Is It Cake?

STREAMING REVIEW:

Netflix;
Game Show;
Not Rated.
Hosted by Mikey Day.

Netflix’s “Is It Cake?” takes its inspiration from a trend in social media videos that showcase seemingly common items that are then sliced into to reveal they are actually elaborately designed cakes.

Part baking competition, part game show, “Is It Cake?” features a round-robin tournament of nine bakers who are tasked with creating cakes that are so indistinguishable from everyday objects that it fools a panel of celebrity judges trying to guess which one is the cake.

The contestants themselves also compete in mini-games to gain certain advantages by having to guess which among several objects is actually a cake.

While each baker’s goal is to win the season-long competition, each episode’s winner gets a chance to take home a cash prize by, you guessed it, successfully identifying which of two containers of cash is actually cake.

It’s a fun show that allows some talented bakers to demonstrate their immense cake-making skills, though the rules seem a bit dubious in the sense of what they can get away with both in terms of how much of the cakes actually have to be edible, and how much they can alter the decoy objects to try to fool the judges. The show seems more interested in handing out fancy weapons to host Mikey Day so he can cut into anything on set that might conceivably be a cake, than on being too concerned with strictly following rules.

At the very least, however, the contestants also must pay attention to the taste of the cake itself, as that’s one of the criteria for the judges to decide who wins among the cakes that fool them.

Each episode features a different panel of judges, usually consisting of lower-tier celebs or Day’s “SNL” cohorts. Episode six, for instance, features comedian Tony Rock, the younger brother of Chris Rock who trended a bit recently for some strong opinions against Will Smith’s attempts to apologize for slapping Chris at the Oscars.

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Day, best known as a cast-member on “Saturday Night Live,” breezes through the episodes with the appropriate sense of wonder and snark, having seemingly not bothered to do any research into the topic of baking and learning key terms on the fly from the contestants. At one point, the players conspire to teach him a completely made-up baking term, just to amuse themselves as they await their turn to compete.

But it’s all in good fun, and the eight episodes make for an easy binge.