The Great British Bake Off: Week 2: Biscuit Week
October 1, 2020 8:54 AM - Season 11, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding present Biscuit Week. The Signature challenge involves a sophisticated combination of fruit, nut and chocolate, and the bakers must then produce two takes on a tropical Technical. For the Showstopper round, they are challenged to create an elaborate table setting made entirely from biscuits, before judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith decide who will be crowned Star Baker and who will be leaving the contest this week.
posted by jeather (29 comments total)
 
Haven’t been able to watch this yet! but hope you all don’t mind if in the meantime I share this: Noel Fielding as cakes. A thread.
posted by bitteschoen at 11:46 AM on October 1 [7 favorites]


I take back my admiration for Rowan barely managing to pull off last week. Eyeroll city.
posted by supercres at 1:06 PM on October 1 [3 favorites]


Aaaaaaand how. Goodness. Nice middle of the road for everybody else otherwise, it seemed like.
posted by Kyol at 3:09 PM on October 1


Yeaaaaaaah I wish Rowan had gotten the boot.
posted by miss-lapin at 4:34 PM on October 2 [7 favorites]


The Guardian liveblog continues to be quite amusing. Love that they've got Michael Chakraverty from Series 10 doing some of the commentary.
posted by merriment at 5:14 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


I was surprised how thick those florentines were. I always thought they were a lot thinner.
posted by Carillon at 5:39 PM on October 2 [4 favorites]


Two thoughts: pretty sure Matt's shirt had bunnies on it and I NEED IT IN MY LIFE. Second, can people please stop putting gold leaf on things? It never looks good and doesn't contribute to the taste at all.
posted by Bunny Boneyology at 6:56 PM on October 2 [4 favorites]


Wow, they're really pushing the host bits hard this week. Some of them worked--I laughed at (paraphrasing poorly) "You have 100,000 hours" "Four" "400,000 hours" "Just four" "Oh you'll never finish! Well good luck." A lot of it feels forced still and maybe it's the editing's fault but it just goes on so long. I feel frustrated on the bakers' behalf, especially the ones who seem to be rushing around while Noel is getting in the way trying to make them laugh. Mel and Sue seemed more helpful (errant elbows in bakes notwithstanding). I think teasing Sura about last week's incident was okay once, but more than that was kind of mean considering how upset she was.

Sigh, Rowan. I knew as soon as he mentioned doing waistcoats there was no way he'd finish, and his showstopper was a mess. He seems to be this season's Val, the eccentric doing as he pleases no matter what the judges say. (I think she had more skill to back it up.) Some of the other florentines looked good, though my association with macaroons is mainly as a disappointing Passover dessert (probably helps to like coconut). The showstopper was kind of cool, rather than just another biscuit structure. I knew as soon as I saw Dave's that he'd get star baker.

Finally, has Paul become the nice judge? It seems like he's been trying harder to find one positive thing to say even if the bake didn't work out, whereas Prue doesn't really bother.
posted by j.r at 7:50 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, I also now wish Linda was my wacky aunt. She seems like a fun, cheery person.
posted by j.r at 8:05 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Rowan is the first baker that I've actively disliked. I hope he goes soon.

I do wish Netflix hadn't shown us the "I was very worried about your giant nuts" moment in the beginning. I wanted to see it fresh. That Mark has good chemistry with Noel too. I like their conversations. Sculptor Marc's showstopper was very impressive, although Dave was pretty clearly the star. I'm a sucker for the jam-icing on the knife. Disappointing that Linda's tea set didn't taste better. Her finished showstopper looked lovely.
posted by gladly at 10:07 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]


One of the friends I do an online watch-through with was incensed that Mak went instead of Rowan, but posted a couple of days later to say that on re-watching she found the decision more understandable as Mak's shortcoming was 'not really following the brief' as distinct from Rowan's problem of being far too ambitious (or not being able to gauge what he can achieve.)

