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on your marks, get set, bake

Oh hi. We’re back. We’ve missed you. It’s been a struggle to write, to be honest. It’s been a struggle to find something worthy to write about amidst the nightmare that is 2020. It’s especially challenging when you write a humorous, lighthearted blog and nothing feels humorous or lighthearted. So despite it seeming potentially insensitive to tell a frivolous story right now, here we are writing a frivolous-ish story. About a Netflix series. A simple, endearing, get-swept-away-to-a-tent-in-rural-England Netflix series.

A few weeks ago on a Thursday or maybe on a Wednesday or maybe on a Tuesday because do we even know what day it is? do we even care what day it is? does it even matter what day it is? At 8:24 pm

A: whatcha doin?

L: i thought we agreed not to ask that

L: but the answer is basically nothing

L: I’ll tell u what i’m not doing

L: I’m not organizing my kitchen

L: I’m not cleaning out my basement

L: I’m not painting my guest room

L: I’m just sitting here

L: in my family room

L: on the couch

L: actually, lying on the floor

L: on the foam roller

L: watching the great british baking show

A: i can’t believe you’re still watching that

A: of all the good shows i’ve told u to watch, that’s what u choose?

What would we do without good shows? We’ve been binge-ing The Queen’s Gambit and The Crown and of course The Undoing. We love a good drama - something thought-provoking, something deep, something sassy. But now we’re actually watching The Great British Baking Show. And by us, we mean, Laura. Laura is watching it. A lot.

Angie can’t get herself to watch one episode. And has thoroughly enjoyed spending the last few weeks mocking Laura for watching a group of Brits compete in an outdoor tent while baking custard tarts and trifles and fruit pies. For watching a show where the judges’ names are Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. A show where the prize is an engraved plate. Not a million dollars. Not a cookbook deal. Just an engraved plate. Oh and also flowers.

Laura spends the same few weeks extolling the virtues of GBBS. The beauty of watching 12 people with soothing British accents make desserts you’ve never heard of. The beauty of them using phrases like soggy bottom and nice bake and prove the dough. And most of all, the beauty of trading the tiresome, worrisome, wearisome world we live in for a few moments of mindlessness, joyfulness and lightheartedness.

A few Thursdays or Wednesdays or Tuesdays or whatevers later. At 12:04 am

A: i can’t sleep

A: i’m painting the guest room

A: while watching GBBS

A: i finally caved

A: and i might be on episode 3 already

Things have taken a turn for the worse over here. Angie watches GBBS every day at lunch with her kids now. Laura watches GBBS in bed with her daughter mid-day now. And before you get too excited to check it out, let us be clear about something. Crystal clear. The show isn’t brilliant. Or deep. Or thought-provoking. Not even a little. It’s no The Trial of the Chicago 7 or Mrs. America or Unorthodox. Yet we’re both oddly drawn to it.

It got us thinking. Why? Why GBBS? What is it about this show that is so appealing?

Maybe it’s because of the cheerful intro music and the sunshine-y tent even though it rains every day.

Maybe it’s because they use words like quarrel and scrummy.

Maybe it’s because the endearing judge Mary Berry reminds us of our grandmothers even if she’s nothing like our grandmothers.

Maybe it’s because the contestants are genuinely helpful and supportive of one another.

Maybe it’s because the show highlights the complexities of people, how a bad-ass contractor with a pencil behind his ear is also obsessed with creating bite-size meringues to accompany his cardamom-infused custard.

And maybe, as we head into the depths of winter, we just want a little bit of light, pleasant and calm.

That’s all.

There’s no deep meaning here, no cryptic message, no a-ha moment.

We’re just trying to get through the discomfort and the uncertainty also known as mid-December also known as mid-pandemic also known as mid-blah.

So until we resume something that feels more like business as usual, we’ll watch our British baking competition reality show.

Because, for us, GBBS makes the world a teeny tiny bit lighter.

And for right now, we’ll take a teeny tiny bit more of anything not resembling 2020.

Some recent Monday during lunchtime

A: i love chetna

A: i don’t think she’s going to win but i love her

L: i loved the young girl from that season

L: martha, i think

A: yep, love her too

A: my boys like richard, the contractor with the pencil behind his ear

A: and i cannot believe i’m watching this

A: and discussing this

A: and what’s even more shocking

A: is that my kids are watching this

A: my 16 and 18 year old kids

A: you know, the ones who won’t watch anything with me?

A: they watch richard

A: and root for him

A: i know

A: go ahead

A: it’s your moment

L: i told u so

#thegreatbritishbakingshow #maryberry #paulhollywood #netflix

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