“The Big Brunch” - Episodes 1, 2, 3 Review

Story posted November 18, 2022 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Natalie Simone

Another cooking show... except this time it’s brunch!

The new HBO series, “The Big Brunch,” follows 10 passionate and aspiring chefs until one winner remains. The winner receives a $300,000 prize chosen by Dan Levy, the host, and the judges, who have a high esteemed resume when it comes to food: Sohla El-Waylly and Will Guidara.

The contestants are expected to make a starter then a main entree for each episode. The judges wait in the dining room and receive cocktails from the servers while the chefs frantically prepare their dishes.

Each episode, Levy provides a prompt for the contestants to draw inspiration from.

Brunch is so versatile, so this chosen meal to focus on is actually interesting, and different from the regular baking or dinner cooking shows.

All 10 contestants, but now there are only seven, have a deep connection to cooking, which is shown in their background montage. However, these scenes to describe their backgrounds are cliche and predictable.

The show has a slow pace and isn’t very different from any other cooking game show airing right now. Although, “The Big Brunch” doesn’t have the yelling, crying, or mental breakdowns that most competitive baking shows have, which definitely keeps the audience engaged and entertained.

To put it simply, Levy and the other two judges don’t have any chemistry. Their conversations are awkward and don’t seem natural. Maybe Levy should stick to scripts when being put in front of the screen.

On the other hand, the contestants have been helping each other serve the judges throughout the episodes. This sense of friendship and supportiveness is not customary when watching cut-throat cooking shows, except this one doesn’t seem too cut-throat.

The prize is a huge figure but, no one seems to be stressed about making it through to the next round. Either the contestants have a great poker face or they accept taking second place.

As a viewer, there were some strange occurrences that have happened more than once. There have been instances when the contestants have not served all of the judges. These contestants might not have the time management needed for the competition.

Also, to what seems like the judges fault, they’ve been providing pre-made food for the cooks in the kitchen and pantry. Then, when the cooks use the food provided, the judges get upset and penalize them. It doesn’t seem the most logical to provide food, but if used they get in trouble. Interesting.

Levy, on a cooking game show, isn’t entertaining enough with his dry, awkward humor, and he definitely isn’t supported by his co-judges. For the rest of the contestants, they seem to not want to let go of their chosen persona in the kitchen.

When deciding between “The Big Brunch” or a different cooking show, choose something else. The lack of laughs, appealing food, and confusing line-of-reason doesn’t create a good show to watch in your free time.

Rating: 2/5

Natalie Simone is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email nvs5790@psu.edu.