TV Binge: The Big Family Cooking Showdown (Season 2, 2018)

You can find the TV Binge for previous season below:

Season 1

The Big Family Cooking Showdown (Season 2, 2018)

the big family cooking showdown s2

Judges: Tommy Banks & Angellica Bell

If you had been following The Big Family Cooking Showdown, you would already know that they had announced a lot of changes in Season 2 prior to its airing. I’m not quite sure if it aired before it became a Netflix Original or not, but I believe its a BBC 2 show. Either way, other than just having the judges change, the show took away its hosts and let the judges take over that job as well. The structure of the competition has also changed. It still has some of the same challenges. This season, it separates into two parts essentially. The first 5 episodes is for two group of 4 families, where they end up having 2 families going into the play-offs, then the next 5 episodes is the second two groups of 4 families to fight for the two spots to the play-offs. Then the remaining is playoffs for the 4 families with 1 family eliminated, 1 family getting fast-track to the finals and the next last two fighting for the last finals spot.

big family cooking showdown s2

In terms of challenge, the 10 pound challenge remains as the kick-off challenge but with the added surprise element of doing the shopping on the spot and having to do their calculations and then if over, to give up whichever items. The first day wraps up with a known challenge of national dishes with a twist. After that, one family is eliminated. Day 2 has the 3 families in their next challenge where they choose one member to bake a dessert that they can choose the difficulty level which leads to a second challenge pre-known to make a two course meal (main dish and dessert). The playoffs are also structured over 2 days with the first having one spontaneous challenge called the pick ‘n mix challenge where the judges have one set ingredient and one member of each family chooses an ingredient from what is provided and they have to incorporate all the  ingredients into their dish with a minimal selection of spices, etc and wraps up the day with an indulgent treat meal (known in advance). There are following challenges of zero-waste (or as close to it as possible) meals and then the finale is essentially the same challenges as season one with a cooking spontaneous challenge followed by a 3 course meal.

After a huge description, we can go and break it down a little. Let’s start with the host/judges. Tommy Banks and Angellica Bell are really fun to watch. They work together well to create a nice dynamic. They have some puns and in general are a warmer experience and share a good knowledge of food and cooking throughout. They add in little discussions between and it makes for a nice idea of where they stand. As for the candidates, this is where the colors are. Its in the families that join who bring in the playfulness and spontaneous elements. Each of the families of 3 bring a different style and cooking mentality and its because of this and it brings in a lot of fun little moments. What works better in Season 2 is making it more focused on 4 families each time instead of doing them 2 families at a time like in the first season.

big family cooking showdown s2

In any cooking competition, its all about the challenges and the food. Its a good idea to put each day of the challenge with two of them where one is spontaneous and one is known before. Its a good bit to see which family works well even without practice and shows off some true creativity and skill. The spontaneous challenges are the ones that bring a lot more interesting elements to the competition. Its the ones that truly have that surprise factor also and have more issues that come up and chaos. Let’s be honest that perfect shows aren’t fun to watch and instead the chaos and overcoming those obstacles in whatever way is usually an enjoyable bit to see. Nothing works like a little bit of drama, right? In that sense, I think that might be where I’ve pinpointed the bits that don’t work so well here as the show at times feels a little bland. It might have to be that some parts, go by too long and then some go too fast and then there is a balance that sometimes isn’t balanced properly to make the show completely bingeworthy. Why I say that is that some food competitions like Zumbo’s Just Desserts, I can go back and watch it over and over again knowing the results but for The Big Family Cooking Showdown, I was lukewarm with Season 1 and didn’t rewatch it and then this Season 2 although I have some families that I really liked and the elements technically all work together, something never made me want to watch more than an episode or two and stop, nor do I have that urge to go back and watch it again. There’s something missing and I can’t quite pinpoint what it is. Perhaps its the same home footages of the families that repeat itself over and over again as well. Its definitely heading in the right direction though. If Season 3 happens, I’m hoping that there are some additional changes to make it even better.

Have you seen The Big Family Cooking Showdown?

What’s Up Week 11: TV Binging Through Staycation

Welcome to Week 11 of What’s Up! This week has been a little bit mixed. Some things happened more than others. Its what happens when I spend a lot of time having time off. I’m going to be super honest that I have massive TV binge tendancies that started the earliest so it is my best destressor. So, no doubt its a huge part of what I do when I go on staycation (regardless of the backlog).

READING

two sisters of borneo

  • The Two Sisters of Borneo by Ian Hamilton (Review)

Currently reading: Obsidio

I am focusing on getting back to book series that I have put down. Finishing The sixth installment of Ava Lee series, The Two Sisters of Borneo, was a great reading experience. Still a pageturner series, which is always great. While I have the next book released which was the prequel to the series (odd, right?), I decided to go back to The Illuminae Files final book in the trilogy, Obisido. I loved the first two books so much that I just couldn’t resist. I’m still fairly early in the reading for Obsidio but the book tends to go pretty quickly due to its immersiveness.

