Episode Recaps


‘The Great British Baking Show’ Recap: Biscuits and Traybakes

As you may recall, last week’s installment of The Great British Baking Show ended with Ali departing the competition defeated by a round that was not as easy as pie. Kimberley came out on top as the queen of tarts though she remarked that winning Star Baker didn’t get her an upgrade on her train journey home. All the crusty details from the previous episode can be found here.

However, a new trio of challenges awaits which means no one is safe from elimination or exempt from rising to the heights of Star Baker.


‘The Great British Baking Show’ Recap: Pies and Tarts

The Great British Baking Show Recap: Pies and TartsAfter last week’s double elimination of Mark and Deborah, our bakers steeled themselves for the trials to come. Would Christine, the reigning Star Baker retain her title or would a new contestant emerge victorious in the impending fourth round? For more details about last week’s competition, you can check out the recap here. Otherwise let’s crack on, shall we?

From Mel’s none-too-subtle pun regarding the Life of Pi(e), we soon learned that this week was all about the pies and tarts. As a novice baker myself and having attempted to make a fruit pie from scratch once, I can attest to the many pitfalls of making a pastry crust. I believe Kimberley summed up all her colleagues’ fears when she commented that her “terror of the soggy bottom had been keeping her up all night.”


‘The Great British Baking Show’ Recap: Desserts

The Great British Baking Show Recap: DessertsThis week eleven bakers returned ready to take on whatever baking challenges Paul and Mary set before them. Or were they? Before we tackle all that, let me refresh your memory about last week’s results.

Ruby made an amazing comeback from week one and was chosen Star Baker for her consistently good bread making skills. Lucy, on the other hand, kept things too simple and came in last in the English muffin technical challenge. Unfortunately, she was ejected (albeit gently) from the tent.

Now in week three of the competition, a wide ranging category of bakes simply called desserts was featured. Isn’t cake a dessert after all? Perhaps it’s just a catch-all phrase for any sweet treat that doesn’t fall under a more specific bake like tarts or biscuits. No matter, our contestants had some difficult assignments to tackle if they wished to stay in the running.


‘The Great British Baking Show’ Recap: Bread

Welcome back to our second recap of the most British of baking competitions… at least of the ones that are currently being shown on PBS that is.  Before we head into the tent, let’s review last week’s results.

To recap, Robert was named Star Baker for his strong showing in both the signature and showstopper bakes as well as taking first for his heavenly angel food cake in the technical challenge. Toby, on the other hand, had a less than stellar debut. After coming in last with his salty angel food pottery blob and, being hobbled with injuries and incompetence, he produced a dry, disappointing chocolate cake. Toby, therefore, was sent packing without delay.

This time around there was less crying, fewer totally botched bakes (except perhaps when Sue put her elbow down on one of Howard’s waiting muffins) and a negligible amount bleeding. Overall the first week’s jitters had noticeably dissipated and our competitors seemed ready to show off their baking expertise.


‘The Great British Baking Show’ Recap: Cakes

Before I officially launch this of new string of recaps with Sue and Mel’s famous battle cry, “On your marks, get set, bake!” please let me clarify something about the sequencing of the series. Last year, PBS aired their first season of The Great British Baking Show; however, it was actually the fifth and most recent series of the BBC’s The Great British Bake Off. This year one might assume that we would be seeing the current series which is a little less than halfway through its run in the UK at the present time. Instead, PBS is going backwards to the fourth series of this British cooking competition and calling it Season Two. Got that?

Regardless of the particulars, this program is beloved here and in its homeland for several reasons. It’s addictive, entertaining and a civilized reality competition show. So no matter the order in which the seasons are broadcast, it’s going to be a delicious and occasionally tension-filled ride.

Now let’s get down to the business at hand for this season. Thirteen bakers have been selected out of over 10,000 applicants to take on the challenges set forth by our formidable judges, Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry. (Despite the unlikely nature of the monikers, both go by their given names.) Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins are back in their capacity as comic relief, cheerleaders and comfort counselors.

I don’t have the time or space to introduce each contestant since for the first couple of weeks of the competition there will be a few standouts and a small number who will barely be around long enough for us to get their names straight. For now we’ll have to let this new crowd’s bakes speak for them.


