It can’t be easy coming up with new twists on the cooking competition format. Recent attempts border on the ridiculous – like the demonic dumb waiter-centred Next Level Chef, or baking-based deception challenge Is It Cake?

Does Netflix’s latest attempt, Pressure Cooker, (available now) fare any better?

Somewhat. The novel spin comes from doing away with the usual panel of judges, instead putting the contestants in charge of the scoring. Oh, and they also all live together for the duration of the competition, giving ample opportunity for friendships to be forged and grievances to fester. The prize is $100,000.

“It’s not about food,” hopeful Jeana tells some newly made frenemies. “And the sooner we realise that in this game, the sooner we can start actually playing this game.”

She’s right. The cooking portion of the show soon becomes secondary to Machiavellian manoeuvres, unlikely allegiances and scapegoating. The producers clearly like it that way – with new gameshow devices each round that aim to stir the social pot, delivered via an order receipt printer.

Quickly, contestants are plagued with doubt – doubts often shared to camera in the ‘confession room’.

“At this point the math, ain’t mathin’,” reckons Renee as she attempts to reconcile claimed and actual voting results. “One of them’s lying. Certified.”

Their psychological ordeal is the viewer’s delight, of course. It’s compulsive stuff, with as many knives in the back as in the kitchen.