‘The Great British Baking Show’ Has Redeemed Itself For the Holidays

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

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There are roughly 47,000—oh, wait, a new Netflix Original just dropped; make that 47,001—TV shows and movies coming out each week. At Obsessed, we consider it our social duty to help you see the best and skip the rest.

We’ve already got a variety of in-depth, exclusive coverage on all of your streaming favorites and new releases, but sometimes what you’re looking for is a simple Do or Don’t. That’s why we created See/Skip, to tell you exactly what our writers think you should See and what you can Skip from the past week’s crowded entertainment landscape.

See: The Kingdom Exodus

The Kingdom Exodus is Lars Von Trier’s long-awaited follow-up to his trippy ’90s thriller trilogy. In typical form, expect a boiled-over pot of anxiety devolving into total mayhem with plenty of bonkers visuals. So, kind of like how your Thanksgiving went.

Here’s Nick Schager’s’ take:

Lars von Trier’s The Kingdom—whose first two seasons aired in 1994 and 1997—was an absolutely bonkers Danish blend of hospital drama and otherworldly thriller that gave David Lynch’s Twin Peaks a run for its money in auteur eccentricity. It also had a delightfully demented sense of humor. That—along with its mind-boggling madness—remains firmly intact in the series’ long-awaited and grand return, The Kingdom Exodus, a five-part follow-up helmed by von Trier and Morten Arnfred that (along with its prior two runs) premieres on Nov. 27 on Mubi. Fans of deranged delirium won’t want to miss it.

The Kingdom Exodus is satire, nightmare and hoax all rolled into one, and though familiarity with its preceding installments is a must, such knowledge doesn’t result in lucidity. From running gags about corporate phone systems, unattainable parking spaces and gender pronouns, to recurring bits about Volvos, fascist terrorism plots and Naver wanting to scoop his eyeball out with a spoon—not to mention an out-of-left-field reference to Blade Runner—the series is ridiculous to a degree that’s difficult to fathom and easy to love.”

Read more.

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p><em>The Kingdom: Exodus.</em></p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Mubi</div>

The Kingdom: Exodus.


See: The Great Festive Baking Show

The Great Festive Baking Show finally gives us what we need after a stale-to-awful season of GBBO: a little bit of actual joy. Fan-favorite bakers return to prove to us that we are here for their endless charm, not the hosts’ cringey smarm.

Here’s Fletcher Peters’ take:

“There might be one department of festive entertainment you’re missing out on entirely: holiday reality TV. No, we’re not talking about a Christmas episode of The Kardashians or a voyage to the North Pole on Below Deck (though both sound highly entertaining). We’re talking about The Great British Baking Show, which, in recent years, has produced a spinoff episode of its traditional English baking competition every holiday season.

We won’t spoil the ending—we’re not Scrooge!—but it’s not a spoiler to say that all the contestants are neck-in-neck in the very end. That’s how any good competition should be, too. Although The Great British Baking Show failed us this season, with controversies galore, The Great Festive Baking Show is what the holiday season is all about: rekindling relationships with old pals and enjoying spiced biscuits.”

Read more.

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p><em>The Great Festive Baking Show</em>.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Netflix</div>

The Great Festive Baking Show.


Skip: Strange World

Strange World is s disappointing dose of animated nothingness from Disney. A shame, since it boasts the company’s first (real) gay lead. It’s a strange world, indeed, when a whole movie is dumped into theaters without so much as a plunk.

Here’s Allegra Frank’s take:

“Disney has two movies in theaters right now starring queer characters—but you’d be hard-pressed to name both of them. In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Michaela Coel plays a warrior with a female partner, a relationship given the most cursory of nods toward the end of the movie when the pair calls each other “love.” That feint toward sexual diversity is par for the course with Disney movies these days: sprinkle a little queerness in there for the folks at home, but not too much, so that it can be easily excised for the overseas release. (Either way, bigots are unhappy.)

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p><em>Strange World</em>.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Disney</div>

Strange World.


Perhaps that’s another intentional choice, meant to shield the film from conservative critique. It toys with a strong environmentalist message toward the end, with a late-state reveal raising questions about ethical consumption of natural resources. The world of Strange World is alive, vibrant, lush, and vast, but the movie’s seemingly well-intentioned humans hardly notice. It’s ironic that the film is similarly ignorant of its gorgeously animated environments; climate change deniers will certainly appreciate how uninterested the script is in engaging with the film’s landscapes, opting for constant quips and explanatory dialogue instead. Less talk about saving the planet, more talk about how awesome dads are!

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See: The Eternal Daughter

The Eternal Daughter is the story of a mother and daughter taking a later-in-life vacation together. The twist? They’re both Tilda Swinton. The other twist? Their hotel might be haunted. Seek this emotional stunner out at your local indie theater!

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>Tilda Swinton in <em>The Eternal Daughter</em>.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Sandro Kopp/Courtesy of A24</div>

Tilda Swinton in The Eternal Daughter.

Sandro Kopp/Courtesy of A24

Here’s Coleman Spilde’s take:

“Director Joanna Hogg and Tilda Swinton may only be on their third feature film collaboration, but they’re deep into their fifth decade of friendship. Perhaps that’s what makes their newest partnership, The Eternal Daughter, so emotionally resonant—their enduring connection that spans not only life’s great milestones but its minutiae as well.

Their latest partnership comes in the form of this chilling British ghost story from A24, the distributor that has become known (somewhat to its detriment) for bringing smaller-scale, avant-garde horror to the big screen. Whether one would call The Eternal Daughter a proper horror film is at the viewer’s discretion; it certainly doesn’t share many of the elements that we’re used to seeing in a piece of modern horror cinema. But like the most effective entries in the genre, it’s a film that settles itself in the bones for days after, lingering and mutating like a memory.”

Read more.

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