12.21.2015
culture

8 Reasons to Binge Watch 'The Great British Baking Show'

For instance, the word 'baked' is almost right there in the title.

In the newly American-loved version of the very best food show on earth, The Great British Baking Show, not-famous bakers join in harmony to make good stuff.  Season 1 is now on Netflix and Season 2 aired on PBS this fall and you can watch a few previews of it online. Of course you can still find earlier versions of the show before Americans got their hands on it, too. 

It's a simple recipe: Amateur home bakers gather together in the beautiful, green English countryside to prove that they are great bakers. They face themed challenges each week and bake some insane things you've probably never heard of. They are nice to each other, and the judges really know what they are talking about. 

Why is this show so addicting? Probably because it takes a turn away from the gruesome American reality TV competition shows. People are nice in this show, and it's a sigh of TV relief.  

1. You will love the hosts and judges.

Mary Berry (yes, best name ever) is a master baker with more than 70 cook books to her credit. Seriously, there is nothing this woman doesn't know. Paired with second judge and star baker, Paul Hollywood (yep, second best name ever), they are a dynamic duo. And then there's the wacky hosts (who are actually funny and make the show even sweeter): Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc. Unlike American competition reality shows, this show is filled with really nice and helpful hosts and judges. Their charm will make you hate all Americans. (Joking. Mostly.)

2. They bake outside. 

Unlike the insane television sets in America, the GBBS takes place in an idyllic green pasture somewhere in England. It's a simple (and really cute) tent full of baking stations and windows. Yes, windows. How pleasant! It's not overdone, and it's a lovely sight. Sometimes there is rain, sometimes they drink hot tea and watch the rain, sometimes it's quite hot, but always, there is light. It really feels like it would be a nice place to bake all day. 

3. The competitors don't have to live together. 

The bakers love and support each other. I really believe they have made lifelong bonds. That's because they don't live together in a tiny house where they are forced to get drunk and talk about their personal beliefs in a hot tub. These happy bakers can go home each week to recover from daylong baking challenges. They can even practice what they will present the following week! It's basically the paradise of all reality competitions on TV. 

4. The bakers are just like you and me. 

Well, sort of. But they are amateur bakers. Most of them are just home cooks with real day jobs. Watching them improve each week is a real treat. They seem to help one another through the challenges, too. Maybe it's all the light flooding through the tent windows? 

5. You will learn things.

There is a new theme each week. Each episode features three challenges on theme. I have learned about so many European cakes and crazy breads. I swear one day I will make one. I've also learned that baking is so technical that I (sadly) realized I could never do it. 

6. You might cry. 

Because the show is so pleasant, you will get very attached to your season's bakers. They really are just like you and me! And you will want them to succeed. And when a baker accidentally adds salt, not sugar, you will yell at the TV, and then cry when they are sent home. 

7. There's no annoying commentary. 

As Americans, we're used to hearing the sob story of each reality TV competitor. Sure it adds a sense of drama, and you never want the recovering-alcoholic-single-mother to go home, but in the GBBS, none of that back story matters. It's the baking that matters, and that makes the show feel so genuine. There's little commentary about personal shit. For that alone, it's the best show. 

8. Paul Hollywood's eyes. 

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