'Wer Kann, Der Kann!': An unscripted tragicomedy, featuring cakes and kitchen disasters

What's intriguing about the German version of 'Nailed It!' on Netflix, is the eye on minute details that pastry chef Bernd Siefert highlights, such as telling you how an extra scoop of buttercream can spoil the entire cake

Updated - February 07, 2020 02:39 pm IST

Published - February 06, 2020 05:44 pm IST

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It’s a real shame that I didn’t know about the Netflix series Nailed It! until last week. I came across the German version of the show quite unexpectedly and sat through the hilarious season for all of its six episodes, which ran for nearly thirty five minutes each.

The baking show has been swimming in the Netflix aea since March, 2018, and the international editions include the ones made in French, Mexican, and Spanish. The German version, which is called Wer Kann, Der Kann! , is hosted by Angelina Kirsch. And for each episode, she’s accompanied by the pastry chef, Bernd Siefert, and a special guest, ranging from an online gaming granny to a magician. The three judges take their seats on the other side of the contestants’ (three per episode) batch and pass comments about the goings-on throughout the two rounds.

The contestants also keep talking to the cameras about how they’re going to bake the perfect cakes and still end up botching them. When Bernd explains the process that goes into making the pastries and cookies, which follows themes like scary movies, holidays, personalities, etc., he makes it sound so easy. However, when the contestants try to make the same things with their own hands, they somehow fail to stick to the recipes and instructions. Even though, the level of difficulty is different for each episode, nobody bakes cakes that look and taste exactly like the models they’re given. Some of the amateur bakers work as chefs, but even they run out of tricks to save the day.

While some people say that baking calms them down, others run around the kitchen as though their preparations are on fire. It doesn’t matter how eccentric they get, or how tirelessly they measure each ingredient before they put it into bowls and pans, what matters is the end product alone! One of the participants, named Davide, was more interested in flirting with Angelina than on making something that was remotely edible. These unusual combinations power the show sometimes. Nevertheless, since the format doesn’t change much, you might be pushed to the zones of monotony occasionally. Imagine watching more bakers making more mistakes and the judges making more small talk as there’s nothing else to bank on! Yes, for a series of such little proportions, an increase in the number of episodes per season would have been disastrous.

Other than the kitchen calamities that the series focuses on, what’s intriguing is the eye on minute details that Bernd highlights – example: he tells you about how a scoop, or two, of extra buttercream can spoil the cake. And by the time he finishes the sentence, another camera gets ready to take you to the scene of destruction. It’s an unscripted tragicomedy that most of them don’t mind being a part of, as the winner walks away with a cool sum of € 5,000.

I couldn’t help thinking how an Indian edition of Nailed It! would turn out. Although, the series would be filled to the brim with people from the North Indian states, there’d be a handful of bakers from the North East and the South regions, as well. And I’m guessing Karan Johar would be up for the task, as there’s nobody else in Bollywood currently who has the raw tenacity to headline a television series and turn the mundane tables on their heads to make it more appealing and lively.

While I’m gallantly giving ideas to Netflix, let me go a bit further to announce the cash prize, too – ₹ 5,00,000!

If Netflix picks up some clues from this piece, I hope they invite me and watch me make a fool of myself. Anyway, if they’re planning on expanding the Nailed It! universe via upcoming seasons and international versions, I hope they bring in some sort of newness to the show – the kind of zaniness that’s impossible to look away from. Otherwise, the viewers might look for something fresher to keep them occupied.

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