HBO Max's Julia: Why It Makes Me Excited About Cooking Again

Julia in Julia on HBO Max.
(Image credit: HBO Max)

I love to cook. 

While I have had many passions in life that have adapted and changed, cooking was one that I started a little while ago, more for the fact that I needed to find a way to save money in college rather than spend all my money on something that I didn’t need. And over time, I genuinely found a passion for it. 

However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, and many other factors in my life, I found myself falling out of love with the one thing I had really learned to enjoy over the last few years. That was, until I started watching the latest HBO Max original series, Julia. 

The show follows the story of Julia Child, the legendary chef and cooking show host from the 1960s who changed the face of the culinary industry, as well as the TV industry. While I had already known about Julia Child before from past portrayals - including one of my favorite Meryl Streep performances in Julie & Julia - this show has really taught me much about Julia Child’s life - and honestly, it’s inspired me to love cooking again. Here are five reasons why. 

Julia in Julia.

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Julia’s Story Is Inspiring To Watch

Sometimes, I forget that Julia Child became famous in the 1960s originally, and it’s hard for me to imagine a world where creating a cooking show would be unusual. In a world where we live with a literal TV channel that is called The Food Network, with stars like Guy Fieri and Bobby Flay, it’s fascinating to think about a time in the world where Child had to fight to get her own series to show off her cooking. 

For me, that’s so inspiring to watch on Julia. Even if it is a dramatized story, it still takes aspects from her life that I truly adore. I love a good underdog story and Julia Child is the perfect example of that. Not only was she trying to push a new concept that many people weren’t fans of and didn’t think would do well, she persisted despite all obstacles and people saying no one would watch it. 

I mean, if Julia Child can literally push through societal boundaries to create her own success because of her love of cooking, I can surely push myself to make some new meals that I truly love and enjoy. 

Julia and her family and friends in Julia.

(Image credit: HBO Max)

The Support From Her Family And Friends Reminds Me Of My Own Support System 

You know that classic phrase “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?” I’ve gotten sick of it, because honestly, the way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach, and those were my intentions when I first started learning how to really cook. I wanted to make food for my family and have them be my little test subjects, and it was fun as heck. 

In Julia, even as Julia Child is pushing forward to create this new show - which, at the time, had never been done before - she has this entire support system behind her. Her husband, her neighbors, her friends - even a worker at the television station who pushes for her to succeed because she has that same passion as well. It reminds me so much of my own family and how much they supported me not only in my journey to learn to cook, but in everything I do, and it makes me want to do better. 

The food in Julia.

(Image credit: HBO Max)

The Way They Plate The Food Looks Delicious 

I mean, come on. You can’t tell me that the food in that picture doesn’t look delicious. 

Jokes aside, Julia does what many other food shows do - make me starve with the plating of the food. From omelets to steaks to cakes, everything looks so dang good. The difference between this show and many cooking shows is that I actually feel inclined to make these dishes. 

Look at that steak. That honestly looks like the simplest steak in the world that you can cook, and those fries look very easy to make as well. As someone who has made both of these before, seeing the way in which these meals are shot makes me want to get off my ass and make food myself because a) it’s cheaper than ordering take out and b) I actually feel fulfilled when I make something myself, rather than relying on someone else. I don’t know, might just be me. 

Julia in Julia.

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Julia’s Genuine Joy For Cooking Is Contagious 

Julia Child’s passion and joy for cooking in Julia reminds me so much of how I was in the beginning, and that alone sparks my interest in cooking again. This could also just be because of the fantastic portrayal from Sarah Lancashire, who brings the charming personality of Julia Child to the small screen perfectly, and it just makes me want to cook. 

The way she makes it look so simple, even in her first cooking tutorial on live television with a hot plate, it should inspire anyone to learn how to cook even the most basic meal. But, it’s the smile she always has, that passion, that love to want to serve something so delicious that makes me want to be like her. She sort of reminds me of a very toned down version of Gordon Ramsay with all his Fox shows

Not the screaming, cursing and yelling part, because no one can quite be like Ramsay in that regard, but the love he has for cooking and how he views it almost as a way of life - that’s where my love for this show comes from. I just love how much she adores cooking. 

Julia in Julia on the set of her show.

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Her Impact On Cooking Shows Impacted How I Learned To Cook 

I feel like we don’t talk about this enough - Julia Child is the reason food shows even exist, which Julia highlights. 

While plenty of people learned how to cook from their family or from recipe books, I was never that person. I was a bit of a brat as a kid and never learned to cook from my mom because I had no interest back then (unless it was pizza bagels) and I was too lazy to read through a whole cookbook. 

So, how did I learn to cook? Great YouTube channels about cooking (specifically Binging With Babish - I've watched a lot of his stuff), or I’d watch some food shows that featured easily done recipes. Heck, even watching cooking competition shows made me want to learn how to cook - albeit not the same as some of these professionals did, but made me want to try to be like them. 

None of these shows would exist if not for Julia Child and her revolutionary impact on the culinary world and the television industry. She was a pioneer in her field and paved the way for so many iconic chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Bobby Flay, Anthony Bourdain, and so many others, including channels on YouTube or TikTok that have their own followings now, like Andrew Rea, Joshua Weissman, and Rosanna Pansino.

It’s because of what she did, paving the way for people that I watched to learn more about cooking, that I love this show so much. Julia is the perfect medium in which to show exactly how much work Julia Child put into making her show a reality and how much it truly impacted the world, and honestly, I can’t thank her enough. 

For all that she contributed to the culinary world, I think I can allow myself to love cooking again, despite other obstacles in my life. If she can cherish it, while turning it into one of the biggest business opportunities in the world, then I can adore just being proud of the simple pancakes I make on a rainy Saturday morning - with a little bit of syrup and love.

If you haven’t watched Julia on HBO Max, please, go and check it out, especially if you have a passion for cooking like I do. I promise that you won’t regret it for a single moment. 

Alexandra Ramos
Content Producer

A self-proclaimed nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire, Alexandra Ramos is a Content Producer at CinemaBlend. She first started off working in December 2020 as a Freelance Writer after graduating from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Journalism and a minor in English. She primarily works in features for movies, TV, and sometimes video games. (Please don't debate her on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!) She is also the main person who runs both our daily newsletter, The CinemaBlend Daily, and our ReelBlend newsletter.