Cooking shows don’t normally include puppets or fake eyeballs on the menu, but “The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell” is anything but ordinary.
In its star’s own words, the Netflix series is “a mix between Donna Reed and Morticia Addams. But also maybe like if Marilyn Munster grew up and gave up on dating too much and started running her own house.”
McConnell, 37, is an artist, photographer, model, and baker who achieved online celebrity when photos of her spooky edible creations attracted attention (she currently has 445,000 Instagram followers).
“I started baking, not thinking [a show] could ever happen. I was just doing it for fun — weird, creepy stuff,” McConnell tells The Post. “Werewolves and snakes, things like that.”
Of course, in this day and age, Internet fame leads to book and TV deals. Her book (“Deceptive Desserts: A Lady’s Guide to Baking Bad!”) came out in 2016, and her series debuted last month. “Curious Creations” is one of several original cooking shows added to the streaming giant’s roster. Nearly 50 million accounts have watched at least one food-related Netflix original series or documentary this year.
“Reddit is what brought my work to the largest audience, and I just kept doing stuff and I got a book deal,” she says. “I had been approached a lot about doing reality TV — but I like things to be magical, and there isn’t a lot of that in reality.”
In each episode of “Curious Creations,” McConnell, dressed as a 1950s TV housewife (with a Goth flair), performs baking demonstrations of ghoulish treats such as edible eyeballs or a Ouija board cookie.
She is not alone in the kitchen. During her segments, she’s entertained by a peanut gallery of puppets — a mummified cat, a raccoon — made by the Jim Henson Company.
Although McConnell is self-taught, she says she finds inspiration online.
“If you have a question, there’s a video for everything. So that’s kind of been my teacher throughout this, and it still is,” she says. “If I have a question I’m not sure about, I’ll Google it to see if I can find an instructional video. There is a lot that you just kind of make up on your own, and find out what works and what doesn’t.”
Her fascination with the macabre comes from her childhood.
“I grew up watching ‘The Munsters’ and ‘Dark Shadows’ and all of these creepy old shows,” she says. “And I loved the 1990’s Addams Family movies, and obviously Tim Burton was a huge influence. ‘Edward Scissorhands’ is probably the most impactful movie I’ve ever seen. So when we started talking about what kind of show could be made, those were the touchstones that I kept referring to.”
A lifelong Californian, McConnell lives outside of Los Angeles in a town appropriately named Twin Peaks.
“I’m not going to say [the David Lynch connection] didn’t strongly influence my purchase of the house,” she says. “I never really fit in, in California. It’s my dream to find a big Victorian manor on the East Coast and fix it up with all sorts of spooky elements. I would say that’s my biggest objective in life at the moment.”
And although she says she didn’t steer “Curious Creations” towards children, she says trick-or-treaters were excited to see her this Halloween.
“We completely set out not to make a kid’s show. I wanted it to have all these things I loved as a kid, but specifically geared towards adults,” she says. “But having little kids run up to you and be so excited to meet you, like you’re something special to them — it’s super magical.”
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