The Great British Bake Off, the most important television show on the planet, underwent a massive shake-up as it moved from the BBC to Channel 4. The hit British cooking competition, which has endeared itself to American audiences thanks to PBS and Netflix, now has new hosts—Noel Fielding and Sandy Toksvig—and a new judge, Prue Leith. Now, Channel 4 has unleashed a trailer that is been deemed both "twee" or "nightmare fuel":
The Telegraph is taking a glass half-empty view, "The trailer heralds a new era. A darker one, where iced buns vomit jam and miserable looking dough men sing like a sad barber shop quartet."
The program, which features contestants showing their baking skills with challenges like Jaffa cakes and perfecting their proofing, all under a tent in the English countryside, has been called the "key to understanding today's Britain." It is the sepia-toned equivalent of a comfy quilt—something that envelops you with its warmth—as you see a disparate group of Britons work hard at their bakes for their own pride, without the manufactured drama of other reality shows. And much of the show's charm was entrenched in hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc as well as the irreplaceable judge Mary "It's not a mess, it's informal" Berry, who softened Paul Hollywood's scowls with her more gentle reproaches.
Hollywood is staying on as a judge, and Channel 4 executive Jay Hunt said of the new incarnation of GBBO, "I have seen the first episode and the first thing you think is that this is Bake Off but with an extraordinarily high calibre of contributors but with a slight Channel 4 feel to it... It’s got a new tone to it; it’s got a new comic riff to it and I think that feels modern and future-facing. So it’s a show that a lot of people love but with a slight Channel 4 spin which is exactly what I hoped it would be."
Or, as Vulture put it, "Ah yes, modern and future-facing, two adjectives that people like to describe Bake Off as being."
The new GBBO is "coming soon" to Channel 4, but it's unclear when it will air in the U.S. Berry will be hosting a new cooking competition for BBC, so all is not lost.