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Where do you think Ina Garten, Giada De Laurentiis, and even Martha Stewart got their inspiration? Of course, their paths were molded by experience, family, and their own love of food, but we can’t help thinking that these culinary masters, who make their dishes and drinks so accessible, wouldn’t be possible without the legacy of Julia Child. Not familiar with the aforementioned pioneer’s story? Well, you’re in luck. A new series unpacking how the famed chef and TV personality changed how we look at food is coming out today, and just from the trailer, we’re ready to sink our teeth into what the streaming service is serving up starting March 31 — read on for details on the show and how to watch.
For any ambitious women who’ve had a dream, there have been plenty of barriers for them to overcome. Such is the story of famed chef Julia Child. The iconic author and host of The French Chef has become a staple in American culture, not only for her personality and off-the-cuff teaching style, but also for her sincere love of food and desire to change the way Americans viewed their relationship with the kitchen. Now, a new series courtesy of HBO Max recalls the first chapter of Julia Child’s long career as a mainstay of American television.
What’s Julia about?
Julia follows the real-life story of Julia Child once she settles back in the states following the success of her cookbook Mastering The Art of French Cooking. While promoting the revelatory cookbook, the famed author gets the idea that perhaps she could teach Americans a thing or two about cooking and how to establish a new kind of relationship with food. It’s the ’60s, and as ambitious as Julia Child is, there are plenty of obstacles in her way.
TV execs doubt her, her own stage fright gives her pause, and critics don’t seem to think a cooking show will make an impact. But as we know now, Julia Child revolutionized TV in such a way that her series essentially birthed our love and obsession with TV shows about food. Julia seeks to tell the first chapter of how it all began.
Who was Julia Child?
Well, set your kitchen timers, because we’re going to give you a quick crash course on Julia Child in a matter of moments. Among her many epitaphs, Child was a cook, author, and TV personality for decades. But before her love of cooking, she and husband Paul Child worked for the American government during World War II. The pair met in what’s now known as Sri Lanka. It was Paul who actually introduced his wife to fine cuisine — safe to say, she was hooked from then on, and took up studying at the prestigious Cordon Bleu
Over the course of her career, Julia Child wrote The French Chef, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume Two, From Julia Child’s Kitchen and more. From 1962 to 1973, Child hosted the TV series The French Chef, in which she would teach the art of French cooking to audiences. It completely revolutionized the way Americans thought about and made their food.
Who stars in Julia?
Julia stars a bevy of small-screen veterans and Emmy-winners alike. But let’s start from the top. Playing the title role in the HBO Max series is British actress Sarah Lancashire. The actress has appeared in a number of small-screen series, including The Accident, Happy Valley, and Last Tango in Halifax. While Lancashire might not be well known to American audiences, we’re sure she’ll make her mark with Julia.
Joining Lancashire is David Hyde Pierce. The recipient of four Emmy Awards, Pierce is best known for his work as Dr. Niles Crane on the beloved ’90s sitcom Frasier. He plays Julia’s dutiful husband Paul Child. As it would happen, he’s not the only Frasier alum making an appearance in the series. Bebe Neuwirth will also appear in the show as Avis DeVoto, one of Julia Child’s collaborators. The bonafide thespian has earned two Emmy Awards and two Tony Awards over the course of her career, and we wouldn’t be surprised if she potentially picks up some statuettes for her work in the HBO Max series. Other stars of note include Brittany Bradford, Fran Kranz, and appearances by Isabella Rossellini, Judith Light, and James Cromwell.
How to watch Julia
As we dive into how you can watch Julia, we should note the series is exclusive to HBO Max. If you’ve been looking for a reason to sign up for the streaming service — home to exclusive content like new releases, classics like The Sopranos, and hubs including Turner Classic Movies — here’s your chance. HBO Max includes two different plans — the $9.99/month, plan with ads and the $14.99/month ad-free plan.
There’s one other way you can get access to the HBO Max library — and that’s by either signing up for Hulu or using your existing account to opt into their HBO Max add-on feature. But wait, why are we plugging Hulu when Julia will exclusively only air on HBO Max? We’ll explain a bit more.
By signing up for Hulu, you have the option to add HBO Max to your base Hulu plan and enjoy everything the streamer has to offer. All you have to do is select a base Hulu plan — which starts at $6.99/month — and add HBO Max, which will cost $14.99 on top of the base Hulu plan you’ve selected.
What else can I watch about Julia Child?
If you’re hungry for more films about Julia Child, you’re in luck! We have two top-notch recommendations about the famed chef. The first is Nora Ephron’s 2009 biopic Julie & Julia, starring Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, and Stanley Tucci. Based on the book of the same name by Julie Powell
and Child’s book My Life in France, the film tells the story of Julia Child during her years in France and Julie Powell as she cooks her way through Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The feel-good film is super sweet, and the movie is available to rent on Amazon
Looking for a more in-depth look at the life of Julia Child? Last year’s documentary Julia will surely do the trick. The film, available to rent on Amazon, offers a refreshing take on how the culinary icon changed the face of TV, pop culture, and how Americans think of cooking. It’s directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen, who helmed the Oscar-nominated documentary RBG, and also available on Amazon right now.
Before you go, click here to see the best TV shows you should be watching right now.