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These Netflix game show releases are so dumb, I weep for humanity

Published Mar 23rd, 2024 12:05PM EDT
Is It Cake on Netflix
Image: Netflix

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Next week marks the return of a Netflix game show that is so vapid, so indisputably cringe, that I still can’t believe it exists — let alone that it’s about to debut a third season among the rest of the upcoming week’s rather light slate of Netflix releases.

The title of the Netflix game show in question, the new season of which will be released on March 29, tells you everything you need to know about it. Is It Cake? offers a bracing, edge-of-your-seat competition wherein contestants try to guess whether or not objects are made out of … cake. And that’s pretty much it. I’ll grant you, the objects presented in the show — everything from famous paintings to sneakers to handbags — look super-realistic. Which is another thing that makes me hate the show.

In addition to having a dumb premise, there’s pretty much zero skill involved. You’ve got a 50-50 shot. It’s either cake or it’s not. There are a bunch of chances to make random guesses, and then that’s it. Roll the credits.

Saturday Night Live veteran Mikey Day will once again oversee the fondant-fueled madness, as contestants attempt to fool a new lineup of guest judges with hyperrealistic cakes resembling everyday objects,” Netflix says about the release of the new season, which will include eight episodes. “And with the ultimate cash prize on the line, prepare for bigger cakes, higher stakes, and even wilder bakes.” (Higher stakes? This is a show about whether objects are made out of scrumptious cake — don’t be so dramatic, Netflix.)

The streaming giant earlier this month cancelled the fantastic Michelle Yeoh-led crime drama The Brothers Sun, but sure — let’s let this inane series (which The Daily Beast humorously described as representing “a new low for humanity“) run a little longer. I kind of get it, though. The show is addictive, in the same way that eating frosting-topped cake has an addictive element to it. Neither one, of course, is good for you.

Is It Cake? on NetflixImage source: Netflix

At the same time, that got me thinking: Is It Cake is not the only Netflix release that belongs in the category of “I can’t believe this is an actual Netflix show.” Here are two more game shows from the streamer that elicit the same reaction from me.

Deep Fake Love

Honestly, Deep Fake Love might be the cruelest Netflix reality show release I’ve ever had the misfortune to check out.

The premise of this Spanish-language reality show is straightforward; in fact, it’s right there in the title. Participants sit down in a white chair, facing a giant screen. Ominously, the presenter asks if they’re ready, at which point footage of the participant’s significant other is shown on the screen — with the significant other in various stages of undress, getting hot and heavy with other attractive singles.

Deep Fake Love on NetflixImage source: Netflix

At that point, the participants’ responses range from breaking down to cursing, shaking, jumping up, and pacing in response to visual evidence of their partner cheating. The twist, though, is that it might not actually be their partner at all. It might just be their partner’s face deep-faked onto someone else.

Deep Fake Love is an innovative format in which five couples face deepfake technology, an artificial intelligence technique that modifies images, forcing them to differentiate what is real and what is not,” Netflix says about the series. “In Netflix’s new reality show, produced by Cuarzo Producciones (Banijay Iberia), five couples will test their relationships and their trust, with a prize of 100,000 euros at stake.”

As for that prize money mentioned at the end, it’s awarded to the winning couple that makes the fewest errors in guessing whether the footage of their partner that they’ve seen throughout the show is real or fact. “Realidad o ficcion” — that’s the name of this game.

Bullish*t: The Gameshow

This next title tilts back to more of an Is It Cake-level on the dumbness scale.

“Hosted by Howie Mandel,” Netflix’s official summary of this new series reads, “Bullsh*t The Game Show will offer contestants a chance to win big money, even when they don’t know the correct answer.

Bullsh*t: The Gameshow on NetflixImage source: Netflix

“Throughout the game, players will work their way up a money ladder either by answering questions correctly or by confidently giving incorrect answers. And persuading their opponents that they are accurate. To win big in this game you don’t have to be the smartest person in the room to cash in, you just have to convince everyone that you are.”

Look, I get that not everything can be Stranger Things or The Crown. At the same time, we all only get one go-round in life, and it’s absolutely mind-boggling that some people can decide to spend their time making (and watching) absolute garbage along the lines of shows like these.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.