PLAYING

  • Candies ‘n Curses
  • Liar!
  • Mortal Kombat X

I went lazy on gaming this staycation. Probably shouldn’t because well, we do have a game to review but I didn’t end up starting it until late. Prioritizing things that probably could have been pushed later in the schedule. Oh well, what’s done is done. I did a lot of mobile gaming. To be accurate, I played Liar! which is a visual novel sort of game which I’ll talk about in the next Mobile Games Roundup and went back to play Candies ‘n Curses that I talked up in the last Mobile Games Roundup (HERE) and also went back to polish some MKX skills. There’s not a whole lot to talk about there.

WATCHING

a monster calls

  • A Monster Calls
  • Battleship

Movie watching has definitely slowed down and I’ve hinted it enough. I did need a little break from it after the immense blogathon and marathon craze. It will pick up after I get through some piled up backlog, which should bring forth at least 2 more double features. With that said, the highlight movie (not that we had a lot to choose from) is A Monster Calls. I had a few issues with pacing for it but there is a lot of style and visuals to it and a nice twist to it all that I appreciated more and more as I watched further into the story. As for Battleship, I’ll talk about it when I do the double feature when we get there in a few weeks.

BINGING

queer eye

  • The Big Family Cooking Showdown (Season 2, 2019)
  • Queer Eye (Season 3, 2019)

Currently binging: My Amazing Boyfriend 2, The Singer 2019, Mr. Swimmer, My Little One 2

The currently watching (that I haven’t discussed too much of in the last two weeks) has been pretty good. Some of them are nearing their final episodes. There is 8 more episodes of My Amazing Boyfriend 2 to go, 2 to 3 more episodes of The Singer 2019 and probably the same for My Little One 2. As for Mr. Swimmer, everything is out but I’ve slowed down as the drama has intensified but I’m about 10 episodes  more to go to wrap that up. As for what I did finish, I binged some newer shows (which I’ve prioritized TV binges on…or trying to) and that’s The Big Family Cooking Showdown Season 2 and Queen Eye Season 3.  The latter was almost a one day binge and that is just because its so awesome.

That’s it for this week’s What’s Up!
What have you been reading/watching/binging/playing?

What’s Up Week 9: The Rare Two Great Films In A Row…

Week 9 of 2019 was a pretty productive one. Busy to say the least but still a lot of things accomplished. Still a lot of writing in the backlog waiting to be done but things are moving along. Especially now that we’re part of the way through the blogathon and February is finally done so romance films are (almost) behind us.

READING

two sisters of borneo

  • The Princess and the Peacock (Birds of Fae #1) by C.S. Johnson (Review)

Currently reading: The Two Sisters of Borneo

With the first half of the year being as busy as it had been and I’m on the verge of just absolute fatigue and almost burnout (I’ll talk about this in the next Weekly Adventures post), reading on the bus has been fairly slow. If you are my Goodreads friend, then you probably see that I’m falling a tad behind on the Goodreads challenge but I’m fairly confident that I’ll make it regardless. Finished up the novella The Princess and the Peacock which is a decent fairy tale retelling of sorts for the blog tour and that review is up. I’m finally diving back into Ian Hamilton’s Ava Lee series, which I absolutely adore so its a nice change in pace and The Two Sisters of Borneo may be the sixth book in the series but man, its still so fantastic and I’m only 15% or so into the book.

I don’t have any concrete reading obligations in March (yet) so I might just dig through my book shelves and get back to some franchises that I love but have put down for a while.

PLAYING

39 days to ,ars

  • 39 Days to Mars

Currently playing: Eastshade

As I play a bigger game in the background, the husband and I finally sat down to play co-op adventure game 39 Days to Mars developed by It’s Anecdotal. Its about two silly men who construct a rather silly spacecraft to go to Mars. Pretty much, its a fun game with a lot of hilarious dialogue as you go through all kinds of puzzles from the different parts that break during the travel. I’ll be working on the review soon-ish..seeing as there are about 3 more reviews sitting in the to-do list (that I’ve started but didn’t finish for various reasons).

WATCHING

Us and Them

The final week pretty much for Valentine’s marathon was a crazy affair mostly because I had a lot of movies that I enjoyed and two that I absolutely loved to absolute death. Then there was some that were quite meh. But then that is what happens after extraordinary films and it explains my reluctance for the last 4 films of the marathon. Two still need to be watched and written up as double features outside of the marathon but I will still see it through. With that said, I started preparing for the blogathon conclusion post as well which usually is a double or triple feature. With that said, my highlight (if you haven’t read that double feature for T & U) is This Is Not What I Expected and especially Us & Them. It got me thinking about a lot and feeling all kinds of feelings. Its just so fantastically structure with all the little details and how it is filmed. If you have Netflix, you should definitely check out this Chinese Netflix Original film. I can’t look at that poster without my thoughts going back to the movie.

