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Jason Mantzoukas Is Back! And Everything Else You Need To Know About 'Nailed It! Holiday!' Season 2

By Kristy Puchko | TV | November 20, 2019 |

By Kristy Puchko | TV | November 20, 2019 |


Nailed-It-Holiday-Season-2.jpeg

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, followed by Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. This means plenty to buy, bake, make, wrap, and wrangle. Before all that, kick back and blow off some seasonal frustrations with the return of Nailed It! Holiday!

The latest in Netflix’s hit baking-competition show is dropping soon. So here’s everything you’ll want to know about Nailed It! Holiday! Season 2!

What’s the difference between Nailed It! and Nailed It! Holiday!?

Very little! It’s the same Nailed It! we’ve come to love with a bit of added glitz and glitter. Comedian Nicole Byer brings her big smile and bigger personality to her duties as host, welcoming bakers, guffawing at goofs, and judging their final products with a mix of merriment and warm mockery. Master pastry chef and chocolatier Jacques Torres is her ever-chipper co-host, who shares his years of expertise in a sugary coating that makes even his chastisements feel sweet. Even after three seasons of Nailed It! and the first of Nailed It! Holiday!, the two are still an absolute joy to watch. Each episode, they are clearly enamored with and amused by each other. Their camaraderie is positively contagious, spreading ep-after-ep to the guest judges and bakers so that even the most atrocious cake fail is something they—and we—can all enjoy. The biggest difference between the original series and this seasonal spinoff is a set design that leans heavy into the holidays, and dresses for Nicole that are full-length and flushed with sequins!

What episode of Nailed It! Holiday! is Jason Mantzoukas on?

After charming audiences last season with his daffy and dapper humor, a merry (and manic) Mantzoukas returns to join Nicole and Jacques in the festive fun of episode one! “We’re Scrooged” has the bakers facing off in a pair of Christmas Carol-themed challenges that’ll make their heads spin. Plus, Zouks is on loose in the Nailed It! kitchen, asking contestants about curious tea-making techniques, making loud and outlandish time checks, and treating Wes as the Cratchit to his Scrooge, bellowing and berating the curly-haired crewmember with a bouncy bravado.

So, is Wes back?

First off, it’s pronounced Wuh-Hess. Second, worry not, my turtledoves. Wes is back and being cut no slack by Nicole or the guest judges, who push him around like a beloved but runty little brother demanding tea, trophies, and “a margarita with a spicy rim, chips, and GUACAMOLE!” But don’t cry for Wes. (That’s Nicole’s job!) He gets to have fun with an array of wacky costumes and comedic bits. In a very special challenge, his likeness is captured in a showstopping cake that’ll make you howl with laughter. He’s not the only one who becomes a delectable dessert this season. Nicole is also honored with a cake that pays tribute to her curves, exuberance, and love of the pole. (Seriously, she’s super into pole dancing. Check her Insta!) The real joy of both comes when we see what the bakers have managed with their sugary and surreal portraits.

Who guest stars this season?

Nailed It! Holiday! season 2 features a slew of stars in comedy and culinary arts. For “A Classic Christmess,” Saturday Night Live alum Maya Rudolph swings by and is dismayed to learn the judges REALLY do taste the confounding confections set before them. Stand-up comic Bridget Everett shows her softer side, sympathizing with a befuddled baker in “It’s a Wonderfail Life.” Comedic actress Jillian Bell celebrates Dr. Seuss and her new Netflix show Green Eggs and Ham on “One Fail, Two Fail, I Fail…” Actor/chef/NPH hubby David Burtka drops by in the New Year’s Eve-themed “New Year, New Fails.” For Hanukkah, Israeli pastry chef Ron Ben-Israel sheds light on Jewish traditions in “Shalo-many Fails!” Last but not least, Jason Mantzoukas is not the only How Did This Get Made podcaster to pop up this season. Paul Scheer was offered the chance to guest judge but asked instead to compete. It’s a bold move that makes the Hanukkah episode even more delightful.

So wait. How many episodes does Nailed It! Holiday! Season 2 contain? Can I binge it all at once?

There are six episodes this season. With each being about a half-hour apiece, you can absolutely marathon them all in one night. I did. And probably will again!

Is the baking still bad?

Oh my, yes. However, every baker goes in knowing they’re in over their heads. The challenges presented are complicated cakes and confections that take master bakers hours or even days to prepare. These earnest amateurs are given a fraction of that time. But that doesn’t matter, because Nailed It! is not about great bakes or showstoppers. It’s about great attempts and jaw-droppers.

The fun is in the trying…and the tasting. This season Nicole and Jacques are shown being more frank about less-than-tasty treats. Watching one contestant microwave her cake mix (to melt the butter), Jacques laments, “Nicole, you’re going to have to put something strange in your mouth again.” Later, a baker offers a configuration of flour, sugar, and butter so strange that Nicole can’t swallow it, and a spit bucket gets some screentime. Even as the cookies crumble, no one is left crushed, only giggling.

Are there more glimpses at behind-the-scenes mistakes?

Yes! Would it be Nailed It! without them? Part of the reason the show works so well is that it’s not only the bakers who get joshed for their flubs and fails. In this yuletide season, we’ll see cast and crew playfully teased for the peculiar placement of props, their interactions with the bakers, and fumbling over the teleprompter lines.

For instance, when Jacques mumbles the malapropism “bah hamburgers,” it’s funny. It’s even funnier when Mantzoukas riffs about it. Then, when the smiling chocolatier repeats the line without incident, the editors cut back to the bakers, whose shoulders are still quaking in giggles from the first flub. Just like that, it’s a joke hilarious and embracing, because we’re all in on it and it’s on all of us. We’ve all been screw-ups and will be again. Season after season, Nailed It! lets us celebrate the brave attempts by not taking the failures so seriously.

Did Nailed It! Holiday! try the crafting thing again?

No. Blessedly, the worst episode of Nailed It! has not been repeated. No crafters are brought into a remodeled kitchen. No one is handed a glue gun and hands back a tragic craft gone wrong. Nicole may look mirthful, shocked, bemused, and confused, but in this new season, she never looks bored as she did in that failed attempt at a spinoff.

When can I watch it?!

Nailed It! Holiday! Season 2 hits Netflix in full on November 22.



Kristy Puchko is the managing editor of Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter.


Header Image Source: Netflix


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