A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell is a light horror-themed cooking show where McConnell makes her "creations" (mostly elaborate and creative desserts) for the puppets she shares a house with and guests. The show embeds its cooking lessons within thin plots where the creatures -- puppets, operated by Henson-trained actors -- come into conflict with each other and the guests. The creatures make a lot of violent threats, but that violence doesn't ever come to fruition, and though the show has other adult elements, like a lot of sexual innuendo, it also takes extra care to not cross the line into vulgarity. The desserts that McConnell makes are extremely advanced and labor-intensive, but are also very inspiring -- even for less-skilled viewers.
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What's the story?
In THE CURIOUS CREATIONS OF CHRISTINE MCCONNELL, Christine lives in a house with several creatures, including a feisty raccoon, an undead cat, and a giant were-dog-bear-thing. She makes extravagant snacks and desserts for her housemates and guests, like pretzels in the shape of bones or edible Ouija boards, and walks viewers step-by-step through her elaborate processes while her critter friends get into mischief.
Is it any good?
Combining elements of Pee-Wee's Playhouse with a traditional cooking show is a stroke of genius, and the work by Jim Henson Company-affiliated puppeteers is entertaining and punchy, retaining the vaudeville style of, say, The Muppet Show. And the titular creations that McConnell makes each episode also provide plenty of spectacle: she loves food that's functional, like an edible ouija board, or tricksy, like a cake that looks like a coffee pot sitting next to a coffee pot that looks like a cake. The only drawbacks are that McConnell herself is a little stiff in front of the camera (though she seems to get more comfortable as the series goes on), and the show spends a little too much time trying to have a plot, when McConnell's tutelage and some funny puppet banter are probably all it needs. But as a whole, The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell is creative,surprising and wildly entertaining in ways you wouldn't expect from a cooking show.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Christine McConnell's creations. What are your favorite things that McConnell makes? Why? Did any of the desserts surprise you?
How much effort does it take to make such beautiful creations? How do you think McConnell got so good at what she does?
Why does McConnell share a house with so many unusual critters? Why do you think she likes monster-themed treats so much? Do you like Halloween and other spooky stuff?
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