Watching: “Great British Baking Show” fans …

It's time to throw down.

Author Headshot

By Margaret Lyons

Television Critic

Dear Watchers,

Norman Lear became the oldest Emmy winner ever on Tuesday, breaking his own record, which he set last year. Lear, 98, won a Creative Arts Emmy for “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: ‘All In The Family’ and ‘Good Times,’” which won for best live variety special.

Stay safe. See you Friday.


I need a gentle British show

A potter on the second season of “The Great Pottery Throw Down.”Love Productions/HBO Max

‘The Great Pottery Throwdown’

When to watch: Arrives Thursday, on HBO Max.

“The Great Pottery Throw Down” is a feel-good show and a perfect right-now show, an edifying dose of joyful creativity, clear expectations and meaningful guidance. It’s the pottery version of “The Great British Baking Show,” where contestants demonstrate their skills in a variety of challenges and are assessed by sage and thoughtful judges. And like “The Great British Baking Show,” “Throw Down” has a positive and supportive vibe, absent sabotage or malice.


The biggest difference is that on “Throw Down,” instead of Paul Hollywood, there’s the far more expressive Keith Brymer Jones, an expert potter who serves as a coach and judge. The best part of each episode is when he sits down at the wheel and shows the contestants what he wants them to make and how; his talent is of course thrilling to behold, but seeing the other potters marvel at his technique is itself beautiful. Brymer Jones also gets so overwhelmed with happiness and pride when the contestants make successful pieces that he cries on most episodes, and thus I do too, and perhaps you will as well.

Season 1, which debuted in England in 2015, has only six episodes; Season 2, from 2017, has eight, and Season 3, from earlier this year, has 10. All three seasons will be available to stream starting Thursday. Honestly, drop everything and watch this as soon as possible.

If you don’t have HBO Max but still want dazzling artistry in a loving contest format, watch “Blown Away,” a glass blowing competition series on Netflix, or the second season of “Making It,” about crafting and D.I.Y. projects, which is free on Peacock.

When do my shows come back?

A scene from the season premiere of “Bob’s Burgers.”Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

  • “PEN15”: Sept. 18 (Hulu)
  • “The Great British Baking Show”: Sept. 25 (Netflix)
  • “Bob’s Burgers”: Sept. 27 (Fox)
  • “Fargo”: Sept. 27 (FX)
  • “Saturday Night Live”: Oct. 3 (NBC)
  • “black-ish”: Oct. 4 (ABC)
  • “The Walking Dead”: Oct. 4 (AMC)
  • “Supernatural”: Oct. 8 (the CW)
  • “The Amazing Race”: Oct. 14 (CBS)
  • “The Goldbergs”: Oct. 21 (ABC)
  • “Superstore”: Oct. 22 (NBC)
  • “Deutschland 83”: Oct. 29 (Sundance)
  • “The Mandalorian”: Oct. 30 (Disney+)
  • “This Is Us”: Nov. 10 (NBC)
  • “The Crown”: Nov. 15 (Netflix)



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