The Great British Baking Show

Okay. One of the perks of being the current president of the Maine Library Association is that I get the chance to hang out with an awful lot of librarians. Bucketloads. And while there are many geek librarians out there (we are legion), there are also plenty of other varieties. Knitting librarians. Regency romance librarians. You name it.

So I get to rub elbows with people who aren’t all about the latest Star Wars movie coming out. But the thing is, we’re all geeks in one way or another. We just geek out about different things, is all. The guys who go to football games with their chests painted are showing the same trait as the fans who go to conventions dressed up as Groot. And I tend to respect geekery in all its many forms.

Which is a long way of saying that I heard through the librarian grape vine about The Great British Baking Show. I mean, again and again and again I heard about it. Enough that I finally decided to break down and see what it was all about. What was this show that my fellow librarians were complaining about missing because they were at an awards ceremony? Why was it so good?

Netflix has one season available, so I roped the rest of the family into watching the first episode with me. They were not excited. Particularly not TRC. But they agreed, mainly because I had the channel changer and they didn’t.

And it was wonderful. I mean, just flat out incredible. We’ve almost finished the first season, and we’ve loved every minute of it. The premise is simple: the top amateur bakers in Britain get together and compete to find out who’s the best. Each week, they do three challenges: a signature creation of their choice, an assigned recipe (they all bake the same thing), and a showstopper (something that’s supposed to really wow the judges). Each week has a different theme, as well. Pies. Cakes. Pastries. That sort of thing.

It’s a bad show for a man who’s mostly off sugar.

But even then, it’s really incredible. There’s none of the backbiting and conniving you get on other reality shows. It’s nice people doing cool things and being accurately judged.

If you haven’t seen any of it, you really owe it to yourself to watch it. Now I just need to figure out where I can go to watch other seasons . . .

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