YouTube's Topless Baker dishes on all things GBBO in Bake Off, Undressed

PG-rated internet thirst trap Matt Adlard has been baking up sugary designer confections on his YouTube channel as the Topless Baker for about two years now. In a Sisyphean twist of fate, the British social media star’s success as an amateur pâtissier disqualifies him from consideration as a contestant on The Great…

The Great British Baking Show delivers a tasty, if underwhelming, "Final" bite

B

It’s been a long season, but we’ve made it at last to the final. Brendan, James, and John remain, promising a study in contrasts for the final three bakes. What will take the day: Brendan’s consistency and precision, James’ flexibility and flavors, or John’s creativity and innovation? All three have acquitted…

The Great British Baking Show's tense semi-final delivers picture-perfect "Patisserie"

A-

It’s been a long road to the semi-finals. Each of the four bakers remaining has won Star Baker, and each has been up for elimination. The competition is fierce and they all know one small mistake is all it takes to send them home. The theme this episode is patisserie, or fine French pastry, and that means there’s…

"Sweet Dough" prompts a sugar crash as The Great British Baking Show levels back out

B

After a tumultuous few episodes, The Great British Baking Show returns to its typical approach with “Sweet Dough,” for better and worse. The episode begins with a brief refresher, catching viewers up on the non-elimination in “Pudding,” and the high stakes the bakers face this episode: two contestants will be going…

Strudel stretches The Great British Baking Show to its breaking point

A

From one series first to another, The Great British Baking Show is ramping up and delivering one hell of a mid-season run. First Ryan had his remarkable turnaround in “Pies,” going from barely escaping elimination in “Desserts” to Star Baker one week later. The very next episode, in another Baking Show first, no one…

It's high pie drama as The Great British Baking Show puts Ryan through his paces

B

The Great British Baking Show doesn’t do drama. It’s not interested in last minute saves and surprise turnarounds, in emotional twists and turns and challenges that set the bakers up for failure. That’s one of the show’s chief pleasures, its low-stress, high-empathy emphasis on process, hard work, and the satisfaction…

Sue and the bakers up their game as The Great British Baking Show takes on dessert

A-

It’s been a warm and inviting season thus far, but something has been just a little off with The Great British Baking Show. There’s been a bit of a remove between the hosts, Mel and Sue, and the bakers, and while some of the challenges have worked like gangbusters, others have been underwhelming. This may be airing as…

Tantalizing tarts temper The Great British Baking Show's half-baked challenges

B

The scent of fruit, pastry cream, and innuendo is in the air- it’s tart week at The Great British Baking Show! Mel and Sue barely have time to lampshade the pastry puns they won’t be deploying this episode before we’re off to the races, with the bakers back in the tent and ready to get to work. For the signature…

The Great British Bake Off to spice up its recipe with a bunch of commercial breaks

In case the recent cast and network shake-ups at British bread institution The Great British Bake Off hadn’t already left you with a soggy bottom (from all the tears, you see), there’s now another change coming down the line for the genial baking show: Ads. BBC reports that, in order to accommodate the show’s move to…

Here are the people we must accept are now hosting The Great British Bake Off

The Great British Bake Off—or The Great British Baking Show, as it’s known in the U.S.—underwent some massive shake-ups this year, departing its old network, BBC One, for Channel 4, and replacing cast members Sue Perkins, Mel Giedroyc, and judge Mary Berry with Noel Fielding, Sandy Toksvig, and Prue Leith. Of the…

The Great British Baking Show is the antidote to a bleak TV summer

Television’s golden age of white male antiheroes may finally be over, but pessimism still reigns on TV. The shows with the largest audiences and the most critical buzz are overwhelmingly grim, gritty dramas that feature self-destructive protagonists or are set in cold and unforgiving worlds. From HBO’s new crime drama …

What show were you most upset to see left off this year’s Best Of TV list?

Welcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences, and to ponder how our diverse lives all led us to convene here together. Got a question you’d…