My take on Cake Boss
I don’t bake, but I never miss an episode of Cake Boss.
While not all great entertainment is about people, that can give you a real connection. That’s one of the two big attractions of the show: the people on it.
Buddy, who is the Cake Boss, makes it clear he is doing this to honor his father. Yes, he clearly loves it, too, but this was his father’s bakery before him, and they are “taking it to the top”.
The bakery’s in New Jersey, and I love the real “family” feel of it. That doesn’t just extend to his siblings, in-laws, and mother, all of whom have been on the show. Even the delivery drivers are a big part of it. That doesn’t mean that Buddy might not yell at any given person, or play practical jokes on people, but you can see the love and respect.
Buddy also loves his work, and that’s cool to see. He’s so enthusiastic when something comes out well, and frustrated when he’s having trouble realizing his vision for the client.
But the cakes always come out, as he says, “Awesome!” That’s the other part of the show that attracts me: these incredible cakes! No, no, not because I care about what the would taste like or because they have beautiful little roses on them. He’s like a mad scientist, or Walt Disney…or the Eiji Tsuburaya* of cakes! They can be huge, bigger than a person, and be realistic reproductions of something that is near and dear to the client.
One of my favorites was a full-size motorcycle they made for the H*ll’s Angels. It looked like the real thing…and it was edible!
Off-beat clients come to the bakery to make requests, from a circus sideshow to an 80s band to national icons (like Oprah).
Buddy tries to get inside the heads and hearts of these clients. He’s jousted to understand Medieval Times, and jumped into icy water for the Polar Bear Club.
Yes, there are other cake shows out there. Ace of Cakes? I’m not a fan…the cakes sometimes have large inedible parts, and I just don’t like the staff as much. I’m fine with hipsters, but they just don’t have the enthusiasm (or, honestly, artistry) of Carlo’s Bakery. I don’t dislike the show, and I’m guessing some of you love Ace, but it just doesn’t grab me.
Season one is available on streaming Netflix
* Eiji Tsuburaya was the Japanese “suitimation” guy behind the Godzilla movies and Ultraman. Hey, I had to restore my geek cred in this article somehow. 😉
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.