Originally a BBC venture, The Big Family Cooking Showdown is a breezy, two presenter cookery competition show where families come together and cook. The format is pretty simple, each week, two families consisting of three members each, participate in a cook-off and eight winning families from eight weeks are sent to play further in the competition. A simple weeknight stress relief of real families, serving up family recipes, is a joyful watch.
Each week has a cook-off round between two families with a three-member team. Eight winning teams go on to participate in the semi-finals. Again, three winning teams are sent into the final round where the winner is chosen through a series of rounds and challenges. There is no fancy lining to this show whatsoever; the simplicity makes the show a hit as a competition.
Since the approach is laid back, the intense flavors of it being a competition are not so evident. Everyday food and family recipes making it big into television is one way to put it. Families getting together and sharing a pot is the whole point of the show. Keeping all that aside, the show reels on a bland side and there is not much content for gripping a handsome viewership. It is like an overdose of the same thing in each episode, with no strategic aim or specialization. Not that the plot requires more glamour, in the course of making it simple, it turned out dull.
The hosts of the show are Nadiya Hussain, winner of a BBC baking show and Zoe Ball. The judges are Michelin start chef Giorgio Locatelli and Rosemary Shrager, a cookery teacher. The hosts do their jobs fine by grooming the contestants. There are times of pretentious emotional shoulder lending at times, which can be kept unnoticed for now. The judges taste and convey insights to the contestants and the flow is pretty much the same throughout. The families are of varied backgrounds and participate in some serious cooking. It is funny though, instead of bonding and mingling, the families seem to have gotten stuck in a room full of strangers, compelled to do small talk for hours on end. Well, the time and era of ‘cook and nothing else is your business’ has passed. With fair attempts though, The Big Family Cooking Showdown does not measure up to be a hot show in the end.
It is a noble effort to increase primetime television viewership but fails to grasp a good fan base. The format of the show lost its charm by giving away all the elements of a good contest and is left with a monotonous, dreary execution. It is only in its first season, so chances of a second season with a surprisingly interesting format might just happen. It is safe and cozy and gives you the feeling of unintelligent TV viewing, which sometimes is also needed. Nevertheless, an average show, this could be your stress buster after a long and hectic day.