Is It Cake? Review: More like is it Trash?


Courtesy of the Creative Commons.

A dinosaur cake sits on a stand, ready to be eaten.

Is It Cake? is a Netflix original show that is a baking competition. The show follows contestants that bake cakes and try to disguise them as realistic objects. Using fondant and modeling chocolate, the contestants pick an object to replicate, which they must make perfectly realistic to fool a panel of judges. Over the course of 8 episodes, a winner is picked for the grand prize of 50,000 dollars, but the winner of each episode will get 5,000 dollars and the chance to win five thousand more.
The show was released on March 18, 2022. It is a Netflix original series produced by the company. It was made to ‘ride the high’ of new baking competition shows like “The Great British Baking Show”, which was a major hit. Aside from the baking element of the show, Netflix wanted the show to have a play-along-at-home aspect. They made the show with the intention that the audience at home would guess which object was cake, which they thought would support the show’s success and engagement.
One of the show’s biggest downfalls is the host, Mikey Day. He tries to be charismatic and funny but it comes across as annoying. Day has been in the entertainment industry for a little over twenty years, but he lacks the pizzazz that many other people in the industry have. It’s clear he is trying to make up for his lack of screen presence with his loud and obnoxious behavior. Day’s only other notable roles come from Saturday Night Live, when he began as a writer and has gone on to become a regular part of the cast of the show. As a forty-two year old man, he’s making up for his older age in a young business by acting childish. In the show, every other sentence he is yelling and cracking jokes that don’t land. He irritates the audience with his corny jokes, loud talking, and oblivious humor. Also, he says the line “is it cake” about 100 times per episode. Even though it is a bit of an exaggeration, he says it way too much and the annoyance just builds and builds as the episodes go on.
The cast itself is unpleasant to watch, not just Day. From the bakers to the judges, the cast is just awkward and annoying. Every episode, they bring in new judges which makes it hard to stay engaged with the show. It’s also harder to stay engaged with the show when most of the judges are annoying too. It’s hard not to be annoying on a show whose only cast member that stays the same is Mikey Day. Watching a show with an alternating cast of outlandish characters that have to play off one another and play off an annoying host, where they have to fake laugh at every stupid joke Day or any other cast member makes, is a hard thing to watch.
One of the better things about this show compared to other baking shows is the production value. It is obvious that Netflix sunk a butt-load of money to make the show look nice, let alone the grand prize of 50,000 dollars and the other tens of thousands of dollars passed out to the individual winners of each episode. Even though the production is nice, there’s something off about it. The show is so dark and relies on a contrast of the mostly dark lighting and set to the colorful and bright lights sprinkled in. It makes the show feel off, especially compared to other baking shows which look light and clean.
Is It Cake? is a baking competition that lets down the expectations of the cool concept because of the cast. If they fix the cast, then they fix the show. The annoying host, and all around cast including the bakers and judges are what takes the show down in quality and enjoyment level. Its also too dark and needs to be brighter and more lively to better fit the baking show competition theme. Even though it has a cool premise, Is It Cake? doesn’t deliver on the cool show that it could have been.