when they’re told they’re out of the competition is a great little foreshadow of how shitty life is going to treat them once they leave the bright lights of food network baking kitchens. Never in my life did I think I’d be yelling “Goddammit Peggy you need more flour you dumb twat!” at a 10 year old girl on my TV, yet that’s the world we live in now.
I have to give them credit though, when it’s down to the final two kids every episode, the one who gets to stay handles it much better than I ever would. I’d be fist pumping, dancing, screaming, and celebrating extremely loud. These kids look right to the loser and tell them they’re sorry they lost or they’ll miss them. The losers usually handle it gracefully too. Fuck that, if I lost I’m throwing flour in the judges faces and pissing in all the heavy cream. I don’t know if it’s because these kids are better than me or if it’s a generational thing. Probably the former, but I’m gonna go with the latter.
If you find yourself scrolling Hulu looking for a binge, I highly suggest giving Kids Baking Championship a try. Unless you’re a diddler. Stick to child beauty pageant shows where the mothers at least know ahead of time they’re subjecting their children to a seedy underworld of old sweaty men who will offer them candy in white vans. Those parents I have no remorse for.