Why You Should Probably Ignore ‘Is It A Cake?’, Netflix’s Newest Reality Show

Why You Should Probably Ignore 'Is It A Cake?', Netflix's Newest Reality Show

Is it cake?

Courtesy of Netflix

For a while, everything you saw was turned into cake. This toilet paper roll? Cake. This cute puppy? Sweet sponge. In some cases, seeing a knife dig into a hyper-realistic dessert turned out to be more stressful than thrilling.

Now, Netflix has adapted the simple concept of authentic-looking cakes into an eight-episode contest series. Is it cake? asks contestants to bake their own realistic cakes and try to evade the judges with them. I only watched the first 37-minute episode (no, I don’t watch anymore), but I’ve seen enough to be sure it’s not one of the streaming services. better reality entries. However, as of Thursday, Is It Cake? still lingers in the Netflix Top 10.

I have been informed by passionate colleagues that not everyone shares the same opinion as me. I’d hate to ruin something you love, so if you’re not ready to hear some not-so-sweet songs, look away now. If not, there are things we should discuss.

After Episode 1 it was clear Is It Cake? had skipped some important steps in the recipe. Yes, reality shows are supposed to be fun and frivolous. But some things here didn’t make sense. A contestant literally admits in a confessional that he intended to cheat. Then he wins, pocketing $10,000, and the show don’t approach it?

We will get there. First, the show introduces our competitors: nine bakers who all specialize in the same “incredibly specific skill”: making cakes that don’t look like cakes. Saturday Night Live actor Mikey Day hosts. (He’s fine, but it’s hard not to compare his presence on the show to the magnetic hosts of another wacky Netflix baking contest, Nailed It. More Nailed It comparisons are coming — it’s the best. .)


Host Mikey Day, right.


The first challenge is not that of baking. Contestants have 20 seconds to determine, from several paces apart, which of a lineup of six burgers is a sweet impostor. The challenge determines who competes immediately and who gets benched from the first episode (they can still compete in future episodes). But the contestants stand so far away from the food when they lock in their guesses that it seems impossible to spot the fake beef. The outcome of who sits seems arbitrary.

The third of the candidates who have chosen the right dish have eight hours to concoct their own pastry. Is it cake? is primarily concerned with providing real and fake options to the audience, but it also invites us into the kitchen. I always enjoy that part of baking shows – it’s nice to learn a bit more about who the contestants are and, of course, how they pull off the “cake magic.”

However, compared to other pastry fairs, I was not invested. When you look Nailed it (which focuses on unskilled bakers trying to recreate professional baked goods), you can’t wait to see how tragic someone’s cake pop or frozen cookie really is. The same goes for The Great British Baking Show, except the end product is splendid. With Is It Cake?, the mystery is not really there. I can already see the finished product in front of me. It will look like a burger.

Soon it’s time for the round that determines who wins the money. Guest judges, including comedian Fortune Feimster, are tasked with spotting the disguised cake among the non-cakes. Earlier in the episode, a contestant, Sam, notes that even a realistic cake should taste good. I nodded, because that should do it. Unlike any baking show I’ve ever seen, the taste for creation on Is It Cake? matters absolutely zero percent. The hosts taste the cakes after eliminating each player…just for fun.

What is the point of baking a cake? He could literally look and taste like a remote, and someone could still hypothetically win. It’s basically a real remote control at this point.

Finally, the most confusing part of Is It Cake? arrives to top off the show. For important context, earlier in the episode, a contestant (Jonny) describes a plan to plant fake tomatoes on one of the real tacos to shake up the judges. Flash to the guessing game for all marbles. The judges don’t choose Jonny’s taco – in fact, they select a real taco that appears to contain fake tomatoes. I can’t confirm for sure that the taco was the target of Jonny’s deception, because the show doesn’t talk about it. No not at all.

To be clear, there are no rules against what Jonny did as far as I know. But in a competition that already doesn’t make much sense, it’s another frustrating blow. It could have been turned into a teachable moment or ridiculed by the judges. Instead, nothing happens and we wonder if we missed something.

When I turned on this reality show, I was hoping to embark on a satisfying escape. In reality, I found myself more embarrassed by bewildering choices and burning questions. I am everything to recommend reality showsbut at the end of the day, it’s a candy you don’t want to bite into.