The Great American Baking Show | Official Trailer | The Roku Channel

This is technically the show’s sixth season, with the previous five airing on ABC, and though Hollywood joined in season three, every other season has had to shake up the hosts and judges because (for one reason or another) things weren’t working. Roku is essentially presenting this as a new show, and it’s well-justified in doing that, because this basically feels like a whole new show … which is to say that it feels just like the original show. A bunch of nice people are in a tent, they get told to bake a specific thing, judge Paul Hollywood finds something nice to say about everything they bake (if it looks like shit, he’ll say it tastes good, if it tastes like shit, he’ll say it at least looks good), then someone wins and someone else gets sent home.


The sense of humor is also the same, with Kemper and Cherry opening each episode with some cute little skit based around that episode’s theme, and like the skits in the British version, they’re not so much funny as they are … there. Which is fine! It’s a baking competition, not Saturday Night Live, and it helps that Kemper and Cherry both have a gentle presence. They don’t ever seem like they’re above the show or that they’re only on the show to make it more interesting than it otherwise would be (which is a balance that Fielding and Lucas had trouble with, so some of their jokes became condescending).

It also helps that moving to Roku makes The Great American Baking Show a streaming series again, which is surely how most American viewers watch the British show, so they won’t have to worry about tuning in to ABC at the right time on the right day (it’s weird that TV used to work like that, right?). Also, by treating this as a reboot of sorts, the show can stick to the basics in terms of what challenges are being given to the bakers. In the premiere, for example, the bakers are asked to make macarons for a cookie challenge—not birdhouses built of macarons or weird savory macarons filled with some gross British meat, which are the sorts of things that come up on the original show—they’re just regular French macarons.

The best thing you can say about The Great American Baking Show is that it’s The Great British Baking Show but more American (and only slightly more American at that).

[Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly noted that the show is filmed in America. It is actually filmed in the U.K. in the same tent as the British show. We regret the error.]