Is it a Netflix cake? Shows that TV affected by the Internet has gone away


Thrill hangs in the air in an ominous purple-lit studio, as a man in a suit wields a sword, ready to swing down. People lined up in front of him watching each other biting their mouths from the inside, staring straight ahead, holding their breath as the metal hit. The blade cuts toward its target: a croissant. “It’s not cake!” the man, Saturday night liveMickey’s Day announces. The spectators sighed. The earth rotates on its axis.

Here I describe one of the first scenes from the first episode of the new Netflix quiz show. It’s a cake? Which is based on the viral video trend that ran for about a week in the summer of 2020 (when, you know, everyone using the internet was definitely in their right mind).

The show brings together nine of America’s best pastry chefs who actually look like hamburgers, shoes, cash, and other things that aren’t cakes to compete for money and glory. In each episode, three of the nine contestants make a cake that the jury will not be able to identify as a cake in a row (challenges include fast food cakes, sack cakes, and fruit and vegetable cakes). Those who succeed win a cash prize and advance to the next round. In the final, $50,000 is at stake.

Mickey’s Day Is it a cake? (Photo: Netflix)

It is a very standard competitive offer, with few elements breadCooking style commentary, oddly enough is the most interesting part, because these bakers are obviously very skilled and specialized, but not the kind who do well considering that most of the time, the jury can guess the ingredient. Cake, as it is evident in the first episode, the winner is a man who sprinkles fake-looking tomato chunks on real tacos, to get rid of the judges.

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In a very bright Netflix studio, it’s much easier to spot a cake than a phone’s smaller, less defined screen. In addition, the original videos highlighting the trend of “everything in the shape of a cake” lasted seconds Is it a cake? He tries to pull off the concept, which is as simple as clipping on lipstick for example, just to find out that yes, it’s actually a fun sponge, in the form of a loose competition.

Is it a cake? The inevitable is somewhat of a flop, but it does provide an interesting perspective on the way television, and especially streaming services, currently operates. Right now, I remember a recent video by Jordan Firstman, who, like everyone else who mentions “going on my phone” as one of their hobbies, I’m a huge fan of.

Firstman became known during the pandemic for his “impressions” on Instagram: “This is my impression of a Bluetooth speaker not pairing”; “This is my impression of the Banana Bread Advertiser.” This week, I particularly enjoyed “An Impression From A Broadcasting Service Executive.”

The first man sways in a thin, high-pitched voice: “I was thinking, What if we turn this podcast into a documentary series? […] Then we can turn those documentaries into a text series […] So you have a written series, based on a documentary series, based on a podcast. It makes a mockery of the grueling media cycle in which we find ourselves, apparently as a result of the rise of live broadcasting, in which American “creative directors” named Ben and/or Kyle brag about convincing the men who pull the bag that these companies are familiar because they know how to get On podcasts on their phones.

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The video is a brief way of summarizing the way we have recently been bombarded with different versions of the same story or trend from different angles (just look at true crime life cycles or ‘scam’ media). With Is it a cake?Always ready to break new ground, Netflix boldly goes one step further, replaying yet another of the internet’s momentary vulnerabilities, often fanned by stinging aggregators writing countless articles about “TikTokers mania.” . » Now: Within hours of content.

Recent broadcast findings provide excellent examples of why this insistence on engaging in and repeating online proliferation is upsetting: invent anna It started life as a leading online feature and was made for TV (with an accompanying podcast) by Shonda Rhimes and Netflix.

Both are from Hulu to leave of (with Amanda Seyfried as Theranos Elizabeth Holmes, currently broadcasting in the UK on Disney+) and Apple TV+ We are brokenShowcase Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway as a married couple at the helm of the once awesome startup WeWork, based on the popular podcast (both stories have also been the subject of documentaries: HBO’s the inventorAnd the WeWork: Or Creating and Deconstructing a $47 Million Rhino); Peacock recently aired Joe vs. Carol – Based on the podcast of the same title, previously shown on Netflix tiger king Documentary series starring John Cameron Mitchell and Kate McKinnon.

We think of television as a medium separate from the Internet, because it precedes it, but with the dominance of broadcasting, that doesn’t really hold true anymore. Online television happens the same way podcasts and articles do, so it’s no surprise that it tries to follow your trends and interests. Previous dramas were commissioned because we are already familiar with the stories they tell, not despite this fact, and Is it a cake?Presumably, it was created because Netflix executives thought the viral trend was popular and accessible, and they wanted a piece of it.

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But these attempts to deal with what is going on online seem ineffective and discouraging. It’s like streaming services to advertise on the Internet: “I’m not like normal TV, I’m great TV” in the Amy Poehler way. bad girls Mom. The attention span of the Internet is minimal, while TV is, in most cases, a long operating medium (plus it takes much longer to create, and often when these shows come in, the original trend or event is long gone), and because of this dissonance, I can’t think In many Internet trends that have turned into an interesting or original TV series.

Trying to keep up with the speed at which the Internet moves and the “obsessions” that only last a few days (remember the sea huts?), are worthless, meaningless, and nurturing masses who are surprisingly able to put up with many different ideas and narratives in their minds at once.

Fresh, exciting sounds and original concepts should be at the forefront of live streamers – engaging people on a different level than the algorithm is everywhere. I’ll happily watch a 30 second video of a taco that looks realistic and is actually a pie when it’s presented to me on a video app, so why not? — but watching a 40-minute show hinged on that fact is just plain frustrating.


Terry Alexander

"Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst."

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