A Character-Development Walk: “Bakers and Fakers” review

The reason I love Littlest Pet Shop is the same reason I love My Little Pony. The episodes are well-written, the plotlines are interesting, the animation is superb, and the characters are not simply caricatures.

Unfortunately, this is less true with Littlest Pet Shop. Zoe is basically your archetypal diva, with very little deviation; Pepper generally fades into the background, which is ridiculously ironic; and Russel is just the generic smart guy of the group, Twilight Sparkle with a stick up her ass.

Then there’s Blythe, whose position as a fashion designer doesn’t really sit well with me. I mean fashion design isn’t any worse than any other career path. But it feels so shockingly generic and cliché. Especially for a female character.

That being said, I do like the characters, and the overall show. But the lack of character development cripples things somewhat.

Which leads me eloquently to this week’s episode, where the potential existed to give two major supporting characters significant development, But that potential was perplexingly and literally beheaded. Allow me to explain.

We open in Blythe’s math class, where the teacher is trying to explain to one of the Biskits that binomials have nothing to do with shopping.

Suddenly, two random teachers, one male, one female, enter, without knocking, while giggling and overtly flirting. So, they’re rude cunts basically. I remember once, in high school, a teacher did the same thing to my chemistry class. The big difference is, when she barged in, she started yelling and screaming at my friends. Long story short, I calmly told her to relax, and somehow I got in shit for it. I hated high school.

So why did they barge in? Well, it seems they’re doing this to every class, as they announce a joint endeavour between the home ec. and history departments to organize a historically themed bake-off.

Youngmee’s eyes light up.

The prize: Extra credit in both classes, which’ll result in an extra half-grade.

For some reason, the Biskits’ eyes light up.

Now, why they decided to announce it in the math class, rather than their own history and home ec. classes, is beyond me.

Let’s talk about these teachers for a second, Barish and Amster. They’re obviously fucking, and still in the ‘honeymoon’ phase. It’s disgusting. But also, quite forced. As they constantly giggle and flirt, it doesn’t feel normal or natural. Even if they are in love, you can learn to turn it off in a professional setting. Also, they’re quite slow on the uptake, taking a full two seconds to realize they’re saying the exact same thing. Dunces.

Then, we have the Biskits, the real stars this week. Oh, yeah, I said it. Honestly, I think they are my favourite human characters because I keep thinking there’s something more to them. Perhaps I’m delusional, but the fact that they suddenly care about grades might support this.

No, scratch that, turns out they only care about it because better grades means daddy’ll buy them stuff.

Later on, Youngmee is trying to recruit her friends to join her in the competition. They hesitate, saying they got other things to do, as Jasper confirms his role as the token male. (Seriously, he has to play video games!? That’s his excuse!?) But she turns them around with a rousing speech about trying to be better than everyone else. She compares herself to Einstein and Christopher Columbus. Wow, she really is an Asian stereotype.

They all start marching down the halls, chanting “Cake, Cake, Cake!”

As Team CakeCakeCake pass by, the Biskits start discussing whether they should even enter the competition. They make a pro-con list. On one side: Better grades, and free stuff. On the other: They’d have to do work. Tough decision.

Team CakeCakeCake passes again, and they come to a conclusion. They’ll enter the competition, and win, so they can take Blythe and co. down a few pegs. Brilliant!

Cut to Sweet Delights, where Team CakeCakeCake are discussing strategy, as Buttercream hops around. Yes, because having a rabbit hop around in a bakery is totally not a health code violation.

They discuss a few theme ideas. Sue proposes making a cake dedicated to the first woman to swim across the English Channel. But Jasper points out that wouldn’t really work on a cake. Soup, sure, but not cake. Jasper suggests the Battle of Gettysburg. Blythe points out that the Civil War has nothing to do with cake. Neither does any other historical event, genius.

Youngmee suggests a historically significant building. They settle on the Taj Mahal. Which is historically significant? Okay. Sure, why not? I still think Jasper’s idea was better. Though making a cake dedicated to it would have probably been too complex to pull off in the time they had. So, the Taj Mahal was probably the better idea.

They leave, and Buttercream finishes playing a game she made up on the fly. But now she’s lonely, so she sneaks into the Littlest Pet Shop to join the rest of our supporting cast, who we finally see, about a quarter of the way into the episode. By the way, three of them are missing, for some reason. But honestly, they don’t have to be around every week.

So, Annoyingcream starts stating random words, and Vinnie interprets this as Blythe saying cakes will take over the world. Da hell!? Anyway, it’s beautifully absurd.

Blythe runs in yammering about cake, freaking Vinnie out. She prints off some Taj Mahal photos, which confuses me, since I’m pretty sure she has her own computer. Why steal Twombly’s?

Cut to the stars of the show, Whitney and Britney Biskit, who are also discussing cake plans, to their personal chef, so he can make the cake.

I don’t know how this plan was supposed to work, since it is a bake-off and you have to bake it at the competition, not before the competition.

But it’s irrelevant, since Fisher, their father, catches them and lays down the law, telling them not to cheat. They have to do it on their own.

But Whitney gets an idea. Since there is no way they’ll win on their own, she proposes they just sabotage the competition. BRILLIANT! Immoral, but brilliant. Now, how to do that without getting caught? This is never mentioned.

