Sum-up: This show is ostensibly about baking. Before the contestants inevitably mess up, host Jacques does do a quick rundown for viewers of how to properly make the featured baked goods. But “Nailed It!” is actually a comedy at heart.
The guest hosts tend to be comedians, and the show lets them vamp and make jokes on the margins of the competition. Byer’s script has endearingly cringey puns, such as “Ho, ho, oh no!” When Maya Rudolph gets introduced, text onscreen explains that she’s “not related to the reindeer.” Solid holiday content.
Occasionally, the show awkwardly makes jokes about the nightmare world happening outside. One baking fail is called “a commentary on the state of our country,” while another is deemed an illustration for “global warming.” After this joke, the show cuts to footage of a glacier melting. For a sugary, zone-out show, these brief moments of existential despair certainly feel jarring.
Still, most of “Nailed It! Holiday!” sets a cheery mood. The show even found a Santa-looking contestant that sneaks sips of wine while baking. This exists as a perfect background to your winter drinking and seasonal activities.
Heads up: Once you’ve seen one episode of “Nailed It!” you’ve kind of seen them all. The show offers little in terms of surprise or variation. Each episode hurtles toward the conclusion of showing off baking disasters. Only watch when you need something mindless.
Close-up: The show also mines its own production failures for comedy.
During the first episode of the season, Nicole asks, “Jacques, are you excited about today?” Jacques responds, “I cannot wait … no bad hamburgers!” Nicole and guest host Jason Mantzoukas burst out laughing. The camera shows the teleprompter. Jacques should have said “No bah humbugs.”
Nicole responds: “No bad hamburgers! So cute!”
The show then just starts this scene over with the hosts reading the canned jokes in the script. “No bah humbugs,” Jacques says. “Oh, Jacques is getting all Dickens on me,” Byer responds, supposedly off the cuff, but we know it’s part of the script because of the events that just transpired.
Allowing the show to embrace its own failures certainly makes it more charming.
You can watch a snippet from this moment here: