Netflix recently added “Nailed It!”, a competitive baking show featuring amateur bakers, to its collection of original series. The show stems from the idea of Pinterest baking tutorials that, while cute in the photos, often seem to come out looking horrendous when any normal person attempts to recreate them. The show tries to mimic this. Each episode, a professional baker is invited and asked to show off two complicated, expert-looking masterpieces of their own creation, and then three amateur bakers are told to recreate them. Whoever manages to make the closest version wins $10,000.
To be fair, the challenges aren’t easy. They range from making cocktail-themed cupcakes to a life-size bust of Donald Trump made out of cake. The contestants are given recipes and a general idea on how to go about baking the creation, but the rest is left up to them, and there’s a lot of room for error.
The show is hilarious, and the clueless contestants leave you laughing at their failed attempts to do anything. One contestant forgot the flour in her cake and nearly made an omelet until a judge stopped her. Another older contestant couldn’t figure out how to work the iPad with the instructions on it and decided to make up his own recipe. A third went into the pantry with all the baking supplies, found vodka and took a shot to help her through the show.
“Nailed It!” doesn’t even take itself seriously, which is part of the beauty of it. There’s three judges: Nicole Byer, Jacques Torres and a third guest judge that changes each episode. Byer is the host of the show and fills each episode with her large personality and witty, sometimes painfully scripted lines. But she also knows barely anything about baking, so her commentary is often along the lines of, “You made a cake… Congrats.” Mostly, though, she just laughs at how awful people’s creations come out.
Torres, however, is a professional pastry chef who often seems confused about why he is even on the show. He explains to the audience what the contestants should be doing and is the main judge for the actual quality of the contestants baking skills. His serious commentary grounds the show and balances against Byer’s comedy.
The guest judge is always a toss-up, but this adds to the humor of the show. There was one episode where the guest judge left the show for half an hour to pick up his kids because his babysitter canceled on him. He came back with Starbucks.
Overall, “Nailed It!” is a perfect, new take on a baking show. The six-episode season is hilarious and each competition is wild from start to finish. The contestants’ awful baking skills will make you feel better about your own, and their sad attempts at recreating expert-looking baked goods leave the judges crying with laughter - and likely you, too. If you need a mood booster or just something to binge on Netflix, “Nailed It!” is the perfect show for it.
Courtney Gavitt is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.