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I’ve been an outspoken advocate for the Great British Bake-Off (or as some of you from Netflix will know it, Great British Baking Show) for quite some time now, and have watched every season with help from janky YouTube uploads and generally laborious Internet hacking. And, like many people, I was deeply, deeply hurt and offended when the band broke up due to a network shift; judge Mary Berry and hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc pledged their allegiance to the BBC, while Paul Hollywood, the Simon Cowell of baking competitions, decided he was cool with taking the show to Channel 4. WHAT WOULD BECOME OF OUR BELOVED DYNAMIC?! It was a question on everyone’s (or at least mine and Britain’s) minds.

That’s why it gives me THE GREATEST PLEASURE to announce that I have watched the new season sans Mary, Sue and Mel at its new home on Channel 4, and it is still just as delightfully addictive as ever! While no one can replace the legends lost to the BBC, I was surprisingly taken with new additions Prue Leith (judge), Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig (hosts), and the new group of bakers is (in my opinion) top notch! Definitely some characters in the bunch, and I already have a few picked out as favorites.

The first episode (CAKE WEEK!) was very generously (and illegally) uploaded to YouTube last week, and that’s how I viewed the season’s debut, but (naturally) it’s been taken down in the seven days since. However, if you’re committed, you can keep checking back on YouTube (or other more advanced streaming sites if you’re a real #HACKERMAN) weekly as episodes from S8 are posted briefly before copyright claims wreck the party. The next one (BISCUIT WEEK, MY FAVORITE WEEK) will air tonight on Channel 4, and I’m pretty amped to go into watching it with zero apprehension re: quality. I do feel a bit like a traitor saying that, but you know what? Life is too short, you guys. And GBBO is like Xanax in television-form, which is something we could all desperately use more of in 2017, so LET’S JUST ENJOY IT!