*main image taken from Google for use in review purposes only*
Have you seen Blown Away on your Netflix recommendations yet? When I first saw the trailer I thought it was a documentary on glass blowing and made a mental note to watch it later. Turns out, it’s not a documentary at all, it’s an American competition which sees glassblowers go head to head in an almost Great British Bake Off style of competition. In each episode there is a winner and there is a loser who is sent out of the competition, until there is only one person remaining to be crowned the best glassblower ever (or something like that).
I really wanted this to be a spoiler free review so let me get this out of the way – the person who won was definitely not who I thought would win, in fact when I saw this individual enter the competition I actually said: “well they won’t last long” to the empty room (even I don’t know who I was telling). So there you go, don’t assume you know who is going to win because if you’re like me you might be wrong.
If there is a second season (and apparently it’s proving pretty popular, so I’m guessing there will be) then I would like to see the person eliminated in the first episode make a return, I was rooting for this person and was so disappointed to see how things transpired.
When I switched on that first episode to see what the show was like I never imagined that I would end up watching the whole series in one go, yet that’s exactly what happened. I ended up watching every single episode on Monday night while tidying my living room and rearranging the furniture to make room for my new chair. I started watching it again at lunch time today (hoping for a different outcome maybe?) and I was so tempted to get caught up in that spiral of just watching another episode and then another – this is when Netflix’s autoplay gets a bit lethal! So yes, I got a little bit hooked and you should probably be prepared to want to watch more than one episode at a time too.
So what about the competitors? While I say the show is like GBBO, the reality is that I guess it’s not really like GBBO at all. Firstly, they only have one challenge to prove themselves in each episode. Secondly, it’s American, and that is pretty evident in a lot of the glassblowers attitudes. They pretty much all think that they are the best and all seem to think that they should win pretty much every challenge, and sometimes seem genuinely shocked when they don’t win every week (even though I was definitely not surprised). I don’t think there’s an issue in being proud of your talents when you’re good at something, but when you’re in a ring of people who are considered to be “the best” in your field you kind of need to recognise that you might not always be the best. There’s none of that *British charm* that TV audiences across the world seem to lap up.
The challenge is different in each episode, obviously, but I think that there is a really good mix to test their creativity and imagination as well as providing the competitors an opportunity to display the true diversity of their skills set as each challenge requires different technical talents if you’re going to progress. This might be a tiny spoiler, but there are some truly awe-inspiring technical skills on display in some of the episodes. </spoiler>.
Another tiny possible spoiler (I’m not very good at this, am I?) – my heart broke a little bit with every broken piece of glass. Sometimes more than others. </spoiler>
What I really want to know is why is there so few sweaty armpits despite the 2000+ degree furnaces? What antiperspirant are they using? This would be a great antiperspirant advert!
So in conclusion (was this an exam!?) I would say that yes, I pretty much was blown away by Blown Away. The idea is so unique while fitting into an increasingly common format that we as audiences haven’t quite sickened of yet. It’s not often that you get to see this craft highlighted in such a way, and it is pretty darn impressive to watch.
Have you watched Blown Away? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! (and try to keep them as spoiler free as possible!)