“Is It Cake?” has a TV-PG rating.
Did you have a hard day at work and need a show that's mind-numbingly simple and straightforward? This new Netflix show is exactly that.
“Is It Cake?” is a competition show where skilled bakers compete to make the most realistic cake sculpture — from tacos to purses — and a panel of celebrities guesses which item is cake or not cake, hosted by the overly enthusiastic Mikey Day.
What is ‘Is It Cake?’ about?
Here is what the official synopsis says: “Skilled cake artists create mouthwatering replicas of handbags, sewing machines and more in a mind-bending baking contest inspired by a popular meme and hosted by Mikey Day. Deception is the name of the game for the world’s most talented bakers who will compete to create hyperrealistic cakes that look exactly like everyday objects — with cash on the line. But are they good enough to deceive a panel of celebrity judges… and you? You’ll be asking yourself ‘is it real?’ Or…Is It Cake?”
Each episode’s winner wins a $5,000 prize. The last three winners compete for $50,000 in the season finale.
Who are the participants?
The show, which premiered on March 18, features nine contestants:
- Andrew Fuller
- April Julian
- Dessiree Salaverria
- Hemu Basu
- Jonny Manganello
- Justin Rasmussen-Ellen
- Nina Charles
- Sam Cade
- Steve Weiss
‘Is It Cake?’ is a sub-par baking show
The best part about reality baking shows like “Nailed It” and “The Great British Baking Show” is that they offer an exciting transformation from beginning to end. There is a mystery about how the baked goods are going to look when the time’s up. “Is It Cake?” seems much simpler with its concept, keeping it to whether the item is cake or not.
This show’s origins are obviously the viral meme “everything is cake” from 2020, featuring someone cutting into a shoe or a roll of toilet paper, only to reveal that it’s cake.
Dan Cutforth, the executive producer of the show, confirmed that the meme was, in fact, the source of inspiration. “Next thing you know, we’re doing the show. So, it came together incredibly quickly and unusually so,” he said.
An overly dramatic host
It’s quite hard to make trendy viral videos into a reality show, yet Netflix took the leap, releasing eight episodes.
But the burden seems to fall on “Saturday Night Live” actor Michael Day, who, as a host, lacks knowledge about baking and reacts in complete disbelief every time something turns out to be cake ... or not cake.
The frequently changing panel of judges also chime in with their “oohs” and “aahs.”
Cutforth praised the very quality many people dislike about Day: “He’s so effortlessly funny and improvisational. He also has this fascinating, big-kid energy. It doesn’t feel juvenile, but he has this sense of enthusiasm, awe and wonder, and he loved it.”
“We’re not changing the world here. We’re just making some cakes that look like other things,” he added.
Watching it with a group of people and playing along with the game can be fun, but awkward humor and the repetitive question of whether something is cake or not gets boring fast.
The baking is also impressive, with contestants making anything from a purse to a taco. And Cutforth is right, it isn’t life-changing but, hey! Cakes are pretty cool.