Watch Nailed It! in quarantine
Baking is a great hobby to pick up while you're isolating. Nailed It!, with amateurs competing not to be the worst at making impossibly extravagant cakes, is a how-not-to guide.
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First airing on March 18, 2018, and now in its fourth season, Nailed It! is a Netflix reality competition series that features three different amateur bakers every episode who attempt to copy cakes and other complicated confectionaries in order to win a cash prize.
Nailed It! is like Netflix’s version of Cupcake Wars, except it’s funnier and much more relatable. As people have taken on new skills like baking while being stuck at home, the show’s greatest quality is teaching people to laugh at their own mistakes. The show also remains incredibly sweet, supportive, and entertaining. Nobody who goes on the show ever manages to succeed in recreating the cake, but the point of the show is that it is perfectly okay to fail. Even if the cake is an absolute disaster, even if it was just flour without any butter or water, it will still be tested and complimented by some of the top bakers in the world. Its entertainment lies not in the skill or talent of the contestants, but in everyone’s ability to laugh at themselves. Nailed It! is possibly the only show where world-famous chefs like Jacque Torres share a stage with amateurs whose baking failures everyone can relate to. In quarantine, with the loss of society’s traditional ways of life, many people have lost the ability to continue their careers, education, and the things they used to excel in. Because of this, people feel like they aren’t achieving enough, that everything they currently accomplish is a failure compared to what they were able to achieve before. The message conveyed in Nailed It! is more important than ever because it teaches people that, even if they fail, it is still funny to laugh through your mistakes and make the most out of your disadvantages.
Nailed It! is good, but it is not extremely original or hilarious. There have already been many shows, like The Great American Baking Show and The Great British Bake Off, that feature a competition between amateurs. Nailed It! seems like the bloopers and cut of the worst scenes of these shows. After a certain point, the constant failure and incompetence of the contestants quickly get boring. It is a good show for the first one or two episodes when the failure and embarrassing baking moments are novel. Still, there’s only so many times random contestants can forget to take their cakes out of the oven before it becomes repetitive and boring. Nailed It!’s problem lies in its lack of diversity. The tasks are so hard that no contestant has ever gotten anywhere close to making a cake successfully, so the show never has that element of awe and pride that comes out of seeing someone succeed. Sure, this might teach that failure is acceptable, but it also makes for a boring show that only ever talks about and portrays people’s shortcomings. In quarantine, viewers need a show that adds layers to entertainment, not a show that's only entertaining feature is failure repeated over and over again and is the only thing worth watching in any episode. If Nailed It! was simply a short and sweet show people watched during their commutes, it might be a nice option. The problem is, as a show, Nailed It! isn’t exactly the type that is binge-able or the edge-of-your-seat series that people look forward to watching another episode of every day of quarantine.
[P1] The failures of the contestants are relatable and entertaining. [P2] Learning to laugh at failures is important during quarantine, when people often feel unproductive.
Rejecting the premises
[Rejecting P1] Amateur contestants are unoriginal, and their failures get more and more boring every episode. [Rejecting P2] In quarantine, people need something that keeps developing and evolving, not a show that involves the same thing every episode.