Over the past few weeks, we've mentally grappled with both the departure of Mel and Sue from the show, as well as its place in the BBC spotlight. We tried reasoning: perhaps the show will balance out into a new chapter? Like the next generation of a soap opera taking the reins of the show. But now that the new network has spurred Mary Berry to say her farewells I must declare the show is over.
I cannot claim, by any means, to be an authority on this show. (I'm an American for chrissake.) But for me, personally, in my own way, that's the case. And I think that's how a lot of people may feel.
The Great British Bake Off was never meant to be a big show. At the core of its being, it was a little bubble of passionate weirdos doing what they love. I understand its wide-spread appeal; feel good television with a competitive edge, delicious food, and a beautiful repertoire of punny jokes. I fell hard for it from day one. Heck, I even loved the historical blurbs.
However, as an anomaly on television, one that I hope inspires similar models in different TV genres, it grew out of itself. It was never meant to be this popular or this lucrative. So it's changing into something else. Right now I'm not sure what that is, but it will no longer be the GBBO we've known and loved.
What has remained consistent in its seven-series run? The passion of the contestants. The winner of Series One, Edd, wanted the title as badly as last year's winner, Nadia. It isn't the promise of fame or career launch that drives the bakers, it's the acknowledgment of supreme talent and a job well-done. This has lead to shaky fingers, wobbly-lipped tears, heartfelt speeches, and lots of Mel-Sue sandwiches.
I just hope to the baking god's that this drive, above all else, remains.