Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cupcake Wars

There was a time in my life when I couldn't afford certain extravagances.  Let's call that time college.  And the 18 months following college.  I was what you might call.....broke.  Strapped for cash.  Living a hard knock life, if you will.  And being a rational person, I decided I needed to cut back on expenses so I would no longer be in a position where I needed to charge a box of Pops cereal to my MasterCard.  Naturally, extravagances like cable, internet, lattes, shopping at Jewel-Osco, and regular dental appointments (or any appointments with a medical provider for that matter) were slashed from my budget.

But now that I'm a semi-functioning adult member of society with a salary, such frugality isn't a necessity.  I have the internet, I buy lattes at alarming rates, and I've been to the dentist.  A lot actually.  As it turns out, it's not recommended to forgo dental checkups, as I have recently learned.  But one thing I never reinstated was cable.  I realized that while I certainly love a Toddler and Tiaras or Real Housewives marathon now and then, I just still can't justify paying for cable.  And Downton Abbey is on PBS people, that's all I need.   Besides, Netflix and Hulu are just enough to keep me entertained.

In fact, Cupcake Wars, a Food Network show, streams episodes on Hulu.  The premise is absolutely as ridiculous as the name would indicate.  Four bakers go head to head (to head to head) in an elimination-style competition.  Each episode has a theme, like an event at the Hard Rock Hotel or AFI's Young Hollywood party, and cupcakes are centered around that theme.  The two finalists eventually face off in a 1,000 cupcake display challenge that in no way proves their skills as a baker.  I just really hate it and love it at the same time, is what I'm saying.

First off, the host attempts to pepper the show with puns.  And he needs to go easy on that seasoning, if you ask me.  Do you see what I did there?  I made a pun about his use of puns (Inception).  But in all seriousness, as someone who really appreciates the value of a well constructed pun, the host offends me with his blatant overuse.  And his delivery is always so smug.  He's so proud of his brazen pun over-usage.  I don't even know his name and I refuse to look it up because that's how much I don't like him.  That guy is not out to make any friends.

The judges are only mildly more tolerable but they did make a genius choice of choosing a French pastry chef as one of the judges.  Like it or not, when French people offer criticism it's as painful as being teased by a popular kid at school.  They just know they're better than you.  And I happen to work with a few French people occasionally and they scare the living daylights out of me.  So obviously the choice of this judge makes for good entertainment.

Are you sold on the show now that I've said the premise, host and judges are all unlikeable?  I bet you're dying to tune in.  But stay with me.  Obviously, this comes down to one thing:  cupcakes!  It's 60 minutes dedicated to making, filming, decorating, and discussing cupcakes!  They always use interesting ingredients, the decorations are sometimes phenomenal and it truly gives me ideas of flavor combinations and cupcakes that I never would have thought of before.  So if you can ignore everything I've just written, then I suggest you tune in too.  Cupcake Wars really takes the cake.  Sorry I'm not sorry about that pun.

Cupcake Wars can be found on Hulu and on the Food Network but I don't know when because I still don't have cable.      

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