We can presume it’s the next day, as Team CakeCakeCake are getting ready for the contest. They have all the equipment, ingredients, and recipes, and sketches. I’ll presume Blythe’s design skills are multifaceted, and that she knows a bit of structural engineering. Since they’d need it to build the damn thing.

You know what I just noticed. Blythe is wearing the same clothes she wears during the opening credits. That’s… odd. Admittingly, I’ve never kept track, but I’m pretty sure this is the first time she reused an outfit.

The Biskits walk into the shop, wearing trenchcoats, hats and fake moustaches. They claim to be newspaper reporters wanting to interview them. But the team see through their disguise quite easily. They basically try to get the recipe, but of course, Team CakeCakeCake doesn’t fall for it. But as they’re left alone in the storefront, Whitney spots a few recipe cards, which they quickly steal before leaving. Buttercream spots them, and tries to tell Blythe, but apparently she can’t hear her. Did she take more of that Liquid Kryptonite from last week?

So Team CakeCakeCake takes off, and Buttercream tells the other pets what she saw, but they don’t believe her because she’s a moron. Meanwhile, out front, Roger is telling Mrs. Twombly that he’s going to the competition… for some reason. I mean obviously he has a reason to go to the competition. But why is he telling Twombly this?

So Russell, Buttercream, Zoe and Vinnie decide to stowaway in his car, just in case. Why didn’t Twombly notice them leaving?

At the school, it’s bake-off time. Why did that guy bring a basketball to a bake-off? That’s stupid.

Team CakeCakeCake is setting up when they realize the recipe cards are missing. They begin frantically searching… fruitlessly. Roger arrives, acting like a moron, and the pets sneak-in as well.

Buttercream IDs the Biskits and Russell realizes it’s serious business.

So the contest begins, but Team CakeCakeCake still can’t find the recipe cards. Well Youngmee’s a great baker. She can work off of memory, right? Well, apparently not, since they keep searching for the cards instead.

Buttercream runs onstage, and targets the Biskits, attempting to acquire the apparently one-of-a-kind recipe cards.

To prevent the humans from noticing her, Zoe, Vinnie and Russell climb onto the catwalk, and start dropping eggs and cinnamon. It works. But Barish climbs up to investigate, and they all run off. Then Amster gets a Irish accent for some reason.

Skip ahead a bit, Buttercream grabs the recipe cards, and delivers them to Blythe, but she loses the actual recipe in the process, leaving only a sketch of the Taj Mahal. Youngmee then decides to get to work, and declares she’ll have to work off of memory. Yet she still waited until now to start. What the fuck?

So, the Biskits can’t find the recipe cards, their ace in the hole. But they still need that extra half grade. So they try to give the contest their all in spite of everything else.

Fast forward, the contest is over, and it’s time for judging. Team three made some type of strawberry cake, into a brown building which I don’t recognize (I think it’s the Alamo). Team two made a chocolate Eiffel Tower. And team one, Blythe’s team, made the Taj Mahal, of course.

It’s a beautiful cake. Though it does have more colours than the original.

Taj Mahal Cake Taj Mahal Building
Team CakeCakeCake Team Shah Jahan

Notice the one on the right doesn’t have purple pinnacles. But other than that, it’s pretty accurate. It’s almost as if the Taj Mahal was made to be a cake. Well done girls and Jasper.

You know, I don’t understand the logic behind the judging order. Or, that is to say, I don’t understand the logic outside of dramatic purposes. Because immediately after them, we see team four, Whitney and Britney’s cake. And it’s a masterpiece!

Zombie Cake

Oh, wait, nevermind. I forgot this wasn’t a horror-themed bake-off.

Yeah, their rationale for making a cake of themselves is simple: They’re so amazing they’ll go down in history. But the cake is pretty unstable, so at this point, the heads fall off.

Gushing Jam

You gotta give them props for pressurizing the filling like that. That’s amazing.

But they lose anyway, and Team CakeCakeCake wins.

Fisher comes up and congratulates his daughters on a job well done. But they point out that they didn’t win. Which is true, but they did give it their best shot. They actually tried. Which is worth more than they think.

Awww, how sweet. Now they’ll learn the value of hard work, and- oh, no, they just react with dismissal. Fuckin’…

See, that’s the problem with this episode. They could have reacted in an atypical fashion and showed us a bit of growth. Instead, we get a continuation of their own one-dimensional personality. I’m not asking for much. Just a smile, and a “thanks daddy,” would have meant much more than, “barf-ew.”

Back at the pet shop, Blythe gives half the non-human cast cake. But Vinnie instead opts for the head of Cake-Britney, which he absconded with. How he got it all the way back to the shop is anyone’s guess.

So, that’s the episode.

As I said, the Biskits are my favourite human characters. But unfortunately, the writers don’t do much with them. Which I think is a big mistake. There’s a lot of potential there. And to date, it’s been wasted.

On the bright side, I hope we get to see that cake again. Have them cater the big Halloween party, during the Halloween episode or something. That was amazing.

Next week. Something about reality TV and beauty pageants. I have a feeling this is going to be painful.

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8 responses to “A Character-Development Walk: “Bakers and Fakers” review

  1. *twilight barkle
    *minkie pie

    Honestly, not really a very interesting idea for an episode. Great writing though. btw you should probably resize that image of the taj mahal. It’s going off the right side of the screen on my computer. Also, why are you so impressed by the cake? It’s not a real cake, it probably took like 2 minutes for some guy to draw that.

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