Several years ago, I had an email newsletter that I sent out weekly to monthly, and, incredibly, people who wanted to read it. At the end of every newsletter, I had a section called “Get Rec’d,” which collected my personal recommendations for different pieces of media for that week or month or what have you.
I’ve decided to bring that old tradition back on this here blog, and I’ve got something truly great with which to start.
If you’re a fan of The Great British Baking Show/Bake Off and its chill vibes, but – like me and my quarantine family – have completely run through every available season more than once, I must insist that you not sleep on The Repair Shop. It’s got all of the same calming energy, music, voiceover work, and shots of the British countryside as GBBO, but with none of the competition.
The structure of every episode of The Repair Shop is the same: one by one, three people bring in one cherished, broken item apiece, and one or more of the show’s specialized repair experts works on it over the course of the show’s 45 minute runtime.
During this time, we get some soothing voiceover from Robert Pugh, along with check-ins with each repair person from host and expert furniture restorer Jay Blades, as the show cuts between the three concurrent repairs-in-progress.
Before and after each repair, we also get some background information on each piece, its history, what it means to the family, and what usually turns out to be an emotional reaction to the reveal of the repaired item.
And uh…that’s pretty much it! It’s great. It’s so relaxing. It’s so hard to find a reality-type show that isn’t interested in injecting the kind of overwrought drama that most American and privately-produced shows are. This is one of those few. The show is clearly genuinely interested in both showcasing each repair expert’s skills, and the deep, emotional meaning that simple everyday objects can have for people, especially when they serve as a connection to loved ones.
The Repair Shop is currently streaming on Netflix, though it only has one season – season 3, oddly enough. I believe there may be more available through the BBC, but some VPN trickery may be required to connect to their iPlayer, depending on your point of origin.
If you’re looking for something cozy to watch to while away these last few cold winter months, I hope you’ll turn to The Repair Shop. And I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
Til next time!