Ace of Cakes

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We've found ourselves unexpectedly charmed by the Food Network show Ace of Cakes. The show focuses on a custom cake bakery in Baltimore and each week follows Duff Goldman and his staff as they create 2 or 3 'extreme' custom cakes. The combination of the good humor of the staff and meeting design challenges is a winner for us.

Talking about this show is as good an opportunity as any to address something that's been brewing in my head for a while. I think we've reached the point where the term 'Reality TV' really doesn't convey much about a show -- within the supposed one genre we have everything from competitive shows like American Idol or America's Next Top Model, which really owe their lineage to game shows, to shows that approach documentary work, like Ace of Cakes or Miami Ink. I'm not sure what good replacement terms are, but I think we need them to speak intelligently about the different categories of TV shows.