Okay so I didn’t mean to make the headline quite so alliterative, but I stand by it! In my goal to watch (and review) a lot of the reality series available on Netflix, I stumbled upon The Big Flower Fight. In the vein of The Great British Bake Off and The Great British Sewing Bee, this is the first show that I’ve seen focused specifically on floral arrangements and it’s just as great as the first seasons of GBBO and a real feast for florist fans.
Presented by Natasia Demetriou and Vic Reeves and judged by Kristen Griffith-Vanderyacht (with a guest judge per episode), the show follows ten pairs of two who must come together and create a floral arrangement based on the brief offered by the host and judges.
In the first two episodes, the viewers are introduced to the ten pairs who mostly have some background in floral arrangements and art of some kind as they start their first briefs, creating a bug in the premiere, and a wearable dress in the second episode. Other briefs include huge hairy beasts, giant edible thrones, magnificent mobiles, sea creatures, green giants, and the finale prompt was fairy tales!
The pairs come from all over the world with the US pair hailing from NYC. Some have worked together in the past, some seemed to have come together specifically for the show, but they all seem to really love one another and are respectful of each other’s working style. It’s great learning more about them as the episodes continue and picking a pair to support.
Each episode includes beautiful drawings of the planned project from each pair, and educational tidbits about the flowers and plants used by the contestants. Instead of a tent, the contestants are hanging out in a dome, and each episode’s winner is best in bloom.
Like GBBO, the contestants don’t receive money when they win. Instead, they win the chance to build a sculpture displayed at London’s world-famous Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, which is a huge deal! Fortunately, unlike the majority of other competition series, there’s no narrative to follow about each contestant pair beyond learning who they are. Obviously we learn a lot about them throughout the series but it’s not because there’s a redemption arc or anything placed on the contestants (like on MasterChef).
In fact, the contestants are part of the draw for me to finish the season. GBBO grew more and more inclusive over time and in the year Nadiya Hussain won, there were a number of contestants of color and gay contestants. Similarly the first season of Big Flower Fight includes multiple contestants of color, gay contestants, and one trans contestant! The show does remark on this but without making it a big deal which other competition shows have done before.
The judges too are so fun to watch because they absolutely know their stuff so while they roam around the dome as the contestants create, we learn from their comments, and we learn more at judging.
Like GBBO there’s a level of irreverence and streaming on Netflix that lets everyone say nearly whatever they want on a family friendly series. Side note, even though the show is obviously about flowers, the judges and hosts wear the best clothes. It’s an explosion of color every episode in the greatest way.
Just look at two of the challenges!
Personally I found The Big Flower Fight incredibly soothing to watch especially on the eyes. Anyone who has visited a botanical garden, or even lives in a place where they’ve come across a garden with a true diversity of plants knows how gorgeous flowers and plants are!
Images Courtesy of Netflix