Even so, it was close-run between them and unless Rowan has a fairly fundamental attitude change and listens to the clear advice to scale his plans back a bit I really can't see him surviving past the next episode.
posted by Major Clanger at 4:27 AM on October 3 [2 favorites]


I remain extremely unamused by Noel hanging around the younger women and poking at them while they giggle uncomfortably until they actually tell him to go away.
posted by restless_nomad at 5:46 AM on October 3 [13 favorites]


Did anyone else feel like the, "Ah crap, my chocolate seized," "Oh here, take mine!" moment was both quintessentially GBBO but also kind of shocking? It's one thing to lend your hands to make sure someone else's bakes get assembled and on the plate, but generally, people have used their own ingredients/mixtures and it's been a big deal when they didn't.
posted by merriment at 7:57 AM on October 3 [7 favorites]


I found Rowan intensely dislikeable this episode, which I suspect is due in part to editing. (My usual least favourite type is the teenage boy who discounts experience, but this is coming close.) I don't know if this means he will finally go soon.

Paul is seeming much less horrible than in earlier seasons, though like always I hate his stupid handshake game. But overall something feels different this season, maybe it's just that they were all locked up together?
posted by jeather at 8:31 AM on October 3 [1 favorite]


I definitely feel that being in a "bubble" together has created a very different feeling in the cast. I'm also a little upset about Paul being less of a jerk because I was looking forward to hating on him on this season.

I wanted to add that I did really enjoy the signature and the showstopper challenges. The biscuit dining setting seems like the perfect GBBO challenge in that you have to master both appearance AND taste. And I wanted to eat all of those florentines.
posted by miss-lapin at 9:09 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]


I hate that my general predictive rule of "if two contestants are close the woman/person of color goes home" proved accurate this time. It's always so frustrating how often that is predictive.
posted by Carillon at 9:30 PM on October 3 [7 favorites]


With the judges repeatedly saying that they "know Rowan can do more," I'm wondering if his application bakes were just hands-down incredible or something. But yeah he has used up his damn chances in my opinion. I don't find his doddering-old-fop schtick charming.

Did anyone else feel like the, "Ah crap, my chocolate seized," "Oh here, take mine!" moment was both quintessentially GBBO but also kind of shocking? It's one thing to lend your hands to make sure someone else's bakes get assembled and on the plate, but generally, people have used their own ingredients/mixtures and it's been a big deal when they didn't.

I feel like there was at least one other example of that in a previous season, but I can't remember specifically.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:46 AM on October 4


The Paul Hollywood handshake is dumb and needs to go away.

Mak should have been given another chance and Rowan should have been sent home to tend to his posh garden and antique collection.

Surprised by how much I’m enjoying Matt Lucas and his genial interactions with the contestants. Judging only from his onscreen personae in Little Britain I assumed he was going to come off as more of an abrasive, churlish type. But so far he’s been perfectly lovely.
posted by Atom Eyes at 6:56 PM on October 4 [7 favorites]


I feel like I'm the only one who likes the handshakes. It's a warm moment from someone who isn't usually so warm. It feels natural, like one of those things that wasn't meant to be a thing but just sort of became a thing and so now it's a thing!
posted by guiseroom at 5:54 PM on October 5 [4 favorites]


No, I admit that I like the handshakes too. I feel like Paul Hollywood is closer to Tom Colicchio than Simon Cowell, and the handshake is confirmation of professional respect.

Surprised by how much I’m enjoying Matt Lucas and his genial interactions with the contestants. Judging only from his onscreen personae in Little Britain I assumed he was going to come off as more of an abrasive, churlish type.

