NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 37: Cake Boss

Carlo's Bake Shop T-Shirt
Carlo’s Bake Shop T-Shirts available at www.carlosbakery.com

Are we so starved for entertainment in this country? I could see how we are lacking in good quality entertainment, especially on television, but I know damn well that we’re already filled up on cake and desserts. Of course, I don’t expect the majority of the country to be able to do 1,000 push ups in 23 minutes like Jack LaLane once did, but we really need to restrain the food reality show habit and shows like CAKE BOSS ain’t helpin’ one bit!


Filmed in Hoboken, NJ, TLC’s Cake Boss spotlights Buddy Valastro, the owner of Carlo’s Bake Shop who is obsessive about his work and eccentric enough to make people interested in watching him do it. It’s quite apparent that his crew of gourmet dessert chefs, many of which are his family members, are immensely gifted at what they do, and we get to see their final creations that prove it. My question is, do we really need another show about baking cakes? I thought the Ace of Cakes filled the quota. People love sugary, frosted goodness, yeah I get it. But what bugs me is that network and cable TV pay for shows like this rather than opt to create new original programming that isn’t reality based.

If I wanted to see reality I could hop on the NJ Turnpike a few exits and actually go to Carlo’s bakery, the shop where the show is filmed. I know the rest of the country doesn’t have that luxury, but is there that much of a demand for a show about making exquisite cakes? I’m not taking anything away from their prowess because it’s impressive to watch them create these ornate confections. I just can’t stop thinking that we will never stop seeing shows come along about ice sculptors, rubber band ball makers, food additive geniuses, and popsicle stick house architects. Is this niche type of programming here to stay, or is it a passing trend? I miss sitcoms that were imaginative and silly, I miss creepy shows like Unsolved Mysteries, I miss shlocky action shows, and I especially miss tawdry comedies about 2 girls living with a guy who pretends to be gay in front of his landlord. OK, so Jack Tripper happened to be a chef. That was the closest connection to a cooking show that my shows ever got. Well, unless you want to count the time Alf blew up the kitchen.