When I first saw “Baking Impossible” pop up on my Netflix home page, I immediately clicked play. My rabbit hole into baking shows started with the release of “Nailed It” on Netflix, and since then I have consistently clicked on baking shows as they have been released, testing to see if they lived up to my new standards. There have been successes and failures, but “Baking Impossible” was one of the shows that did not disappoint.
Baking shows were already in my field of interest, but the idea of adding an engineering element seemed strange, yet interesting. However, after actually seeing the various creations come together, I have to say that whoever pitched the idea did a wonderful job. The show starts with nine teams, each consisting of a baker and an engineer. Together, the two strive to become “Bakineers” and win $100,000 along with being crowned the winners of “Baking Impossible” and receiving the title of the “World’s Best Bakineers.” As the show progresses, they are given outlandish and seemingly impossible tasks (dubbed “stress tests”) along with a list of requirements that their creation has to include. There are failures and successes (boats that sink, buildings that withstand earthquake simulations and more) but even if their plan doesn’t work out, they learn things that they can use to improve their creations in the future. Though failure of a stress test puts teams at the risk of elimination, the baking side of the show serves as a second chance. Whether an invention succeeds or fails the challenge, judges still taste and give feedback on the desserts included, which range from cakes to candies to confections. So, even if the engineer’s work falls through (which happens on multiple occasions) their partner has the opportunity to throw out a lifeline. At the end of the day, however, whether they are successful or not, the feeling of excitement at seeing these creations come to life—and the tension when their limits are tested—is phenomenal. Edible structures that can function in the real world bend the line between science and food in a way that inspires wonder.
In addition to the engineering allure of the show, the cast provided an element of drama that made the show even more enticing. The nine teams all consisted of partners that had never met each other before the show. So, going in blind, they had to figure out how to balance each other’s quirks and ideas, and ultimately find common ground. Watching them try to bridge this added challenge was interesting, to say the least. In the beginning, they are just starting to understand one another—their personalities, their style of work. Sometimes the teams meshed together extremely well, and you can see bonds formed in the beginning strengthening over time as they created things that before only seemed able to exist in the imagination. Other times, there were seeds of frustration and annoyance that caused sparks to fly, which led to precarious moments and mistakes in the design. Just like any group work, there is always the chance that people don’t get along. This baking show was no different. So, as viewers watch the show, not only is there enough tension that causes them to perch on the edge of their seats, but one also finds themself invested in the relationships. There were multiple teams who I quickly found myself rooting for, and throughout the competition, I cheered for winners and sympathized with teams that were sent home.
If you’re considering getting into baking shows, I think that “Baking Impossible” is a good one to start with. If you find yourself bored by the decorating parts, you can skip to the tests and watch creations in motion, with teams both successfully completing tasks and crashing and burning in their attempts. Meanwhile, for those who already find themselves entranced by the world of sweets, the engineering twist only enhances the baking experience.