Just in time for Halloween, Netflix released a spooky new show starring Instagram-famous baker/model/designer/actress Christine McConnell. Over the last three years, she’s filled her Instagram page with photos of an edible insect bacchanal, a pastry face-hugger from Alien, and a shrine-like birthday cake for Freddie Mercury. Her new series, The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell, features ghastly recipes and witty banter involving a cast of monster houseguests. Here are five things to know about the star and her new TV show:
1) She’s already a Halloween legend: McConnell shot to viral fame three years ago when she decorated her parents’ Los Angeles-area home for Halloween by adding massive, spooky eyes and fangs to its exterior. After the holiday makeover lit up the internet, McConnell got approached with a number of potential deals. “I think 300 production companies or something had reached out,” McConnell tells Eater, “and they all wanted to do a reality-based show. And I don’t really watch that stuff mostly — I mean I have a few guilty pleasures — but I’m much more into scripted TV and storylines, and things like that.“
2) Her creatures were created by Henson Alternative: A producer from NBC Universal Wilshire connected with Christine, and, after a few meetings, pitched the idea of collaborating with the Jim Henson Company. “My eyes almost popped out of my head,” Christine says. “I didn’t even think that was a possibility.” They quickly took a meeting with Brian Henson and his team at Henson Alternative, and agreed to work together on the show. As for the puppets themselves, McConnell says, “I have a really huge soft spot for animals in my own personal life, and the creatures are like an embodiment of my pets — they’re really kind of more like my family.”
3) Netflix was the dream home for Christine and her curious creations: “I knew I really wanted Netflix,” McConnell says. “I didn’t think it was really a possibility, but that was our first pitch, and they called right after.” Christine is a particularly big Stranger Things fan, and thought Netflix would be the perfect fit for her eerie vision. McConnell lists Tales From the Crypt, The Addams Family, The Munsters, Dark Shadows, and The ’Burbs as big influences.
4) McConnell had a hands-on role in designing the series: “The show is really kind of like a reflection of the life that I’ve constructed,” she says. Christine sent photos of her house and some original sketches to the set designers, and they built her dream TV home from there. “When I walked onto the set and saw that it was this real thing, it was the most incredible moment of this whole experience for me,” McConnell says. She’s particularly excited about the spider web-themed kitchen cabinets, which she designed herself in Photoshop.
5) Expect new treats, a few old favorites, and some surprise guests: McConnell will prepare some all-new desserts throughout the show, as well as riffs on a few of her big hits from social media. Unlike most food shows, Curious Creations also has an actual plot. “There’s a whole story arc from the beginning to the end,” Christine remarks, “The show starts with the arrival of someone, and it ends on Halloween.”
All six episodes are now streaming on Netflix.