I loved Sandi from the News Quiz podcast, and I miss her terribly on the show. But I am enjoying Matt, and he even makes me enjoy Noel more. No one claims the Mel/Sue space in my heart, but I can appreciate what Matt and Noel are doing.
posted by gladly at 6:53 AM on October 6 [2 favorites]


I guess the handshake isn't necessarily a sign of Paul Hollywood's egotism, but it's one of those trappings of reality competition shows that I don't think really gels with the vibe of GBBO.
posted by Atom Eyes at 7:56 AM on October 6 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I'm finding Noel to be creepier and more irritating this season. There is an element of meanness to his interactions this time round. As if he's getting sick and tired of doing the show, so he's going to behave badly now.
posted by sundrop at 8:22 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


With regards to Mak going home, someone on Reddit found his (now-deleted) Reddit account and he had posted this before the show aired.
posted by schroedinger at 1:34 PM on October 6 [6 favorites]


Re handshake, I think without all the "ooh who's gonna get the handshake" bs I'd appreciate it a lot more. It's the life it's taken on outside the tent that makes me a bit eye rolly.
posted by Carillon at 8:04 PM on October 9 [1 favorite]


Also not liking Noel so much. He seems to overstay his welcome with each contestant he stops to talk at. Favorite line was from Matt - This must be what posh people talk about eh, Paul? I am enjoying Matt but I'm bummed this Mel & Sue originated duo is now two men. They shoulda kept Sandi instead of Noel.

Finally, I'm not sure what I missed but I don't get the Rowan hate. Though, he probably should have gone.
posted by Glinn at 7:02 AM on October 10


I don't mind about the handshakes, it's nice when someone really knocks it out the park and they get excited about it being acknowledged with The Shake.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:53 AM on October 14 [1 favorite]


one of those trappings of reality competition shows that I don't think really gels with the vibe of GBBO.

Funny, I was just thinking that a lot of other shows feature a lot more criticism than praise, and The Shake is an example of this. It's not like they're limited to one a show, like Star Baker. Anyone can achieve it at any point, if they do well enough.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:54 AM on October 14 [1 favorite]


Finally, I'm not sure what I missed but I don't get the Rowan hate. Though, he probably should have gone.

Yes, I find Rowen charming and sweet and I’m sorry that he’s having trouble adjusting his ambitions to the show’s brief. I like his fantastical design ideas and I loved his flute playing in the garden. He probably should have gone based on his showstopper (although he did successfully shape a central part of his design, which was the crux of the brief)...but I don’t know where the dislike is coming from, and it honestly bums me out to see it. Maybe there is something about him that I don’t know, but to me he seems dreamy, artistic, and gentle, and I’m rooting for him.

Mak was another of my favorites and I’m very sorry to see him go! It makes me feel better that, apparently, he had to leave the GBBO bubble for work reasons (brother got sick with Covid and he needed to pick up the slack at their business). He seems very gentle and close with his family, and I liked his edge of perfectionism that was more about having high demands of himself and less competitiveness toward others.

I’m liking this season, and I especially like Paul’s new friendliness and the new host. Noelle needs to go, though — he’s a jerk to the bakers, especially the younger female ones, and just doesn’t seem to want to be there. It’s distracting. I also wish they would have another woman hosting, especially since Pru is so subdued this year — it makes the show seem too male dominated.

I like all the bakers this year, really. Dan seems a bit overly competitive and Sura seems a little cold, but how they both handled Sura jostling/dropping Dan’s upside down cakes was so sweet that it made me like them, too. Dan kept such a calm head, and Sura was so devastated.

It’s unfortunate that the bakers can’t bring bizarre and fun things from home this year, and that they can’t go home to their “real” lives during the week, but it seems like they’re really enjoying the immersive baking experience and maybe it makes for a more even playing field, anyhow. And I’m really glad that we’re still getting to see a bit of their families/friends/hobbies and home lives, too. I love those little tidbits about other hobbies and relationships, although I don’t know how they can find the time to be accomplished bakers AND work full time AND have families and friends! Let alone more hobbies on top of all that!
posted by rue72 at 9:16 AM on October 17


Maybe there is something about him that I don’t know, but to me he seems dreamy, artistic, and gentle, and I’m rooting for him.

For me it's mostly that his ambition consistently outstrips his skills yet he makes no real effort to adjust his plans accordingly. After you get that same exact criticism multiple times, if you still fail to take the advice and actually make sure you can do the bake in the allotted time, then that's less "dreamy" and more "foolish."
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:25 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]


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