Looking For a New Comfort Show? The Great British Baking Show May Be The Answer.

Sarah Snow, Staff Writer

If you’re currently on the lookout for a new comfort show, especially one to cozy up to this winter, The Great British Baking Show (GBBS) is a perfect choice. The series fuses classic British baking, soothing music, lighthearted jokes, and the beautiful English countryside, joining together to produce something truly magical. TV should be entertaining and amusing, but it also needs some elements of excitement and passion. GBBS brilliantly achieves all of this, while also allowing one to de-stress and relax. If there’s one show that’s a must-watch, it’s this one.

In general, British TV just knows what it’s doing. They can take something as overdone as competitive reality cooking TV, and make it completely unique. SHS parent Kathleen Fisher, a long-time lover of the show, captures this perfectly, articulating, “I can’t put my finger on it, but this show has a heart to it, a genuine heart to it that is lacking in all others.” It is heartwarming, hilarious and truly addicting, and avoids the drama and tackiness that consumes so many other shows in this genre. As the weeks go on, you become increasingly invested in the show. While the nature of GBBS is soothing and relaxing, it’s also so captivating and leaves viewers at the edge of their seats, eagerly waiting to hear who will be deemed “Star Baker,” and who will be sent home.

The true depth of the show, however, lies in the variety and diversity of its structure. The series brings together 12 bakers of all different ages and backgrounds, and has them compete against each other for 10 consecutive weekends. Each week focuses on a different theme—some personal favorites being Cake Week, Patisserie Week, and German Week. Of course, the focus is on the baking itself, but there are so many other components to appreciate as well. Viewers learn about British culture, international family traditions, and the rich history behind baking, making it an engaging experience that is both educational and entertaining.

The more one immerses themself in the show, the more its competition is forgotten. Viewers become overwhelmed with the show’s friendly, light-hearted nature, another defining aspect of the series. SHS English Teacher and avid watcher of GBBS, Anne Blake, sums this up wonderfully saying, “It’s not intense and stressful. It’s a competition, but everyone is so nice to each other. It’s a human story of baking and friendship.” The judges, commentators, and bakers are always cheering each other on, bringing a smile to anyone’s face.

Not a baker? No problem. One doesn’t have to be an expert in the kitchen to love this show. The majority of people who watch the show aren’t fervent bakers. Blake, for example, describes herself as “someone that literally can’t bake,” but says, “Every day of my life I recommend this show to people. You don’t need to think very hard when you watch it, and it’s a nice break from all the chaos.” What makes this show so appealing is its ability to make any person feel an overwhelming sense of happiness and comfort, no matter their baking experience. 

In addition, the creators have a remarkable way of establishing a genuine bond between viewers and contestants. Fisher emphasizes this, expressing, “One of the best things about GBBS is that the show really allows you to get to know the people.” Each baker has his or her own segment where viewers get an inside look into their personal life, including clips of them practicing their decadent bakes at home. This sweet addition is just another feature for one to look forward to, and it helps establish that strong bond between the contestants and the audience.

SHS science teacher Geoff Gross, another GBBS fan, credits his love for the show to “being able to watch how creative people get and witnessing how much they grow from the first episode to the last.” The baked creations that are produced on the show are works of art, and the imagination and originality these experts demonstrate are simply sensational.

After nine seasons, The Great British Baking Show has continued to impress. It started out as a small, underground show, and immediately gained attention. Now it is one of the most well-known, talked about reality TV shows in Great Britain. Fisher summarizes it best, stating, “There is simply nothing not good about The Great British Baking Show.” There really isn’t. If you’re looking for a new show to rely on, or even if you aren’t, adding The Great British Baking Show to your repertoire is a must. So grab a cozy blanket, light those candles, and start the binge-watching!