Facebook, as a social media platform used by anyone worth paying attention to, is slowly dying—a killing we can finally attribute to the boomers who have commandeered our feeds with inane quizzes, bad memes, and endless political fighting. Constant privacy scandals and concerns over misinformation make staying on Facebook even less compelling, but while the 15 million people who dropped off the site between 2015 and 2017 are certainly onto something, they're missing out on one truly wholesome and wonderful thing.
Have you seen Jennifer Garner's Facebook page—and specifically, have you seen her Facebook cooking videos? Garner posts videos frequently, but clearly the best ones involve her cooking, which she refers to as "#PretendCookingShow." They are perhaps one of the last objectively good things on Zuckerberg's hellsite, and one of the rare things worthy of smashing that follow button. (Also, maybe, proof that angels exist? Just a thought!)
With her only movie of the year being a voice role in Nickelodeon's animated Wonder Park, you might have found yourself wondering whatever happened to the once-ubiquitous Alias actress. The answer is, seemingly, that she's in the kitchen having a grand old time. And while so many people were busy stanning Chrissy Teigen's comfort cooking and making celebrities out of the Bon Appétit test kitchen crew, a sleeping giant of celebrity chefs was lying in wait, slowly building up a fanbase with her low-res but immensely joy-bringing kitchen content.
Take, for example, a video of Garner making homemade bagels, which has picked up a well-earned 14 million views since it was posted in May. It starts with a sleepy-looking Garner dabbing as she says "good morning" and then casually prepping her bagels while the plucky music of the Great British Bake Off plays in the background. Her voice is soft and gentle, as though speaking to a baby (is this… ASMR?), as she talks through her own process just as we might in our own kitchens when we realize we might have messed up. While she waits, she sings to her bagels in the oven and pretends to read them a book.
She might have a beautiful kitchen and all the equipment we can dream of and plenty of cookbooks to reference, but even her bagels don't turn out totally perfect. "Paul Hollywood, what does this mean?" she asks as she pokes at the bagel's doughy interior. Still, per the title, the bagels turned out good enough for her: "You win some, you lose some. I squeaked out a W today. 🤗🏆👵🏼" Garner still eats them and offers them to her kids at the end.
In other videos, she makes oatmeal, tosses homemade pizza, roasts a chicken, tries a butter-softening hack, bakes chocolate bread, simmers raspberry preserves, and more. Jennifer Garner, please adopt us.
While most other celebrities have decided that YouTube is where it's at—and honestly, they're not totally wrong—Garner's choice to stay on Facebook seems somehow more humanizing. Couple her uncool platform choice with her videos' low production value (fairly low quality with little editing), and it feels like Jennifer Garner is making content for the everyman. Jennifer Garner is like your aunt or grandma who posts videos to Facebook with her iPhone, except she's more famous and probably more gorgeous.
There are captions and on-screen notes, and the descriptions include not just links to recipes, but also ingredients and instructions interspersed with emoji, because Jennifer Garner clearly just wants you to succeed in the kitchen.
Facebook might be awful and its video interface undeniably terrible, but if you're still using it, you might as well watch Jennifer Garner cook. Even if you make crappy bagels as a result, her videos will still put a smile on your face.