Home bakers with a terrible track record take a crack at re-creating edible masterpieces for a $10,000 prize. It’s part reality contest, part hot mess.
You are probably used to your baking shows being a bit twee, a bit English country garden, a bit Bake Off: sweet, fluffy and with lashings of ginger beer. On Netflix’s new show Nailed It, you are more likely to see lashings of vodka and the cakes falling over straight into a bin then spontaneously bursting into flames.
It’s like other baking shows in the sense that there’s flour and chocolate and stuff goes in ovens, but all the creations are well – a pile of shit.
If you are familiar with the hashtag #nailedit, you will have a good idea what the show is about: normal people attempting to be creative beyond their talents, usually using Pinterest posts as inspiration. The results can be weep-inducingly hilarious and the perfect pick-me-up on those days where you feel like a complete moron-faced failure at everything. All the contenders on Nailed It fall into this category, you can’t knock them for their enthusiasm, but everything they make is basically rubbish. What sets them, and Nailed It, apart from other baking shows is the shared joyful glee at cocking-up. There are no tearful, rain drenched regrets over flat meringues here.
Nicole Byer is at the helm, alongside head judge, chocolatier Jacques Torres and a special guest judge each episode. Byer is a live wire, revelling in every misshapen sponge and burnt cake tin, while Torres offers sweet compliments and tips in his lilting French accent, as the wide-eyed contestants’ offerings melt and ooze and crumble before him.
My personal favourite moment was contestant Sal, who having already burnt chocolate in the microwave by blasting it for what felt like 35 minutes, went on to melt a bowl of KitKats by accident. His complete surprise that amongst the melted chocolate was a tonne of wafers floating about is something to behold. How can there be anyone alive that doesn’t know what a KitKat is?!
Also, the Donald Trump cakes (yes, that’s right) need to be seen to be believed.
It’s a genuinely delightful programme that celebrates calamity and charm in a world of perfect Instagram cupcakes, and where culinary precision has become an absurdly worshipped talent on our TVs.
Afterall, it all comes out the same shitty way in the end!