Saturday, March 10, 2018

Now on Netflix: Nailed It! (2018)

Nailed It! (2018) – Starring Nicole Byer, Jacques Torres

By Emily Haile

If you were to take the contestants from Worst Cooks in America, throw Top Chef-worthy challenges at them and add in a Cutthroat Kitchen twist, the result would be Nailed It!.

Nailed It! is a baking competition show with home bakers who try to recreate sweets that are way out of their league. It’s like you’re behind the scenes of Pinterest fails.

The show is hosted by Nicole Byer of Girl Code and Loosely Exactly Nicole fame. At the beginning of each episode, Byer gives three home bakers a Baker’s Choice challenge. They each have a short amount of time to recreate a baked good with over-the-top decorations. It could be anything from a jelly doughnut that looks like a pirate to an emoji cake. Because the bakers aren’t as familiar with the decorating process, the results are hilarious. Occasionally someone will whip up something with a resemblance, but it’s clear from the beginning the contestants are in over their heads.

The winner of the first round gets a prize, like a stand mixer or a Wilton decorating kit. All three are given three minutes to ask the guest judge for help at any point in the second round. The loser is given an advantage. In the first few episodes, the advantage is having Byer go to the other two contestants’ stations and distract them for three minutes. Later on it’s changed to less invasive disadvantages, like forcing the others to stop working for three minutes. I can’t help but wonder if the change was brought on because of Byer’s big personality. She definitely does a great job of annoying the contestants into not being able to work, but it may not be for everyone as a viewer.

The second round is a much bigger project. It could be a three-tiered wedding cake with fondant flowers, a shark or even a volcano complete with a dry ice lava effect. The results never look quite right, with some being totally unrecognizable. It’s always hilarious seeing what the bakers come up with because they’re relatable.

The most memorable contestant for me is episode 3’s Sal. The bakers are given tablets with the recipe, so they aren’t making anything from scratch. Sal doesn’t bother with the recipe. Somehow he manages to make a semi-edible cake without measuring anything or paying any attention to what’s supposed to be done.

The first season of Nailed It! is six 30-minute episodes. It’s the ideal show for a quick binge because of the length. Byer adds a great comedic element to an already funny premise, and I’d love to see what other crazy challenges they come up with next.

Nailed It! is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: ***1/2

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