If you’ve been around this blog long enough, you know plenty about my TV watching habits. I am a chronic rewatcher who loves shows with bright colors and has an obsession with Nailed it!. I can be very picky about the shows that I watch, but once I love them, I’m addicted for life. One such show that I got into over the pandemic and I love on so many levels is the crafting competition Making It.
While many of the shows that I enjoy are popular sitcoms, I’ve found that far fewer people know about this show and even fewer people have watched it. Typically, when I talk about Making It, the person I’m talking to will not even know what I’m talking about at first. Then, when I mention that Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler are the hosts, usually I get the response, “Oh, yeah I think I’ve heard of that…”
As a diehard fan of Parks and Recreation, I was excited to give Making It a try. I watched it for the first time back in spring 2020 when COVID was just ramping up and we were all stuck at home. I went in with very few expectations and was immediately smitten.
For anyone who isn’t familiar, Making It is a competition show that is often compared to The Great British Baking Show, but instead of confections, the competitors make all different kinds of crafts. And when I say “all different kinds,” I am not exaggerating. This show pulls makers who use various mediums and has them compete against each other for the title of “Master Maker.” We’ve not only seen woodworkers and painters, but also a balloon artist and someone who made sculptures with rubber tires. It is so amazing to see what these people come up with!
Each episode, there are two challenges, one short challenge and one longer challenge (that is, unless it’s a special episode where they complete one huge craft like a shed hack). The challenges are typically deliberately vague so that the contestants have plenty of wiggle room to show off their creativity. Most of the crafts they’re tasked with creating are meant to have a personal element like using a material that means something to them, creating something for someone in their lives, or making something that represents their family. This combination of creativity and sentimentality is perfect for a sap like me.
Obviously, it goes without saying that the makers on this show are also sentimental saps. Not only that, but they’re also so nice and supportive of each other. Like on The Great British Baking Show, if there is a maker who has not finished their craft after others have already completed theirs, they will jump in to help get it done before time is up. There have been several makers who in their first confessional have said that they are “just there to make friends.” Almost all of them respect that the end goal is to win, but if they just get to meet and create with a bunch of awesome people, they’re thrilled with that, too.
Hosts Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman love to ramp up the silliness and sentimentality with their random bits that they do during the challenges as well as gifting the makers letters from home randomly throughout the season. Obviously, with a sentimental bunch, this can lead to lots of heartfelt moments. Amy and Nick often joke that they’re paid extra when tears are shed.
If you can’t tell by now, this show is really great for when I’m suffering from depression brain. With all kinds of sentimental introspection, all of the silly jokes between Amy and Nick, everyone supporting each other and cheering each other on, and also the bright colors (my brain tends to really like bright colors on in the background, especially when I’m depressed, and this show is full of bright colors…did I mention that they had a balloon artist?!), this can be a great comfort show. Of course, comforting nuggets of wisdom can also be borne from this vulnerability and sentimentality. In the last season, one maker, Kaviya Ravi, said something that Amy Poehler called “tattoo worthy.” She said that she had chosen to “live a simple and silly life,” and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. Is that an option? Let’s do that!
As per usual with something that I like, I am at least minorly obsessed with Making It. I’ve rewatched each season several times, and I am constantly on the lookout to see when they’ll be filming and releasing the next season. Hell, I’ve even told Dan that I’m forcing him to apply for the show once they start casting season 4. I could be biased, but I think my sensitive woodworker/photographer could be great for this show. I also guess I should mention that this is so I can live vicariously through him since I am not crafty. If only they asked contestants to write creative essays…sigh…
While I wait for a new season to be announced, however, NBC has gifted us with something else to watch. Recently, Dan and I learned that they created a Making It spinoff called Baking It with hosts Maya Rudolph and Andy Samberg. This spinoff is a holiday baking competition where pairs of bakers compete to be “Best in Dough” (of course, all throughout the show, Andy Samberg jokes that they should be called “Master Bakers” as a shoutout to the original show and Maya Rudolph shuts him down). Although it is technically a “holiday” show, I was more than happy to watch it all throughout January just to get my fill of Baking It awesomeness.
This show is made with the same charming silly sentimentality as Making It, so I obviously can’t get enough. Like Amy and Nick, Maya and Andy regularly joke and do cheesy bits throughout the show. One thing that I particularly love about Baking It, though, is the judges. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dayna Isom Johnson and Simon Doonan (the brilliant expert judges on Making It), but Baking It is judged by 4 “judgemental grandmas” who all have won awards for their baking or own businesses related to baking. They’re simply adorable. They’re opinionated but complimentary. Grannies judging a baking show? Does it get better than that?!
I’d recommend Making It and Baking It to anyone who likes to watch feel-good shows as well as any creative hoping to watch something that will inspire fresh creative ideas (or you know, anyone whose brain is like mine and prefers to look at bright colors, even if they’re just on in the background). You can find Baking It and Making It on the Peacock app — currently only the most recent season of Making It is on there, but occasionally they’ll add older seasons for a bit of time. If you’ve watched either of these shows, let me know in the comments and let me know if there are any other shows you’ve seen that give off these vibes!