A proper cooking show soothes the soul in the way that the act of fine cooking itself does -- probably, at least until it's time to scrub all eight pots you just got dirty. Even shows like Guy's Grocery Games, Top Chef, Worst Cook In America, and Nailed It all ultimately wrap some mild pseudo-drama around a person trying to make one dish that wouldn't gag a maggot. And that's what makes them perfect for a stress-free hour of letting your anxiety melt away, like a slug on a day trip to the ooze factory.
It requires no emotional investment at all, and that's kind of exciting, in its own unexciting way. Sure, you can let yourself feel tension when the icing won't go on the buns quite right, but nobody on the screen is screaming or watching their dreams die; the icing is just a little uneven. Nothing matters here, not really, and sometimes you need that in life. A little break from things mattering.