It’s a mean world out there these days, man.
Unless you’ve been busy decorating your home under a boulder, chances are you’ve noticed how hateful things have gotten.
You can’t log onto the internet, open a newspaper (please, keep opening newspapers), or turn on the TV without being slapped in the face with vitriol.
Whichever side you fall on, you have to admit, America’s discourse seems to have reached a fairly heady level of harsh.
And I know I’m not immune. I confess to the occasional angry online spew myself.
But I have to say, it’s become exhausting.
Thank God for British people and their great baking shows.
Or, at least, one in particular.
Yeah, you TGBBS nerds out there know what I’m talking about.
For those of you who don’t, you need to get in on it.
Right-o, readers. The latest season of the amazing, wonderful “The Great British Baking Show” has come to PBS.
Giving us ’Mericans a much needed dose of civility.
The last time I wrote about my obsession with this program, I sort-of half apologized for my taste, insofar as I felt like watching it made me a bit dull.
No longer, friends. Because seriously, you haven’t experienced simple joy until you’ve poured yourself a cup of coffee, sat down, logged off Facebook, put away your phone, and watched this perfect show.
It’s as chock-full of nice as a perfect eclair is with cream.
With the added bonus of all the Britishisms.
Take, for instance, when one of the contestants was feeling stressed about the lattice on her pie. Rather than freak out, she simply took a breath, practiced on a sheet of wax paper, and declared, with a smile, “Flip it over and Bob’s your uncle.”
Then there’s Cathryn, another of the bakers, yelling, “Oh my giddy aunt!” during a particularly tense flatbread moment.
No American-reality-show-style F-bombs here, folks. Just uncles and aunts and people paying compliments by calling other “clever sausages.”
It really couldn’t be better.
Even when they lose, they win at being polite, saying such Britishy things as, “My bake wasn’t up to scratch, and that’s how it’s judged. No case to answer. Guilty, my lad.”
I’m not making that up, either.
I could die from loving it so much.
I’ve also read, in numerous behind-the-scenes accounts (yes, I’ve read numerous behind-the-scenes accounts — don’t judge how I spend my free time) that the contestants are encouraged to become friends on and off set.
So when they cry and hug each other each time a Star Baker is picked, or someone gets sent home, they mean it.
They are being genuinely nice to each other.
Really. You might actually have to use your imagination. The examples are pretty few and far between these days.
Still can’t picture it? Need a refresher?
A reminder of kinder times?
Make yourself some coffee.
Log off Facebook.
Put away your phone.
Turn on this show.
And Bob’s your uncle.
Katie McDowell is a lifestyles writer/copy editor for The Dominion Post. Email her a firstname.lastname@example.org.