If I ever owned a bakery (for some reason), there's one thing I've learned from watching "The Cake Boss" and "Ace of Cakes" - my only rule for the bakery would be this: pick up your own cake. For those who have ever seen the "Food Network Challenge" (on the Food Network, which...is rather obvious) cake episodes, there's the tension of making the cake within the time limit, then there's the tension of moving the gigantic, detailed and delicate cakes a few feet to the judging table.
However, in shows like "Cake Boss" and "Ace", we commonly see the staff not only have to move cakes up and down stairs and out to trucks and vans, but transport them through pothole-ridden city streets and on highways and elsewhere to get them to their destination.
What's worse for one's health: being in a bakery and having a few samples here-and-there each day, or the tension of trying to hold - for as much as an hour or more - a ridiculously fragile cake that you probably worked on for the last 48-72 hours together as the truck is going 55 down the expressway? Early in the first episode of this season, we find out that there's a penalty in the form of a prank for those who drop a cake.
"Cake Boss" follows the adventures of Buddy Valastro, the fourth-generation owner of Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken, NJ. He's joined by his employees, some of whom are family members, which makes for added drama. There's also the sheer skill and difficulty involved in making many of the cakes - everything from freaky plants to robots to a marathon where 50 cakes have to be made in 7 days, a race car and more.
The personal dramas between Buddy and the others gets a tad much at times, but is generally at least amusing. The rush to make remarkably detailed cakes continues to prove compelling, especially in the last episode, when Buddy has to pull together a cake for his daughter's birthday at Walt Disney Resort, only to find himself in the bakery at the resort not knowing where anything is. Overall, "Cake Boss"'s season second still remains a mostly lively, fun reality series.
VIDEO: The series is presented by TLC in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The presentation quality is terrific for a TV presentation, with very nice sharpness and detail. Some minor shimmering appeared on a few occasions, but the picture otherwise looked crisp and clear. Colors remained bright and well-saturated, with no smearing or other faults.
SOUND: Clear, well-recorded Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.
EXTRAS: "Sauce Boss" segments where Buddy takes viewers through cooking various dishes.
Final Thoughts: Overall, "Cake Boss"'s season second still remains a mostly lively, fun reality series. The DVD set boasts fine audio/video quality, as well as a few minor extras. Recommended.