Category Archives: Television

The Great British Baking Show: Season 3 “Chocolate”

We’ve reached the Quarter finals. In honor of that milestone, PBS has calmed the hell down about two episodes a night and allowed us to basked in a single hour of Baking Show this weekend, with the Finals scheduled for next week. But as always, this was only a suggestions, so only about half the PBS stations across the country are anywhere near this point. If your local station is one of those who is still rolling along on Sunday evenings, doing one episode a week, as god a the BBC intended, the recap for your episode episode 6, “Pastry” can be found here.)

We’re down to the Top Four, and though I have seen several complaints that poor little Flora should not have made it this far, I have to say that this Top Four is a very good Top Four. Remember, neither Flora nor Paul had ever won Star Baker, so either of them would be walking in this week at a disadvantage. Everyone else has at least won it once. Though with five Star Baker awards between them, it’s not hard to view Ian and Nadiya as the favorites for the finals.

chocolate week

Our Quarter Finals are focusing on Chocolate. Chocolate Tarts for the Signature, Chocolate Soufflé for the Technical and Chocolate Centrepieces for the Showstopper. Now, let’s pretend that Sue and Mel did not just do that terrible American accent and that Forrest Gump reference and get to the bakes.

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New Victoria Trailer from ITV

Much like the last ITV trailer for Victoria, this does not sell the show the way it should, I fear.

It’s not bad, per se. (It’s certainly better than the first clip the gave us.) But it does seem to put Victoria in a girlish, lightweight light. Perhaps for a UK audience the idea is to humanize a grand dame whose latter years portrait looms large in their imaginations. But for Americans, this is not going to sell the show int he same way. After all, Downton Abbey had a proud feminist streak throughout, and PBS understood that was part of the appeal. I’d like to see how they recut this.

The Great British Baking Show: Season 3 “Pâtisserie”

After the last episode’s left turn into historical baked creations, we find ourselves in the Top Five and the Quarter finals. For this year’s Quarter Finals the theme is Pâtisserie, with tea time show stoppers all around from the Signature straight through to the oddity creation that constitute’s this episodes Showstopper, with a name that is, appropriately, very French. Let’s have Sue and Mel stop staring at the clouds and get into it.

Our Top Five contests who are left are: Ian, winner of three Star Bakers over the course of the season, Nadiya who has two, Tamal, who has one, and Paul and Flora who are probably mad that Ian and Nadiya are hogging all the Star Baker credits. Paul at least has a special commendation. Flora has….The Anxious Over Kneeler of the Season trophy. As we can tell, it’s sort of obvious who is walking into the tent a favorite and who is walking in an underdog. Still, Ian has had more bad days than good recently, so anyone’s game, etc.

flora freaking

The three Pâtisserie, challenges this week are Cream Horn Signature, a Mokatine Technical and a Showstopper with the impossible to pronounce French name of Religieuse à l’ancienne. it’s so hard to pronounce, everyone spend the back half of the episode referring to everyone’s “Nuns.” It’s not as dirty as you think, I promise.

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The Great British Baking Show: Season 3 “Victorian”

The Great British Baking Show decided to go a little off the beaten path for this weekend’s first of another double episode week. Instead of “Bread” or “Cake’ this week’s theme was “Victorian.” One would have thought this a perfect moment to tie in PBS’ upcoming drama series Victoria into things, but sadly, this was taped for the BBC in 2015, and that doesn’t even begin to air until September of this year on rival ITV. So much for potential cross overs.

As a reminder, for those whose PBS stations are airing these shows on Sundays, once a week like god and the BBC originally intended, the recap for your episode (episode 5, “Pastry” can be found here.) For the rest of us, let’s get on with this historical bakes.

Snapshot - 6

The Signature Challenge this week was Raised Game Pie. The Technical was a “Tennis Cake” which is just as ludicrous as it sounds, and really could have done with Mrs. Patmore wandering around lecturing the bakers. The Showstopper really was a showstopper. A 19th century dessert known as a “Charlotte Russe,” which has zero relation to the fashion design house of the same name. On the other hand, it much be a pretty tasty dessert, as Paul Hollywood at one point stopped the proceedings to declare this challenge “Best. Idea. Ever.”

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National Dance Day and So You Think You Can Dance Jr

This past weekend was National Dance Day here in the US, a holiday that was basically brought into the public consciousness by So You Think You Can Dance, and then hyped by Michelle Obama as part of her “Let’s Move” campaign. The reminder of the show I once loved so much steered me back to their YouTube channel to see just how far the series had fallen in their junioring of the program.

As I feared most of what I found there were children whose dancing was less about passion, dedication, or athletic talent and more about stage parents with trained human animal children. Moreover, I was sad to see that, especially in the ballroom group, girls far too young to be doing so were biting their lips and shaking their hips in come hither ways that were slightly disturbing.

But then, as I rolled though the performances with the All-Stars, I came across this one. And suddenly I was a little sorry I had given up on the show.

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Masterpiece Theater on Poldark, Victoria and the HamilDoc

The Television Critics Association upfront presentations are on now out in California, as major networks both traditional in the vein of NBC and less traditional, like Netflix, gather before reporters to hawk the upcoming fall slate of shows, and tease what may be down the pike for spring.

Opening day went to Netflix and the like with their Gilmore Girls revival, and a bit more about the upcoming Luke Cage. Yesterday and today are a run of PBS panels, covering all the different companies that live under their umbrella, from stand alone PBS programming, like The Great British Baking Show, to the companies that for some define PBS programming, like Frontline, Nature, NOVA and of course, Masterpiece Theater.


The two major panels that dominated yesterday’s coverage were the Hamilton documentary presentation, and Masterpiece Theater‘s major roll out of BBC’s Poldark season 2, and ITV’s Downton Abbey substitute, Victoria. Today’s major presentation will be from Great Performances, which are bringing the second cycle of The Hollow Crown series, The War of the Roses to stations this coming December.

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Moffat Gives Hope That Capaldi Might Stay On as Doctor Who

Filming for the first two episodes of Season 10 of Doctor Who is underway, with the Doctor and his new companion taking in the sights of Valencia, Spain.

Or , you know, at least the actors taking a selfie. What *is* that Pearl Mackie is wearing?

Apparently it was a short stay, with the production team already tweeting out an “Adios” to that location as the train rolls on. But there’s good news to those who worry that these images are the last we’ll see with Capaladi in the role of the 12th Doctor. Despite the rumors, and Capaldi’s own statements at the beginning that he would probably only stay on as long as Moffat was showrunner, Moffat told Doctor Who Magazine this month that as of now, he’s not writing the Doctor’s regeneration as part of his final episodes.

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