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Review: Beauty and the Baker

Source: Channel 4
Source: Channel 4
Source: Channel 4

Don’t be fooled by the worryingly ‘reality TV’ name. I can almost guarantee that this show will pull you in and knead you into a flat little pitta in no time.

 Beauty and the Baker, another show in the Walter Presents section of All 4, is an Israeli romantic comedy about, well… a ‘Beauty’ and a ‘Baker’. A gorgeous, super-rich model meets a baker from Bat Yam in Israel, and they start to like each other. The plot is not the most plausible, but plausible enough to suspend disbelief and enjoy the show for the many plus sides it has.

For a start, the two lead characters have a chemistry which is magnetic; everyone I’ve shown this show to agrees that if the couple were ill-suited, there wouldn’t be much reason to carry on watching past the first episode. Both the title characters will have viewers transfixed: The Beauty, Noa Hollander (Rotem Sela) and The Baker, Amos Dahari (Aviv Alush) both display enough niceness and vulnerability early on for the audience to quickly warm to them as a pair.

As we all know by now though, the course of true love never did run smooth. And it would be really boring to watch if it did, so it’s a good thing that there are some solid troughs to accompany the peaks. Many of the pair’s troughs are supplied by Amos’ family, particularly his somewhat slimy brother Assaf (Ofer Hayoun). The family dynamic is a key source of humour – and tension – throughout the show, including a revelation about Amos’ younger sister which reveals some interesting truths about the family members.

This review can’t go without a special mention to my favourite character, Tzvika Granot (Mark Ivanir), whose sarcastic sense of humour and bristly exterior cover up the warmness he shows towards Noa, who’s like a daughter to him. Admittedly he does look a bit like a hedgehog wearing a waistcoat, but that’s no reason to criticise him. If anything it makes him more endearing. As long as hedgehogs dress professionally I have nothing against them in the workplace.

Interestingly, the show is a first-time script written by a co-host of Big Brother Israel, who grew up helping out in his dad’s bakery in Bat Yam. It took him three years to complete. Somehow I can’t imagine the presenter of Big Brother in the UK doing the same.

So if you’re looking for a series that will make you laugh, drool, and laugh again, look no further than Beauty and the Baker. And I’m sorry if it turns you into a laughing, drooling mess in front of your mates.