Britain is in turmoil. The Brexit vote has led to many a doom-and-gloom prognostication out of the United Kingdom. But with all of the upheaval and uncertainty, one thing remains: The Great British Baking Show is delightful.
The cooking competition features 12 amateur bakers. Each show is built around different skill sets that get increasingly harder as the show progresses. Each show has three challenges: the signature challenge, when bakers can show off old favorites; a technical challenge, when each baker must work off of limited instructions; and a showstopper, which is meant to wow the judges.
The whole thing is just - bear with me, now - sweet. You can't possibly resist a show whose proverbial starting gun is the adorable catchphrase of "Ready, set, bake!"
The judges, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood (yes, that's his given name) are warm and friendly - unlike the judges of American cooking competitions, who tend to vie for the nastiest sound bite rather than the most constructive criticism. Even the contestants seem to genuinely like each other. They're all so passionate about what they do.
Why watch a British show over your Fourth of July holiday weekend? Shouldn't you binge Friday Night Lights on Netflix or The Americans on Amazon Prime (also killer choices). Well, WHYY starts airing the next season 9 p.m. Friday and I promise, once you get hooked, you'll need even more.
- Molly Eichel
Where to stream it: Netflix, pbs.org. True obsessives can find on YouTube; past seasons not available on American streaming sites.