For a while I had been seeing advertisements on TLC for its new series Cake Boss. However, until yesterday I had not had the opportunity to watch it. After watching Cake Boss for three and a half hours, I finally caught up with the series.
Cake Boss is a reality show about Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey. Carlo’s Bakery is largely family-run and operated, and produces not only traditional Italian pastries and baked goods, but also elaborate special-order cakes. Owner Buddy Valastro is the titular Cake Boss, and is renowned in the food industry for his comestible creations.
Cakes are really at the heart of this show. During a half-hour episode, two to three special-order cakes might be focused on. The audience is taken through the process of designing, producing, and delivering each cake, and the occasional problems and predicaments that happen along the way. The cakes always end up being beautiful and any production problems are overcome in the end. Most notably, a bride that was unhappy with her white wedding cake squirted colored icing all over the cake a day before her wedding, saying that perhaps it could serve as an art lesson to Buddy. The staff at Carlo’s Bakery reluctantly rose to her challenge and made an interesting, colorful cake. Needless to say, the bride’s mother had been a very good customer in the past.
There is a good amount of interpersonal drama in each episode. This is inevitable, as Carlo’s Bakery runs on tight deadlines and must produce high-quality cakes. Likewise, the fact that many of the employees of the bakery are family contributes to their willingness to squabble. However, time is made for jokes and pranks, and it is clear that the employees are a close-knit group that cares about everyone.
Despite the occasional tension on the show, one aspect of Cake Boss that I think makes it a family show is that Buddy Valastro goes out of his way to make cakes for community benefits and other charitable causes. I think this sets a good example for kids. The only thing that would prevent me from recommending Cake Boss as a family show is that there is some occasional swearing, and one episode featured a strip club cake. For mature or older kids, this should not be a problem. The show airs at 10 PM ET on Monday nights, so younger kids may be in bed anyway.
All in all, Cake Boss is an intriguing and entertaining show. I recommend at least checking out an episode or two. It airs on Mondays at 10PM Eastern on TLC.
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