Friday, June 03, 2016

MasterChef vs. The Great British Bake Off

The difference between watching Masterchef and The Great British Bake Off




Grace to You said...

So, which do you like better?

Elizabeth Prata said...

I like that both shows feature home cooks or home bakers. These are regular people who love the craft and want to perfect it.

But GBBO is better by a mile. The music's better. It's prettier to watch- the location is on an English country side estate. It's quieter. The contestants are nicer. The competition is healthier, there is no sabotage, no one-on-one interviews where someone says "he's going down" or "i'll get him". The judges are kind when they rate the contestant's work, and are polite. There's no swearing, double entendres, or licentious behavior. The contestants and judges even dress modestly.

The show's content is great: while the contestant is baking, they take pains to elicit the contestant's thinking on why they do what they do for each recipe, but in a natural way. They tie-in history, doing short spots on how this cake came to be so popular, or where this cookie came from. Sometimes the show even travels to a place in England to interview people on the history of a particular baked good (though that happens less, I think $$). The judges explain what they're looking for and why a piece is hard or easy to bake, I learn a lot more from GBBO than MS


Elizabeth Prata said...

See, they explain things. In this episode, 'Bread Week', the challenge is to make a baguette. The narrator says "The bakers may not realize that a baguette dough needs a high water content in order to produce the open texture the judges require." She says this while the camera shows the bakers measuring water and several contestants pour in different amounts. This helps when later the judges break open the breads and I can remember back to the contestants' water struggle and relate it to the end product. In another case, the judge holds a baguette and shows all the things that are successful about it, like why the crust is good and how to achieve it, (steam) or the correct sound the baguette should make when you knock on it (resounding).

The show does a great job of capturing interest, because I don't like to bake, I'm not a fan of eating cakes or pie, and I will never ever knead dough, lol. But it's so interesting to learn about it, the way they show it thru editing and narration!

Grace to You said...

I need to start watching TV. :)

meitnerium said...

I've watched Master Chef and Top Chef over several seasons and just began watching The Great British Bake Off. I'm blown away by TGBBO, it's what a cooking show should be. It educates and entertains.

I was always put-off by Master Chef but I didn't really know why until I began watching TGBBO. Master Chef incorrectly makes the judges the centerpiece of each episode. Is Joe Bastianich going to be rude and surly, how insulting will Gordon Ramsey be? I don't know if the contestants are told to be drama queens but there's unnecessary in-fighting between contestants.

TGBBO is understated, witty and puts the culinary skills of baking front and center. Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood are perfect. Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyclike are icing on the cake.

Elizabeth Prata said...

Thanks meitnerium - I agree completely with your well-written and insightful assessment!