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It was a chilly evening about two years ago when I stumbled upon The Great British Baking Show on Netflix. I was staying with my boyfriend at the time, and on a sleepy Sunday, we decided to give it a shot. Neither of us particularly loved American cooking shows, but both of us have spent a lot of time either visiting or living in England, so our interest was mutually piqued.
We were instantly hooked. The hilarious politeness of British people in competition (for nothing more than bragging rights, to boot), the ridiculousness of situations like “Bingate,” and the all-around wonderfulness of Mary Barry made for a show that could combat even the most severe Scaries. It was a truly beautiful time.
But then the inevitable happened. We finished the show. And when it came back, something was different. Soon after, it was announced that Mary Berry was leaving the show. I was lost. What was going to fill the Mary sized void in my heart now?
I looked tirelessly over the course of the next few months. There were a couple contenders, but nothing outstanding. Queer Eye almost had it, but it lacked that flat, repressed charm that comes standard with any British TV show. It was almost too heartwarming, and it’s no secret that like my joy how I like my humor: dry and deadpan.
Just when I’d begun to lose hope, something amazing happened. My boyfriend and I were lying in bed trying to figure out what to watch before going to sleep when we discovered something spectacular: a show called Six Puppies and Us.
The show follows six English families who adopt puppies of different breeds, all for different reasons. It tracks their progress trying to raise and train these dogs, and let me tell you: it gets pretty hysterically out of hand. For instance, there is a woman telling her 10-week old puppy to “get off” in the polite-yet-vaguely-irritated tone you would expect from someone who’s just been informed by their boss that they have to come into work on a Saturday. And she actually seems to think the dog understood and willfully ignored her request. There’s also a lovely gay couple who refers to their Yorkie-poo Stewie’s rowdy behavior as an independent streak he “inherited” from one of his owners. As it turns out, Stewie’s rebelliousness is a ploy for attention that ends up making him Instagram famous. You can’t make this shit up.
All dogs are great, but some dogs are better. My boyfriend and I were constantly power-ranking our favorite dogs, and the ranks were always shifting depending on what certain puppies were doing. I don’t want to give too much away, but I definitely found my spirit animal on this show. He’s a Poogle named Byron, and he bites you when he wants attention and cries when you ignore him. I feel you, Byron. There’s also Ralph the Vizmaraner, who takes an unsettling liking to excessively bullying the family’s Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Ralph’s family are all Liverpool fans though, so I can’t blame him for being angry.
So next time the Sunday Scaries or mid-week hangover gets you down, give this show a try. And when you do, drop your Puppy Power Ranks in the comments below. .