The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell: Season One: Puppets and Monsters and Cookies, Oh My!
October 21, 2018 7:25 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

How in the world did an Instagram baking star with a flair for the grotesque land a homemaking show on the biggest streaming service? Curious Creations is a weird combination of puppets (via Henson Alternative), gory-gothic humor, and cooking how-to (with a few craft projects as well), all stemming from the creepy vibe of the title character.

The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell [is] essentially a cross between The Addams Family, Pushing Daisies, and Pinterest. Obviously, I love it.
posted by Etrigan (21 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Who the hell is she talking to?!
posted by annathea at 8:11 PM on October 21, 2018 [4 favorites]

No but seriously I liked it so much that when my kids joined me I found myself unable to turn it off even tho it’s not really entirely appropriate for kids as young as mine. They enjoyed the houses the most.
posted by annathea at 8:12 PM on October 21, 2018

the puppet characters annoy me, though i do like "Ben" and enjoy the overall vibe - i'd say it's a bit more like a mix of addams family and martha stewart with a big nod to the pee wee herman show.
posted by lapolla at 8:22 PM on October 21, 2018

i was happy to see and hear that some of the puppeteers from the underrated topical political puppet show "No You Shut Up!" had found more work. this was silly and charming!
posted by rotten at 8:47 PM on October 21, 2018 [3 favorites]

I loved it. Youngest declared Christine the baking cousin of the Addams family and wants a mummified cat now. Rose grows on you like mould. The baking is definitely not instructive - four hours for a quick snack?? - but artistry to admire.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 9:31 PM on October 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

And i appreciate that they pull back from vicious - the basement torture scene was beginning to feel just plain sadistic until he went "and I'm keeping this!" about the ball-gag all blushing and marched off, indicating wink-wink that he had found the experience just as thrilling.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 9:34 PM on October 21, 2018

Thanks for getting this up, I think I requested this and then forgot about it.

Her baking is AMAZING. The gingerdead houses! The sculpted bird on the pot pie! Rose's cake replacement! I am not that into cooking shows but I love a good artistic cake show. These must take forever to say, make your own tea cups.

I was amused at the whole Norman thing: oh yeah, I am totally cool with you being a serial killer and am not afraid at all, apparently. Then there's a brief mention that he takes out sex criminals and I'm all "Dexter!"

Rose was my favorite of the puppets. What is she, a Frankenskunkoon? And what is with the fork hand? Is it stuck there or is that like a fake paw of some kind? Also, her resurrection day birthday dumpster and being called "princess" by Christine were quite cute. And the "what did I tell you about arson?" "don't leave any evidence?" conversation was a hoot.

I am still trying to think of what exactly Christine is in this world. A single Morticia? Is she bothered at all about dating a serial killer when so far she doesn't seem afraid of that? Is she also killing on the side that we don't know about? This led me to wonder if the Addamses were ever actually afraid of being killed in the movies or if they just didn't care or found it amusing or what.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:20 PM on October 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I liked this. Season 2, please.
posted by rewil at 10:28 PM on October 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

My kids just loved this show, and it has a real retro vibe care of the Henson stuff that catapults me back to childhood titles I loved like Storyteller. Fun stuff. I kinda wish it was just a skooch more actually-you-could-cook-this focused - my daughter keeps asking if we can make some of the stuff, and I'm like, "uhhhh". But it's great fun.
posted by smoke at 2:08 AM on October 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

Omg Rankle is my favorite. I do get annoyed by people who say "Oh you can find stuff for this in your house" and then air brush things. Be honest that most people don't casually airbrush baked goods.
posted by miss-lapin at 2:40 AM on October 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

I watched a little of it last night and was fascinated enough to watch more than I thought I would, but not until the end. I was not expecting puppets, and I'm not sure how I feel about watching somebody hand-carve and airbrush a pretzel peanut butter bone, but it may end up being background tv while I clean the house.
posted by PussKillian at 8:10 AM on October 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

I loved this show, though I will say it has a bit of a tone problem. The baking/making segments are more demonstrations than instructions (which is fine) and the darker bits seemed to cross the line for what I thought they were going for, until the last episode where someone straight up gets murdered and buried, and then I wished the whole thing was just as dark.

