TV OT: Thank you, Baking Show, for always being what I knead


At my darkest point during the lockdown part of the pandemic, I’d wake up until 3 a.m. on most days to watch an old episode of “The Great British Bake Off,” wondering if I’d wake my husband if I was in the kitchen. Go and start making cakes. (No, Netflix, I’m not calling it “The Great British Baking Show.” You can’t make me up.)

I usually start my binge after midnight and go on until I guarantee I’m dreaming about cooking the perfect pasteis de nata rather than having a covid-related nightmare. Besides the occasional temptation to eat a cookie at 2 a.m., it was the relief from anxiety that came without any downsides. A tented haven. A blissful, baked break from the horror show that was reality.

Even as “The Great British Bake-Off”, which begins a new season this week, kicks off its first season amid Covid, it felt like home. There was some information about the events taking place outside the tent, but otherwise, it was familiarity, fun, and a warm blanket of dough.

I had inadvertently heard from other people getting similar sentiments from shows like “Nailed It!”, “Cupcake Wars” and “Bake Squad.” (After previewing a few episodes of Netflix’s upcoming “Baking Impossible,” I look forward to finding a way to this engineering/baking hybrid series in the line of people who frequent both the Food Network and Discovery Channel.) .)

My best hypothesis is that the Xanax-like effect many of us get from these shows is from the fact that the Bakers sometimes have things to prove, the shows themselves don’t.

The stakes are not life and death. You either get to eat the result or not. And even failures are literally wrapped in sugar. Tempering your eggs but check your temper at the door; Even if you have a wet bottom, we’ll all live to bake another day.

and successes? They are more than sweet. They are enthusiastic. What’s more satisfying to watch than a person working hours into something—like, defying gravity in the first episode of the new season of “Bake Off”—and seeing a beautiful result? (Go juggernaut!) The passion that provides perfection feeds my over-achievers soul.

So thank you, Baking Show, for being a delicious piece of peace. To be honest, no genre does this Batter.

curtain for broadway

Ben Platt 'Dear Evan Hansen.'

From Batter to Broadway, CNN’s Brian Lowry Hits All Platforms Suitable to Screen and Stream

In accepting the Emmy for ‘Hamilton’ on Sunday (Was It Really Only Sunday?), co-star Renee Ellis Goldsberry Celebrated the return of Broadway, as well as the way television helped keep the lights twinkling during the pandemic period, when ‘we were apart and alone.’

‘This award represents the synergy between the medium of television and theatre, what a gift we can be to each other, what a gift you gave us last year, when we were dark and scattered, what a gift we have been to TV’s coming together. on a show,’ Goldsberry said.

However, among a multitude of musicals for TV, streaming, and theatre, that synergy is looking a little more complicated, reflecting a truly mixed bag of creative achievements, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.

Sibling streamer Paramount+ followed the awards show on a CBS live special Sunday, ‘The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!’ Will continue to celebrate the stage with It comes on the same weekend as another adaptation of a Tony winner, ‘Dear Evan Hansen,’ Hit the theatres, weathering the kind of scathing reviews that could warrant keeping social media in tune.
“Evan,” in particular, comes weeks after runner-up in its Tony-winning year, “come from afar‘ made its grand debut on Apple TV+, and a week before ‘Diana: The Musical’ brought the people’s princess to Netflix. throw in ‘Springsteen on Broadway’ And ‘David Burns American Utopia’ And you can make a very good case for just putting up cameras and letting the talent do their stuff.
Still, if you look at those productions and ‘Hamilton’ and say that filming stage productions is a way to go, well, ‘Heights’ Despite tanking at the box office, this summer opened to mostly (well-deserved) encouraging reviews; And a remake of Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” is due out later this year.

Clearly, there’s a lot to be said for filming the productions, which avoids some of the pitfalls demonstrated by “Evan Hansen.” At the same time, “In the Heights” was able to mount upbeat song-and-dance numbers on a scale that clearly would not be possible within that format.

The bottom line is that there has never been a better time to experience theatrical productions from home, with the disclaimer that nothing is predictable, letting “Hamilton” take place, personally, in the room where it takes place.

‘Lost’ is happening east of ‘La Brea’

Zaira Goreki and Natalie Zia on NBC's 'La Brea';  (Sarah Antiknap/NBC)

New fall TV continues to arrive, and Lowry takes note should you come across this new NBC offering:

“‘Maybe we’re in an episode of ‘Lost,'” someone says at the premiere of ‘La Brea,’ at least to be honest about the comparisons that this new NBC series invites.

Yet, beyond just being included in the list of shows built around the Big Mysteries They Won’t Answer Right Away, the title and premise — which appears to have a giant hole along La Brea Avenue in the middle of Los Angeles — also matched With an Old Hollywood joke, how privileged Westside residents (including talent agencies based in and around Beverly Hills) try to avoid moving east of La Brea.

Well, after all everyone has an excuse, and in the case of the show, it’s a doozy. As far as what leads to the giant sinkhole, those questions ‘La Brea’ will have to answer are whether it lasts that long. Or, given the recent history of mystery-based NBC dramas (hello, “Manifest”), maybe we should all wait until it hits Netflix. (For now, the show will air on Tuesday after ‘The Voice’.)”

Stop Pressing for ‘Citizen Hearst’

William Randolph Hearst with Hearst Castle Architect Julia Morgan, as seen in 'Citizen Hearst';  (Courtesy of Mark Wanamaker/Bison Archives)

Can’t wait for “Succession”? Lowry says PBS may have a media mogul to hold you over:

“PBS’ American Experience” offers a top-shelf two-part documentary about William Randolph Hearst from September 27, which links the early mogul’s 20-century practices directly to today’s media environment, telling newspapers Uses guilt and fear to sell and free a ‘spiral of sensations’ in his war with rival publisher Joseph Pulitzer.

The Doctor also goes into Hearst’s personal life, from the construction of his palace in San Simeon to his relationship with Marion Davis, and the way he used his wealth to further his objectives, including in his newspapers. That included ignoring the release of ‘Citizen Kane’ altogether.

Still, the part that really resonates comes from using this rear-view mirror to see where we are—and where we’re going. As David Nassau, author of ‘The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst’ puts it, ‘He invented the world that we now inhabit, for better or worse.’

Three Cheers to ‘Ted Lasso’

Jason Sudeikis and Brendan Hunt "ted lasso"  season two, episode 10 "No Weddings and a Funeral"

If you’re tired of praising “Ted Lasso” and all the award-winning shows, skip this part of the TV OT.

I’ll be the first to admit that last week’s Coach Beard-focused episode wasn’t my favorite, though I acknowledge and accept its intent. The show needed some breathing room after the very heavy ending of Episode 8, in which Ted revealed that his father had died by suicide. So it made sense to take a week off to focus on Coach Beard. (I thought it fell short narratively but was wonderfully directed nonetheless.) However, this week was a return to form. (Spoilers for the upcoming episodes.)

“No Weddings and a Funeral,” written by Jane Baker, is a great nod to the classic “lasso” mix of laugh-out-loud lines (Roy asking Keely to avenge his death) and heart-wrenchingly weighty moments. There was withdrawal (describing his father’s efforts to help Ted with a school assignment). Whether you’re in the camp that liked it or not this season (me), there’s no denying that while “Ted Lasso” is good, it’s an unrivaled TV MVP, worthy of accolades and awards. Happens and then something.

I know it’s hard to root for a show when you feel like it’s letting you down — trust me, I’ve given up on a lot — but because of episodes like this you have to live with it. You can’t skip “Ted Lasso.” After all, Ted Lasso will never give up on you.

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