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Here’s why “the great British baking show” is my new favorite wind-down binge

Netflix has become a wind-down mechanism for people globally after long days at work or school, or as background noise while completing other chores. With the most basic monthly plan being around $9.99/month, the general public is able to use this “affordable” luxury to kill time and entertain themselves without having to go to the movie theater. While winding down looks different for a lot of people (even in terms of Netflix choices!), my new favorite happens to be The Great British Baking Show.

I’ve never usually been a fan of TV shows, especially ones that release entire seasons in a day and have me spending eight hours in bed binging it all at once (I’m looking at you, You). I realized something after entirely watching one of my staples, The Office, though: shows with no cliffhangers or crazy suspense which don’t make you click on that next episode button are what I like best. The Great British Baking Show is a gold mine of a show if you’re looking for low-key, relaxing entertainment while eating dinner and then getting right back to your homework.

The show is based in Welford Park, England. Approximately 12 home bakers are selected to compete through a 10-week intense competition, each week posing a different challenge. Depending on the week, bakers work on producing treats ranging from pastries, cakes, and custards to having specialty weeks with certain themes, such as Japanese or Carnival. Each week has three rounds: a signature round, a blind technical round where the judges rank each baker based on a decided dish, and a final showstopper. All are within a fixed time period for an additional challenge and based on the theme of the week. The show is judged by celebrity chefs Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood who respectively play good cop and bad cop, which makes for a very fun and entertaining watch.

Why do I call the show low-key? Because the most drama to ever take place is probably when someone drops their bake. There’s no unnecessary screaming or fighting to get the ratings soaring; all contestants are supportive of each other and cheer others on for their successes. After decades of watching reality TV and dramas, I’ve come to prefer something calmer to wrap up my day, like this baking extravaganza. To get yourself into the holiday spirit, they also have a Holiday Special on Netflix!

Don’t get me wrong, when I’m in the mood to watch a good thriller or rom-com, I know exactly what to type into the Netflix search bar. But for something a little more relaxing and every day, I highly suggest checking out this show. They have 10 seasons as of now with season 10 releasing a new episode every Friday — take a guess on what my favorite day of the week is — so get to watching!

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Vaidehi Bhatia

U Mass Amherst '23

Vaidehi is a writer for the University of Massachusetts Amherst chapter. She is a senior majoring in Data Science with minors in Business and Computer Science. Be on the lookout for lots of articles about fashion, beauty, relatable college experiences & wellbeing!