The United Kingdom doesn’t appreciate stupid American jokes about its beloved Bake Off, especially in this time of national crisis, when the tent and Paul Hollywood are going to Channel 4 but Sue and Mel and Mary Berry are staying at the BBC. If you’re coming for Bake Off you’d better get your facts straight. ARE YOU LISTENING, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE?
Last weekend, SNL opted to parody the beloved British cookery program by imagining the participation of a pair of would-be Big Brother contestants “from the only town that voted unanimously for the Brexit.”
In the days since, the news outlets of the United Kingdom have responded and quite frankly they don’t mind telling you they didn’t think much of it. Today Peter Bradshaw writes at The Guardian:
Is it the gravest crisis in the “special relationship” in the last century? Is the US ambassador Matthew Barzun going to be called in to explain himself? Are the British bank accounts of NBC about to be frozen? All of us Brit fans of the US TV show Saturday Night Live are in shock. We used to watch it on YouTube, thrill to its satire, hug ourselves with glee as Kate McKinnon impersonated Hillary Clinton, while Larry David did Bernie Sanders and Alec Baldwin was Donald Trump. We felt that we were all on the same side, the same wavelength.
But oh dear. SNL’s now notorious Great British Bake Off sketch was not just horribly unfunny but misconceived. It’s like taking a sledgehammer to kill a butterfly. They had a Brit in the cast, too – Emily Blunt – who could have told them how wrong all the dialogue was.
Nor was he first out of the gate. Earlier this week the Telegraph outlined numerous conceptual problems with the skit:
Many mistakes were made, from presenting the Showstopper first - do they not know the Signature Bake comes first?
In addition, Emily Blunt and Cecily Strong, played women from “the only town that voted unanimously for the Brexit”, which ignores the comfortingly apolitical nature of the show.
It also ignores the fact bakers never bake in teams.
“The two also shouted and mocked the bakes of fellow contestants,” writer Helena Horton added. “On the Bake Off, everyone is nice to one another, and even Channel 4 wouldn’t bring Big Brother into the tent.”
The Independent called the bit “cringeworthy” and described it as “something of a missed opportunity”—which I think is the Queen’s English for “fuck right off, SNL”—while the Mirror called it “bizarre” and the New Statesmen wrote it off as “deeply unfunny.” The Sun liked it, though!