Recapping ‘Poldark’: Season 1, Episode 7

Previously, on Poldark: Behold the drama! The Warleggans are mad that this mysterious new smelting company has arrived on the scene and is forcing their company to pay more for the miners’ products. They vow to find out who’s behind this and ruin them (even though they’re pretty sure its Ross and his friends). Former Nampara servant Jim gets sick in jail and ultimately dies, basically because he was forced to live in horrible conditions in prison, and Ross is devastated. Meanwhile, Francis is terrible at being poor, Verity’s started seeing Andrew Blamey in secret again and the Warleggans throw a ball, which excites Demelza until she realizes that Ross has no plans of calling off the drinking bender he’s been engaged in since Young Jim died. Anyway, the party goes on, Ross gets wasted but still manages to bust George Warleggan’s friend as a card cheat after he nearly gambles his own mine away, and Francis finds out about Verity’s secret love life and forbids her from seeing Blamey ever again.

Oh, and Ross’ Cute-But-Dumb Doctor Friend has an awkward, ongoing flirtation with one of the village ladies, who is very married, and there’s all kinds of gossip about their relationship. (Which, wow, girl is like injuring herself on purpose to see him, so this relationship is all kinds of healthy on every level.) 

Whew. They pack a lot into an hour, let me tell you. Luckily, tonight’s season finale is a special two-hour installment, so prepare yourselves. (Warning: This means the recap is probably also going to be supersized, so bear with me.) 


'Last Tango in Halifax' Recap: Series 3, Episode 6

Previously on Last Tango in Halifax: Last week's recap is right this way. 

Here comes the bride and she’s none too happy about the whole thing. The sixth and final episode of this series takes place on the day of Gillian and Robbie’s wedding with quite a few flashbacks thrown in. Any more and we would have needed a TARDIS to keep up.

Because of so much back and forth, I’m going to structure this last recap a bit differently. I’ll narrate the wedding day as normal, but for the flashbacks I’m going to list the information learned in shorthand of sorts. The events that take place in the flashbacks will be designated with bullet points. Here we go!


Recapping 'Poldark': Season 1, Episode 6

Previously, on Poldark: Lots of stuff happens! Demelza has a little girl, whom she and Ross decide to name Julia. She’s also decided to entertain herself by doing her best to reunite Verity and her somewhat problematic ex Andrew Blamey. She is ultimately successful, and the two confess that they still have feelings for one another in the middle of a miners’ riot, because what could be more romantic? In other mining related-news, Ross and some of his miner buddies have decided to form their own smelting company, to try and mitigate the influence of the Vile Warleggans and also to get a better price for their copper. Francis, certified idiot, manages to lose his family mine, Wheal Grambler in a card game, with a shady friend of George Warleggan’s, but Elizabeth vows she’s not going to let the family’s diminished circumstances get her down. 


Recapping 'Poldark': Season 1, Episode 5

Previously, on Poldark: The best episode of the season happens! People do things and are likeable! It’s amazing! Specifically, Ross and Demelza break the news to the rest of their town that they’re married and they get a variety of reactions: some people are happy for them (Verity), some people think it’s a terrible idea (Ross’ investors) and some people are basically just laughing at them (pretty much everybody else).  But that’s okay, because Ross and Demelza are too adorable to care about what the rest of the world thinks of them. Verity even visits Namara to bond with Demelza and teach her how to do noble lady things like dance and fold napkins.  Meanwhile, Uncle Charles drops dead, fueling Francis shame spiral of poor life decisions even further, and the attempts to mine Wheal Leisure continue, which means I learn more about mining techniques than I’ve ever cared to know. The Warleggans crash Christmas dinner with the extended Poldark clan because they are trash garbage people and things are super awkward, but it all ends happily when Ross confesses to Demelza that he’s in love with her, and she tells him she’s pregnant.

Man, they cram a lot of stuff into one episode of this show! 


'Last Tango in Halifax': Series 3 Episode 4 Recap

Previously on Last Tango in Halifax: Last week's recap is right this way

Just watching this episode made me weary what with all the grief and the fussy baby and the paranoid, illegitimate son and such; however, the need to recap is stronger than the need to sleep. So onward and upward…


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