Watching 'The Great British Baking Show' Makes Me Feel Like Garbage

Watching 'The Great British Baking Show' Makes Me Feel Like Garbage

I'm trying not to think about how my last batch of cupcakes turned out to be criminally underbaked.

Like many individuals craving a bright spot of stability in our hectic lives, I’ve become addicted to British reality TV. We’re talking “Escape to the Country, "we’re talking “Grand Designs," and of course, we’re talking about the mother of them all: "The Great British Baking Show," which most of the people I know call “The Great British Bake-Off” in a hopeless effort to make it sound more like a competition.

I like the calm, genteel atmosphere of the show. I appreciate the support of the hosts and judges – except the male judge. I enjoy watching ordinary people cook delicious food that I would devour in a heartbeat, even though I’m the textbook definition of a "picky eater."

There’s only one problem: “The Great British Baking Show” makes me feel terrible about myself.

If I were a contestant on the show, the urge to trash-talk and sabotage my competitors would be unbearable. Cameras manned by upright British citizens would catch me swapping sugar for salt, turning off ovens or cranking the temperature up to the maximum, and devouring other people’s bakes before they could be evaluated.

I’m an American, dammit. I seek tension, drama, betrayal — and yet, I’m enthralled by the peaceful baking commune depicted on “The Great British Baking Show”. Given that each episode’s an hour or so long and I can power through three or four episodes at a stretch, I’ve had ample time to consider why such an unassuming show makes me feel like a piece of garbage.

Part of it is that I do genuinely love to bake, but I don’t do it as often as I’d like. I rationalize this by saying that I’m busy with school (true), and the kitchen in my apartment is less than ideal (also true), or that I don’t like baking very much after all (false). The contestants on the show put each one of my excuses to shame. Contestants practice stretching phyllo dough in tiny student apartments; they come home and practice complicated recipes after a long day at work; they manage to craft intricate desserts while their children cling to their legs.

So it’s not that I don’t have the time or the equipment to cook regularly; I just don’t have the willpower.

My baking skills also leave something to be desired. Despite patient and not-so-patient instruction from my mother, who spent part of my childhood as a professional cake baker, I still can’t frost a round cake. When a recipe requires too much patience or too many fiddly steps and instructions, I start throwing the instructions (and occasionally the ingredients) to the side. I’m easily frustrated. Being easily frustrated and disliking complex recipes are not a good combination.

I need to achieve a kind of Zen about my (relative lack of) baking prowess. It’s only when I’m not scrutinizing everything I make, even the things I make with too little time on my hands and flagrant disregard for the recipe, that I actually enjoy the process.

Contestants on “The Great British Baking Show” get flustered, too. Sometimes they drop their cakes, sometimes they cry, but they almost always pick themselves up and keep going. Even I can learn something from that.

In the meantime, I’ll continue watching the show and trying not to think about how my last batch of cupcakes turned out to be criminally underbaked.

Cover Image Credit: Netflix

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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!


What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

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8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

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10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

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11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

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12. Beer Opener

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13. Frat House Dr. Sign

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14. Beer Lights 

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Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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5 Things I Am Thankful For This Thanksgiving

These are in no specific order.


Sometimes we forget to really sit down and think about what we are grateful for in this life, and these are just a few things.

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Especially since its rivalry weekend, Ummm Boomer Sooner? Roll Tide? Go Blue?

2. My friends that have become my family:

To ones here in Oklahoma, all the way to the ones home in New York.

3. My Family:

I know there's a lot of us.

4. My Church:

Thank you for accepting me with open arms, always.

5. My Life:

And there are so many more, but that would be the equivalent of a 20-page paper.

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