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1 Jul 2023
Lisa Respers France

NextImg:'Secret Chef' is just one of the delicious shows out this week | CNN

CNN  — 

The 4th of July holiday gives me permission to declare my freedom from calorie concerns.

Summer is officially here and I’m leaning into the cookouts, fresh tomatoes and plenty of ice cream. Not to mention the extended hours of daylight.

However, none of that will stop me from enjoying some tasty new television either.

So let’s go!

David Chang is an executive producer and one of the stars of "Secret Chef."

Reminder that I simply adore movies and shows that celebrate food.

Over on Hulu, David Chang is blessing us with “Secret Chef,” billed as a “twist and playful turn on the food competition series.”

“Ten contestants from all walks of life – from professional chefs and home cooks to social media influencers – are isolated in a secret underground kitchen labyrinth connected by a series of conveyor belts,” according to Hulu. “Guided by a mischievous animated talking hat, the chefs are tasked to perform a series of cooking challenges. However, there are no judges, and the chefs must rate each other’s final dishes in blind taste tests. With their true identities concealed, everything will be hidden except the one thing that matters most … the food.”

Yes, please!

Mind you, I am more into eating than cooking in real life, but I very much enjoy watching others work their magic in the kitchen.

Episode 201 of Season 2 of "Is It Cake?"

Speaking of magic, “Is It Cake?” is back for a second season starting Friday. I love this competition show in which pastry pros make hyper-realistic cakes look like everyday objects.

Add Season 2 of “The Bear” on FX, and you pretty much have all the courses covered.

“Is It Cake?” is over on Netflix, while “Secret Chef” is currently streaming on Hulu.

Angela Bassett attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California.

Angela Bassett is finally getting an Academy Award.

Her fans have long complained they believe that Bassett should have received an Oscar for her portrayal of Tina Turner in the 1993 biopic “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” and that argument was resurrected earlier this year when she was nominated for best supporting actress for her role in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

While the latter was history-making in that it made Bassett the first person of color, first woman and first Marvel Studios actor to be nominated for a performance in a comic book adaptation for the prestigious award, she didn’t win.

This week it was announced that the esteemed actress will be the recipient of an honorary Oscar for her contributions to film at the 2023 Governors Awards.

As wonderful as that is, I’m still pulling for her to win an acting Oscar. She deserves it!

Lily-Rose Depp and Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye in "The Idol."

Believe it or not, “The Idol Vol. 1” soundtrack isn’t just music from Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye.

While Tesfaye stars in the controversial HBO series set in the music industry, other artists join him on the soundtrack, including Madonna and rapper Future. (HBO and CNN are both part of Warner Bros. Discovery.)

Tesfaye told Interview that he drew inspiration from the past for “The Idol” soundtrack.

“I’ve been inspired by ‘The Wall’ and ‘Purple Rain’ and when Bowie was doing it, but even films like ‘Shaft,’ the music is literally telling the story of the film,” Tesfaye said.

“I want to challenge myself and I feel like, as a musician, I’m the best I’ve ever been,” he told the publication.

The soundtrack drops Friday.

A scene from Season 3 of "The Witcher."

Monsters, mayhem and the final season with Henry Cavill.

Season 3 of “The Witcher” is out on Netflix, and the streaming giant is promising more “monarchs, mages, and beasts” in the fantasy series this go-round.

It will be interesting to see exactly how the series sets things up for the big switcheroo, when Cavill departs and new Witcher Liam Hemsworth taikes the stage in Season 4.

Whatever the case may be, get ready for some fantastical action.