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Call me late to the party… I don’t care but I am ALL in for The Great British Baking Show and it’s American counterpart, The Great American Baking Show. What is this show you ask? Take regular ol’ home bakers from around the UK and America (respectively), throw them in a tent in the middle of a field, add in two “pros” and two “funny” people as the hosts and you’ve got yourself one of the most addictive shows on TV.
Here’s just a few reasons you should be watching The Great British Baking Show:
So how does this show work exactly? Bakers come together from around the country to bake together in a wedding rental tent surrounding by posh products like Smeg Fridges in Easter egg colors (it’s the best). Each week, they’re tasked with three bakes:
I never thought I’d want to learn to make choux pastry or hot water crust or macrons or flake pastry but I totally do after watching the show! I started a Pinterest Board for recipes and video how-to’s. If these regular folks are making this, I can too!
Yes, one of the professional judges last name is a fruit. It’s pretty much perfect for this grandma type who became a baking pro by cruising around the English countryside demo-ing ovens for an appliance company. Oh and she loves to drink and that’s just grand. We won’t hold it against her that she used the words “moist” and “sponge” in the same sentence in that GIF cause she has so many other great catch phrases like “scrummy” (scrumptious and yummy, presumably) and cram-jam!
Now I’m all for “real bodies” (aka all body types) but this is TV and there are pros dressing these women, why do the pants look so ill-fitting. When you watch this (and you will) pay attention to the judging at the end where the judges and hosts are lined up and it’s like a who’s who of women who don’t know a tailor. WTF.
If I hated Paul, I would liken his tan to Donnie Drump’s orange Cheeto look, but even though Paul seems a bit too smug for a home baker reality cooking show, I wouldn’t drag him that far. Ease up on the tan dude… and the contrast stitched denim… you’re looking a bit too Ed Hardy for me to take seriously. Keep your eyes open for Paul to develop a man-crush on a contestant early on, whether it’s Ian the Photographer or Richard from Season 1, Paul LOVES them, crushes on them, champions them and then ends up getting rid of them before the finals… It’s a Paul eat, Paul’s Favorites world and we’re just watching.
Give me Johnny (the American male pro baker judge) any day.
This is the American Baking Show crew: of course Mary, then Johnny Iunzzini is the other pro judge along with hosts Nia Vardolas and Ian Gomez!!
Sure there’s a soggy bottom. EVERYONE hates a soggy bottom. But what about “this is a good/bad bake,” the crumb on this is good, this was an open bake or the bake it too close?! You’ll see my and my BF digging into a dessert at a restaurant and we’ll now comment on the “crumb” and the “bake” of an item. ARM CHAIR PROFESSIONALS!
From grannies to grandpas, a Prison Warden, high school girls, a fireman, musicians and more all wrapped up in a multi-ethnic package makes it a balm for the soul of Trump-era rhetoric. Seeing bakers who could be your neighbors come together to bake, incorporate flavors from their lives and make fantastic BAKES (this is the language they use) is a recipe for the perfect escape.
Hate is a strong work in conjunction with a reality show about baking, but you get what I mean. Who didn’t love watching Grandpa Norman cook up Scottish delights, or Nadiya’s story about her grandma cooking the clementines? But then there’s also bakers like Ruby, who’s lack of self-confidence or perhaps an affected performance of a lack of self-confidence (baking conspiracies!) at the beginning of season 2 is more annoying than charming… she gets a tad better but still, it’s rough. But you’ll find people to root for in no time!
So how do you watch this? Well, three seasons are available on Netflix, PBS has some of them, YouTube has full episodes and the American version was on ABC this last December and was the first season. And if you’re in the UK, you’ve probably already been watching this for years (stop rolling your eyes). So GET ON IT!
Also, in a bit of news the BBC lost the bidding war to retain the Great British Baking Show on their channels so it will be moving to UK’s Channel 4 and apparently in a show of solidarity the old hosts Mel and Sue left (#sorrynotsorry) as did Mary Berry (NOOO!) but Paul Hollywood pulled essentially a scab moved, broke lines and will be on the new revamped version with new hosts: (YAY!) Noel Fielding (double yay!) and Sandi Toksvig and new Pro: Prue Leith.
So what are you waiting for??? GET ON IT.
Images via Giphy and PBS