TV Club: A “12 Days” Showstopper tests the Great Holiday bakers

After spending its first week in the shadow of the British series on which it’s based, “Cake Week” gives ABC’s holiday rendition of the format a chance to shape its own identity. And given that the competition format itself is more or less The Great British Bake-Off, its identity will come from the bakers themselves.

This happens in a variety of ways. For expositional purposes, the second episode repeats many of the same backstories that we saw in last week’s premiere, with shots of the bakers at home with family and friends. These are ultimately thin, especially if you were paying attention: we get it, Eddie has a grandmother and Ainslie is from California! There comes a point where you want the bakers’ identities to come through in more organic ways.

In the Bake-Off format, this comes through in the bakes. It has become clear that the …

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