This is the second day that the girls are binge-watching DC Cupcakes. The show is about a pair of sisters in their late twenties or early thirties who still call their mother "Mommy." They own a cupcake shop in Georgetown. At least one of them has a husband with a job that pays well enough for them to open a shop without apparent regard for making a living. The binge started yesterday afternoon, when it was the only show they could both agree to watch on Netflix, on the computer, while Mike watched some obligatory New Year's Day football. We had already vetoed more episodes of Shake It Up. That third season binge watch already happened between Christmas and New Year, but at least it gave them some exercise as they danced through the routines in every episode. We also said no to Wizards of Waverly Place, and anything else that originally appeared on the Disney Channel. Don't even get me started on what's wrong with Good Luck Charlie and Jessie, two shows that were apparently developed for the sole purpose of making complete fools of adults recklessly left in charge of precociously sarcastic children. It just makes me thankful that my kids haven't had a stable of comedy writers crafting their comebacks and zingers. Fiona's "Mom, you're just so squishy!" sounds bad enough without the polish of professional gag writing.
But I digress.
The girls have always liked cooking shows. It started with the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, who I find to be a little precious, even though I always like her recipes. I might be precious too if I was married to a cowboy and had abandoned the legal profession for a big Oklahoma ranch with my own cooking "lodge," instead of a tiny bike shop post office where I sneak the opportunity to write on my laptop. Now they like Trisha Yearwood, Giada, and strangely, Mary Ann Esposito of Ciao Italia.
(Not to take anything away from Ms. Esposito, who apparently has the longest running cooking show on TV, according to her website, but really, she's not exactly, you know, dazzling in her presentation.) When we had cable, we also used to watch some of the quirkier Cooking Channel shoes like Extra Virgin (Imagine a contemporary I Love Lucy, with recipes, where Lucille Ball is played by Debi Mazar and her Tuscan chef husband takes on the role of the put-upon but fiery spouse. Add a gay bff standing in for both Fred and Ethel and sit back as high jinks ensue!) and my favorite, Bitchin' Kitchen with Nadia G. Nadia G. rocked five inch heels, knuckle rings, and ridiculously long fingernails while spouting philosophy and prepping three course meals, always clustered around a theme, such as "getting that Shmuck to finally propose" and "what to serve to your parents to prove you're really a grown-up."
But I digress again.
The DC Cupcakes phenomenon was a bit of a mystery to me, so I asked the girls what they liked about it. Delia said that she watches it because now she wants to be a cupcake shop owner and because they help a charity in every episode. I didn't even catch that, probably because of the constant whining on the show, but when I clicked back through the episodes, she was right, there was the Boys and Girls Club, the Susan G. Komen foundation, the ASPCA, and a couple of local Georgetown organizations that got big cupcake displays crafted by the sisters who alternately bake and squabble about who is bossier, who is smarter and who is really the important one in the operation. The cupcakes look delicious, and people seem to love them-- Fiona pointed this out as one of the show's virtues. But in every episode, they court disaster with over-ambitious projects which are always barely finished just as the cupcakes need to be presented for serving. Along the way, they routinely disagree about how to execute these projects which inevitably involve chicken wire, dowels and blow torches, not to mention hundreds of cupcakes precariously affixed to themed sculptural displays such as gigantic bras and diamond rings.
"They are really life sisters," says Fiona, when I point out how much they argue, "of course they fight."
"Yeah," says Delia, "they're together 24/7 and their mom drives them crazy. They get on each others nerves. Who wouldn't?" And yet, she wants to own a cupcake shop. She says she might let Fiona work for her. Maybe. All I know is that they've watched four episodes while I've written this, and they are still smitten.
I find the sisters to be ridiculously neurotic and self-absorbed, but I guess that seeing grown-ups act that way must be as entertaining to children as seeing grown-ups consistently outwitted by sarcastic children. Hey, call Disney-- they may want to add frosting to their usual formula. They could have a real hit on their hands...
Cupcake image from here. Images of Mary Ann Esposito and Nadia G. are from their respective homepages.