Written by Allison Lips
TLC is now stealing tired, old ideas from Food Network. It’s bad enough that Food Network thinks all it takes to create a new show is to take Restaurant Impossible’s format and throw in a new host, yet TLC had no problem giving Cake Boss Buddy Valastro a copycat series called Bakery Boss, where bakeries take the place of restaurants.
A few months ago, TLC aired a special, which was the Bakery Boss concept. It aired Monday night as Bakery Boss: Bigger & Batter. In it, Buddy saved Friendly Bake Shop, which is an Italian-American bakery. While Buddy has a lot of passion for saving family owned bakeries, the producers having him save an Italian-American bakery isn’t interesting. It’s in his wheelhouse.
As a result, I wasn’t expecting much out of the Violet’s Bakery episode. Until, I found out he was saving a kosher bakery. Buddy knows what he’s doing, but an Italian-American saving a Hungarian-Jewish bakery? This could get interesting. However, it wasn’t.
Buddy is very familiar with parve, which means no dairy or meat products, baked goods. He also places emphasis on one’s heritage, so Buddy has no problem leaving his cannolis at the door and baking some loaves of challah. The fact that Buddy didn’t need any of the Hungarian or kosher concepts and pastries explained meant that there was no fish out of water element, which made Buddy seem like a know-it-all and for some very boring television.
To make matters worse, Violet was in complete denial, which got annoying over the course of an hour. In the face of irrefutable evidence that her vender-bought baked goods were terrible, she insisted on standing by them and saying they are the best. Other than her son Michael’s challah, which was the only homemade good, no one liked anything she sold.
Once Violet understood that customers were not willing to buy her current selection of pastries and cakes, Violet made some homemade treats for Buddy, which were much better. Buddy rounded out the menu with a few recipes of his own. Then it was time to renovate the bakery.
Buddy and his contractor decided to decorate the bakery in an old-world Hungarian style, making Violet’s Bakery much more welcoming in the process.
While the saving a restaurant/bakery/bar/any other place that serves food concept used to be interesting and it used to be fun watching transformations of families and eating establishments, the concept is as stale as Violet’s original red velvet cupcakes. Buddy also doesn’t need a third show. He should stick to Cake Boss and The Next Great Baker. At least, those shows are somewhat unique.