A Part of the Family

A Part of the Family

To Whom It May Concern,

2020 has been nothing short of an emotionally and mentally draining rollercoaster—with all the social unrest, the global pandemic, having to stay home and far away from our loved ones for several months, and the fear of what else tomorrow has in store for us. But amidst all the scary uncertainty these past few months have left us with, there was this one constant many of us were able to count on to be a ray of light breaking through all the darkness. For 8 out of the now 15+ weeks of all of us living through this new normal, we were able to escape reality even for just an hour every Monday night—and that one hour did more for us than we’ll ever be able to fully put into words. But I’m going to try.

The Baker and the Beauty allowed its viewers to feel a sense of normalcy through the eyes of every single character. That statement may sound strange considering that the premise of the show itself—a relationship between a world-famous fashion mogul and an ordinary baker—isn’t the first thing one thinks of as normal. But the chemistry between the leads as well as the chemistry and relationships amongst all the characters, though fictional, were all very real to us viewers. Every kind of relationship, no matter who it’s with, will always have their fair share of both happy times and trying times. That is the part of the show that us viewers can relate to the most. We’ve all gone through the trials and tribulations of growing up, of falling in love, and of dealing with family. Especially at a time when we’re either physically separated from our loved ones or if we’ve been stuck in the same household as them for months, being able to live vicariously through the characters helped us experience the parts of a relationship that we may have been missing during this time.

It was a fairytale romance that first got us to fall in love with the show, but even though it is such an unlikely pairing in real life, seeing two people from different worlds fall in love gives us ordinary people hope that one day our own fairytale story will come along and that nothing is ever impossible when there is love and the love between two people is genuine and sincere. While it was Noa and Daniel’s fairytale romance that first set our hearts on fire, the real relationship that truly locked us in was the Garcia family’s strong bond. Sure, there are many out there who were lucky enough to grow up in a similar tight-knit family environment. Still, many others weren’t as lucky. For those who did not have that kind of relationship with their family, being able to experience what that was like through watching the Garcias may have been the closest they’ve ever been to actually feeling it. And for those who DID have that kind of relationship, seeing the imperfections in a seemingly perfect family reassured them that it is normal for families to go through rough patches. Regardless of the hardships, the love was always there to bring everyone back together. It was truly something beautiful for us viewers to watch week after week.

For me, coming from a minority background, I can relate to the way the Garcias interact with each other and their morals. I, too, went through the same process of planning a quinceanera-like party with my own mother. In the Philippines, a girl turning 18 is that moment of transitioning into womanhood (it’s called a Debut). I saw my mother in Mari so much. In fact, I got my mom hooked on the show as well, and ever since the first episode she watched, she’s been calling my dad ‘Papi,’ much to his dismay. I think it’s sweet. And it’s something we’ve been able to bond over. As I grow older, finding things to bond over with my parents had grown more and more important to me. Having The Baker and the Beauty to bond over made my heart burst with so much love and joy.

More than experiencing a sense of family through the show itself, the thing that has meant the most to me throughout all of this has been the way the cast and the crew behind the show make each and every single fan feel like part of the family. The way they interact with almost every single fan that reaches out to them while watching is truly remarkable. I mean, where else will you find an entire cast and team behind a show regularly interact back and forth with us ordinary folks, each and every week, throughout the ENTIRE episode? Even on days the show wasn’t on! This cast has never made us feel like we were inferior to them. They’ve treated each and every one of us as their equals and always made time to listen to our feelings during each episode and hear our stories as well. They made us fans feel like we matter, and they continue to do so to this day even though the future of the show is still up in the air. You just don’t find a group of people in the industry like that very often.

Lastly, I can’t tell you enough how much I’ve enjoyed getting to learn about Cuban and Puerto Rican culture throughout the show. Again, as a minority, it means a lot to us to see other minorities get represented because even though we may not all come from the same background, we can at least relate to the fact that each of our backgrounds are not like the majority we’re used to seeing. Even though it’s been a rough year, it’s still 2020, and it’s about time minorities get their moment to shine and really show the nation and the world how beautiful other cultures are. Prematurely cutting off a show before ever really giving it a chance to take off would be such a shame. Think about the kind of impact it’s already had on so many of us after only 9 hours of this show. It’s like kicking a rockstar off the stage while they’re debuting their future hit song before giving them a chance to finish. I know the team behind the show has some beautiful things in store for the second half of their ‘song.’ The creative team and this incredibly loving cast deserve to continue telling their story. And we the fans deserve to have more time with this ensemble who have really turned into family for some fo us. Please give this beautiful show its much deserved and much desired second chance at life.

Very Respectfully,

Katie Cabungcal

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