Fabulous Floral Fashion
Huge Hairy Beasts
Giant Edible Thrones
The Big Flower Fight is essentially The Great British Bake-Off but instead of pastries and cakes we have flower arrangements and beautiful sculptures. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though but the similarities are certainly plain to see.
The graphic cutaways with accompanying narration as we’re shown hand-drawn archetypes for each showpiece are here, and the quirky judges with their humorous quips arrive too. There’s certainly a large dose of deja vu while watching but the series does just enough to stand out through its creative use of flowers.
The set-up is simple enough and the first episode sets the scene nicely for what you can expect across the rest of the series. Ten different contestants from around the world, competing in pairs, arrive to a makeshift dome built specifically for this competition and compete for the chance at creating a showstopping flower arrangement in Kew Gardens, London.
Each episode sees one pair eliminated and another given the prestigious title of Best In Bloom. The briefs at the start of each 40 minute segment introduces the rules and different items the group need to assemble with and as the timer starts, the rest of the run-time is taken up through the assembling and decorating of these showpieces.
With lots of time given to assembling and completing these flowery showcases, each episode sticks to one single challenge and introduces us to the different contestants and their backstory. Alongside this are the usual cutaway gags for our presenters while a judge (or judges depending on the episode) take to offering up insightful, educational and complimentary comments regarding each piece created.
It’s a pretty basic set-up and while it never hits the same charming heights the cake-loving Bake-Off hits, there’s certainly some high points here nonetheless. Understanding the technicality and different elements that go into creating these flowery creations is certainly educational, and with each completed task the pairs have to strategically weigh up beauty with functionality, especially given the need to make sure the flowers continue to bloom and don’t wilt and die.
Personally it would have been nice to see some technical challenges in here or even a more intimate, miniature-scaled arrangement to mix things up as most of these showpieces revolve around a more flamboyant, extravagant task like giant thrones, insects or, in the case of the finale, a huge fairytale scene stretched out across a wide area. Seeing the contestants force to recreate a classic Van Gogh, Monet or Dali painting in a rectangular flower pot may just have mixed things up a bit and tested a slightly different side of the contestants’ skill-set.
While I won’t disclose who wins the competition, the winners do raise some problems with the set-up of this series. The Big Flower Fight leans heavier on the artistic implications early on and despite reinforcing the need for these pieces to be functional, it ultimately does come down to beauty. That’s not a bad thing though of course, especially given some of these final flower arrangements are absolutely breathtaking.
With a lot of the similar beats to Bake Off, Flower Fight is an interesting and engaging reality competition nonetheless but it doesn’t quite blossom to the same heights as its British reality behemoth. The ideas are good though and there’s certainly a lot of oohing and aahing when the final showpieces are revealed. It’s not perfect but it’s certainly an entertaining watch and definitely worth a watch.