i decided to donate to TPT (st. paul’s pbs station) in hopes that more money would encourage it to get the create channel on its airwaves. in the meantime, i have access to a bunch of aired shows, including the great british baking show! i watched season one on netflix a while back, and was instantly hooked.
the premise is simple: get a bunch of brits together for a bake-off, including a technical challenge where they have to read directions and use their know-how to create these arcane recipes, and every week someone is picked off. two judges: mary berry, who reminds you of that great-aunt who’s slightly on the saucy side but likes to wax eloquent about foods of yore, and paul hollywood, who’s harsher than mary but also better looking (when he compliments a baker you know that the baked good is top notch). add in a couple emcees in blazers who like to make bad puns and weird sexual references, and it’s a, ahem, recipe for success.
so with my newfound access to tpt’s archives, i watched season three over the past week, and just finished up the finale with the winner earlier tonight. i’ve never been so emotionally invested in reality tv! maybe it’s because the contestants really are just joe schmo next door and looks like they could be your neighbor who’s really good at baking cakes. maybe it’s because everyone is generally sad to see people go. there tends to be no drama between contestants (that we can see), and everyone’s just so dang happy for the winner. no hard feelings.
the person i was hoping would win won, and it was so emotional for that person as well – you could tell throughout the competition that it was hard to feel like s/he was actually good at baking. it ended with real pick-me-up words from the winner: “I’m never gonna put boundaries on myself ever again. I’m never gonna say I can’t do it. I’m never gonna say ‘maybe’. I’m never gonna say, ‘I don’t think I can.’ I can and I will.”
as an aside, i’ve decided to stay home for christmas, and i’m going to make a buche de noël. and have a bonfire.