Is it a baking show? Is it a parody of a baking show? Is it one woman’s desperate plea for help? It’s Nailed It! on Netflix and it is all of that and more. Hosted by a drag queen trapped in a woman’s body Nicole Byer who runs a baking competition in much the same way Chuck Barris ran The Gong Show; as barely contained anarchy. Only her co-host, legit pastry chef, Jacques Torres and long suffering stage manager Wes, stand in the way of utter bedlam. And it is the funniest thing on TV.
The concept is simple, three ordinary people attempt to recreate bakery wonders. You know those amazing unicorn cakes? Yeah they try to recreate those with no training. They have recipes and a well appointed kitchen and pantry and are then turned loose to try to figure a way to making amazing cakes and other aesthetic baked goods.
You know how on most baking shows people make little mistakes? Nailed It! has contestants using salt instead of sugar. You know how other shows the judges are also mentors? On this show the judges sit on a dais and mock them. You know how on other baking shows contestants get aids like being safe from elimination or getting to pick the secret ingredient? On Nailed It! you can push a button and the host of the show will go and annoy your opponents or you might get help from Chef Jacques Torres, but only in French.
For a show the host admits is about people baking shitty cakes some of them do pretty good with their tasks. It is a real baking show and in its own way does more to show how difficult baking and decorating is over some of the more polished shows that make it seem like everyone should be able bake just like the people on TV. The show proves that you indeed can bake as well as people on a TV baking show. Nailed It! has such a fun spirit that it never feels mean. Everyone on the show is in on the joke and there are episodes that will have you aching from laughter.
Netflix has two full seasons and has just announced Nailed It! Holiday! so there are plenty of baking disasters and Nicole Byer goofiness to go around.