WHY "THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW" IS THE BEST

This is my favorite TV right now.
  1. It's on PBS.
    The people's TV!
  2. Mel and Sue
    The presenters. Squad goals. They are charming, funny, effortless and kind. They make lots of puns. They rock mommish jeans with colorful blazers. (If food TV is your thing Sue is also wonderful on "The Supersizers Go...")
  3. They're here to make friends.
    The contestants, non-professional home bakers, are obviously trying hard to create things that are delicious, technically perfect and beautiful, but the vibe amongst them is one of support and encouragement. When voted-off bakers say they'll miss everyone in their exit interviews, you believe them.
  4. Mary and Paul
    The judges. Mary Berry is a cookbook author and like your classy auntie of a certain age. She gives compliments like, "Absolutely scrummy!" Her criticisms are to the point but gentle. If I could pick a person to deliver all of the bad news I'll receive throughout my life, I'd probably pick Mary Berry. Paul Hollywood is a noted baker and kind of a hard ass, but he'll dish out praise if he thinks it's deserved (and maybe especially if you're an attractive young woman, but nevermind).
  5. Kouign Amann, Swedish Princess Cake, Chelsea Bun, Bara Brith...
    Do you know what these things are? Neither did I until I started watching this show. A new world of baked goods unfolds at your feet, friends.
  6. Bucolic, English countryside loveliness
    The baking happens on the grounds of a country house (Welford Park in Berkshire) under a big tent rather than on a sound stage and the cutaway shots of frolicking wildlife and stands of flowers are dreamy.
  7. It's a feast for the eyes.
    While the contestants are baking, you see an artist's rendering of the (ideal) finished product (sometimes they don't turn out so well), and then the actual cakes, tarts, pies, breads, and biscuits they bake might make you want to eat whatever sweet stuff you have around the house that may (leftover birthday cake) or may not (handful of chocolate chips) approximate what appears on screen.