Jennifer Garner lands new show — but we're already obsessed with her 'pretend' one

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
Jennifer Garner’s pretend cooking show is awesome. (Image: Jennifer Garner via Instagram)

More than a decade after Alias, Jennifer Garner is returning to TV. She’ll be starring in a comedy for HBO, Camping, which will be helmed by Girls gals Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner. Bright wigs and bad-ass stunts not included.

While we can’t wait to see Garner as, per the synopsis, “a controlling L.A. mom, who is far less cheerful than her Lululemons imply” — and can’t wait for actress to have a chance to bitch it up a little bit — you may not be aware than she’s already starring in a “pretend show,” now playing only on her social media pages, that serves up a tasty distraction from life. (Hers and ours.)

Garner, who only recently really embraced social media, has been showing off her homemaker side in a series of cooking videos shot right in her kitchen. She refers to it as her “pretend cooking show,” where she channels her inner Ina Garten (they’re friends, and sometimes the Barefoot Contessa comments), but sometimes she fails — and isn’t afraid to show it.

The most recent post was a “pretend cooking show … fail.” She shared footage in which she whipped up homemade bagels for her family, but they got a thumbs-down — and a final resting place in the trash bin.

Her sad face was the look of a baker who took on her KitchenAid — and lost miserably. One by one, she dropped her subpar bagels into the garbage, while her frown grew bigger.

This is what you do when your bagels don’t measure up — if you’re Jennifer Garner. (Image: Jennifer Garner via Facebook)

“Pretend Cooking Show, Episode 2” saw her making English muffins from a recipe by Huckleberry restaurateur Zoe Nathan.  Garner, who describes herself as “not a pretty baker” (not referring to her own appearance, but that of her baked goods), pointed out the faults of her muffins.

The best part of that episode was when Garner, who cut out carbs while filming the movie Peppermint, couldn’t eat the muffins herself. (She made them for her kids: Violet, Seraphina, and Samuel.) So seeing her smell them — and pretend to kiss them — was LOL.

The cook’s dilemma: when you can’t eat what you make. (Image: Jennifer Garner via Facebook)

Here, she whipped up a recipe for Ina’s honey white bread, which she made in the shape of little people for her kids.

She loves Ina so much she kissed her … cookbook.

Garner loves Garten — Ina Garten’s book, that is. (Image: Jennifer Garner via Facebook)

Finally, in the debut episode, Garner made a smoothie.

It was pretty unremarkable — as smoothie making tends to be — but we were just charmed by how she kept pausing to adorably peek at the camera.

Jennifer Garner’s fake cooking show makes Jennifer Garner smile. You probably will too. (Image: Jennifer Garner via Facebook)

Another bonus of all this is that the faux show lets us gawk at Garner’s house. We’re eyeing every inch of that pristine white kitchen. We’re looking at what she’s wearing. (Apparently a lot of pajamas!) We’re counting the pairs of eyeglasses strewn about. We’re peeping at the kids’ art on the fridge. We’re saying hello to Birdie the dog. (She’s also recently been giving peeks at her organic garden lately, which you may know from what we will only call Jennifer Garner and the Infamous Hot Pepper Incident. “Regret, regret, regret!”)

Speaking of the kids, they’re clearly not around when Garner’s doing her pretend cooking show. Maybe they’re at Ben Affleck’s house. (Once she noted she had put two of them to bed.) So making the whole thing more enjoyable is seeing her have some fun, as she clearly does, when it’s maybe not the most fun time. (Custody agreements can have this effect.)

So while we’re certainly looking forward to Garner’s big return to TV — in the words of Lena Dunham, “We got Sydney Bristow! — her upcoming real show will have trouble topping this current fake one.

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