BINGING

miss rose

  • Miss Rose (rewatch)

Currently watching: My Amazing Boyfriend 2, The Singer 2019, My Little One 2, The Big Family Cooking Showdown (Season 2)

I finished rewatching Miss Rose which puts it in priority for the next TV binge (at least thats the plan). Everything else is still in progress. This is an alright Taiwanese series and I watched it mostly for Roy Chiu since he’s a pretty decent actor (and also the male lead in the recently released Netflix Original film, Dear Ex). My Amazing Boyfriend 2 runs from Thursday to Saturday for 6 episodes per week, My Little One 2 and The Singer 2019 are the Saturday new episode shows and well, The Big Family  Cooking Showdown Season 2 finally got released on Netflix with a whole facelift in judges and only some small themes similar to the first season. I’m only 4 episodes in so also watching this slowly. There’s not a whole lot to report here. TV binges are still piled up like a mountain (surpassing the game reviews pile now) so I’m going to focus on it now that marathon is done (and blogathon is ending soon). However, no problems on that because TV is still bringing me a ton of joy!

That’s it for this What’s Up!
What have you been up to?

TV Binge: The Big Family Cooking Showdown (Season 1, 2017)

I love watching cooking shows. However, I don’t have actual TV so the only chance is when I visit someone else’s house and it happens to be playing. It does make it a very incomplete experience. Of course, there is the free streaming from one of the national TV channels which holds the episode for a week which is hard to remember sometimes to catch it every once in a while. When The Big Family Cooking Showdown appeared on Netflix, I went right ahead and started watching it. The premise behind it is pretty fun.

Let’s check it out!

The Big Family Cooking Showdown (Season 1, 2017)

the big family cooking showdownHosts: Zoe Ball & Nadiya Hussain

Judges: Rosemary Shrager & Giorgio Locatelli

Competitive food show celebrating the families who make ordinary food extraordinary, presented by Zoe Ball and Nadiya Hussain. – IMDB

The Big Family Cooking Showdown has a decent setup. It shows off families going head to head against each other for the title of the best family chefs. They pick their own teams of three to work together and create these dishes. In the first few episodes, it is two teams and whoever wins will head into the semi-finals. They have three rounds for this cooking event which isn’t live and loses the cooking on the spot as the rounds to get them into the semi-final has been given to them in advance so that they can prepare carefully. It leaves a touch of spontaneity there even if we don’t know what they are doing. Suffice to say, it does show the viewers which team has better time management than others and how they deal in stress as things usually don’t work out the way they would in your own kitchen. The first part when two teams go against each other is in three parts with three challenges: the 10 pound challenge, Home Visits Challenge and Impress Your Neighbors Challenge. The semi-finals have the remaining teams groups in 3 teams against each other for three rounds also:  What’s in the Fridge, Perfect Puddings and Nation’s Favorite With a Twist. And then the final features a continuous making of a three course meal.

the big family cooking showdown

The setup of the competition is pretty nice. The families are slightly diverse with their cultures and heritage adding a nice touch to each of these plates. The teams work out really well against each other. The first part has a nice bit of giving them time to prepare in advance and it really is up to them to have structured a plan with the time constraints and factoring in any stress or changes. At the same time, it also poses that question of losing that spontaneity that teams put on the spot would have. However, the challenges in the first rounds are pretty neat as they focus on family issues starting off with how much food can you make with a constrained budget. The Home Visit gives us a nice snippet of seeing the family in their own environment which helps minimize the accidents that could happen while the final round is impress your neighbors so its making the foods that go above and beyond but dishes that they are proud of in a three course meal. The structure here works because of these themes being more family-oriented. The spontaneity factor is fixed in the semi-final when their first and second challenge are unknown. The first tests their ability to be flexible with what is available to them and the second being how good they can work together and follow instructions while delegating the tasks that each member is better at. While the show does have a lot of pre-preparation, the segments do feel very well-done to make sure that it highlights the team and gives them time to improve on their menus and skills.

the big family cooking showdown

The hosts of the show are Zoe Ball and Nadiya Hussain. They are quite enthusiastic and often joke about their love for eating but their lack of knowledge on actual cooking which brings out their friendliness to be there. Where they lack the knowledge, they can build with their balance to the show’s charisma as they communicate with the families and introduce the rules of each part. The judges for this show are Giorgio Locatelli and Rosemary Schrager, who I’ve never heard of before. However, they obviously do have their knowledge of food and cooking which is undeniable. One thing that does fall apart is their criticism is slightly lacking in some parts where it becomes a little repetitive in the way they compliment or dislike certain foods. It is here that the show nearing the end seems to fall a little flat.

Overall, The Big Family Cooking Showdown is pretty enjoyable because the families’ diversity in their cooking and dishes mixed into their creativity. The hosts are very enjoyable to watch although the judges are qualified but lack the charisma in their criticism to make it seem more engaging.