Are you watching this season of “Great British Bake Off” that’s airing on PBS right now? (Or, as it’s known in America, “Great British Baking Show.” Why PBS thinks we can’t deal with the word “off,” I’ll never know.) Anyway, you really should be watching. Here’s a good reason to: this guy named Tom.
Doesn’t he look nice? The deal with Tom is: he’s a normal guy with a normal job and a wife. That’s always the deal with a lot of the men on “Great British Bake Off.” They’re nice and affable. I mean, they’re men who are home bakers, so they can’t be uniformly awful the way so many men often can be. Remember Howard, who was cute and liked painting? And Norman, who was Scottish?
Now there’s Tom. Tom is lovely. Want to know some things he’s baked? Okay, well, how about a gin and tonic drizzle cake? Very cool. What about a loaf of bread themed after… uh, Norse mythology? Lame but also cool.
Here’s another thing: doesn’t he kind of look like Joaquin Phoenix? Not modern-day Joaquin Phoenix, who looks ridiculous, but Joaquin Phoenix from around the time he was in Gladiator.
This is an old version of Joaquin Phoenix giving a thumbs up to Tom, who is good at baking and also nice.
Let’s look at Tom again.
Look at Tom’s nice red jacket!!! It’s so nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here’s the thing, I don’t like Joaquin Phoenix very much because his entire vibe is alienating and strange to me and maybe his best movie is Signs? And also I have never watched Gladiator of my own volition because for about a decade of my life, it was just a movie that boys who were two years older than me always insisted on showing me. (It’s fine.) (The score is good.)
And I like Tom (the guy from above who looks like Joaquin Phoenix) very much because he has kind eyes!! And “Great British Bake Off” is a lot better than Gladiator because I get to watch nice people make food I would eat, and it’s also sort of a fun game of fancasting who would be your new friend. My new friend is Tom, and he can be yours, too.
Fran Hoepfner is a writer living in Chicago.