McConnell is so talented, and I love her deadpan delivery! Dita Von Teese as the mirror was fabulous (and she got to go out on Halloween, hooray!) and I loved the wacky cousin and the serial killer beau. The puppets were so well-built, but the jaws move incorrectly (especially Rose, whose upper snout did more of the talking than the lower jaw, which is a puppetry no-no), but who am I to judge Brian Henson's company's work?

I hope there's a Season 2. I could see this as a Halloween tradition, a la Halloween Wars.
posted by xingcat at 8:22 AM on October 22, 2018

This show is really strange and freaky, and I appreciate that. I zoned out pretty hard in the middle of episode two, so I need to give it another chance. McConnell is more comfortable in the voice-over portions and the whole tings was a little stilted.

I did recommend it to my mom, though, because I think she will love it. She wasn't too enthused by the baking aspect but when I said double-entendre mummy cat, she was hooked.
posted by Squeak Attack at 10:14 AM on October 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

McConnell is more comfortable in the voice-over portions and the whole tings was a little stilted.

This and annathea's comment ("Who the hell is she talking to?!") got me thinking about The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course, which I saw for an unfathomable reason in the theater, without taking any kids. The conceit of it is that, while out doing his usual nature docutainment show, Steve Irwin stumbles into an international incident, and an action comedy ensues. But he continues doing his show, so when there's a lull in the action, he'll suddenly turn to the camera, the aspect ratio changes so it looks like TV (I may be misremembering this), and he'll talk about this fascinating animal he just encountered. But here's the problem: There is no camera crew with him in the continuity of the action-comedy-international-incident. He is literally walking through the Outback all by himself trying to find a crocodile that swallowed a top-secret satellite component, and then just decides to talk to no one at all about a snake that almost bit him.

I kinda want the next iteration of TCCoCMcC to be like that -- one 90-minute movie with about 45 minutes' worth of movie with a plot, and about the same amount of "Here's how I made this elaborate pastry" and "Here's a tip on how to make your decorations even spookier" sprinkled throughout, but making it obvious that she is utterly insane and talking to no one.
posted by Etrigan at 11:02 AM on October 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

I'm actually hoping for a crossover episode between this and Nailed It because I think Nicole with all those puppets would be fantastic.
posted by miss-lapin at 9:43 PM on October 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

With prestige TV making shows with movie budgets, I initially felt that the production seemed a little janky, but I could see this as a seasonal filler show where the off kilter acting meshes with the zombie puppets and amazing pastry sculptures. I also see a crossover opportunity with "Nailed it!" and it's a crime if they aren't working on it already.

I will say that they need to rethink the reason for the demonstrations. In one of the articles, Christine said that the gingerbread mansion took weeks of (just?!?) her working on it. I thought they might have had a team, but it seems like the she is the major baking artist for the show. The end results are impractical for home bakers, so is the show for learning techniques or showing how an elaborate project comes together? If she is demonstrating new techniques, that's cool, but how many times do we need to learn how to do monster eyes with modeling chocolate? or does it really matter if her explaining things to the camera is to illustrate that she's really cooky? I think the Ouija cookie board was probably the best example of a good demonstration.

And as a person who sews, her whipping up a dress with just the tiny hand drawn patterns made me crazy, because seriously, you're just going to cut darts into your fancy satin fabric just like that, and the dress comes out perfectly fitting with no ease to spare? aghghghgghsgh I'd at least prefer some sort of jump cut, or "magic" something or "look, the top is already done!" to explain the time between making an elaborate date dinner and whipping up a fancy new dress is not 10 minutes. You'd at least need a whole afternoon just to cut the fabric! However, I did really like how the closeup of her hands showed smudges and overpaint along with her manicures. She definitely can do the work, which not all baking/cooking hosts can do.

The puppet friends were funny, the conceit was cute, and Christine McConnell is seriously talented, but I do think they could iron out a few things before next Halloween.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 10:29 AM on October 23, 2018

I would be so into this show except for the puppets, they drive me insane.
posted by exceptinsects at 11:09 AM on October 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

I had a hard time with this one because the tone is just so all over the place.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 1:50 PM on November 9, 2018

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