So many movies seem to follow the same mold these days that they seem not written but cut out like cookies with a cookie cutter. In a way, this makes these movies as perfect for tea time as real cookies are.

A Dalek (the redesigned model from 2010) enjoying a “cuppa”

A Dalek (the redesigned model from 2010) enjoying a “cuppa”

These “cookie cutter” movies have the same villains, the same good guys and gals, the same conflict setup and resolution with the same happy ending. Names change. Actors change (although some actors seem to specialize in appearing in this movie type). Scenery even changes, sort of like how a portrait photographer changes his backdrop from a wooded glade to a cityscape to a mottled neutral “nothing.” Such similarities can make these movies a suitable backdrop for tea time. No loud sounds. No gory scenes and wild car chases. No monsters, vampires, gangsters, aliens bursting out of abdomens, Daleks threatening the universe, or giant Pillsbury doughboys marching through the streets of New York City with Ghostbusters on their trail. Who can have a calming tea time with stuff like that blaring out from the TV?

No, it’s much better to have a “cookie cutter” movie that you know how it will go and that the ending will be happy with the destined lovers ending up together.

Of course, you’re also going to want a tea that you know well. This is not the time to finally get around to trying that gyokuro steeped with cold water or opening up that new package of experimental oolong. Nor would it be advisable to conduct a gongfu-style steeping session even during a “cookie cutter” movie where your attention could wander but you would still have a good idea of what was going on. If you are well acquainted with a particular tea, that might be the one to go for. Many people can’t get through the day without a cuppa Earl Grey while others must have some Keemun, a Ceylon green or black, or some Jasmine. My surefire winner tea is Scottish Breakfast (a blend of Assam and Keemun). I can steep a big potful, and it will taste as good halfway through the movie and even at the end as it did at the beginning.

You might want to have any baking done already, too, and thus avoid leaving some scorched skin on the oven rack when you forget to use an oven mitt when removing the pie, scones, etc., because you’re distracted by a particularly pivotal scene in the movie (will he or won’t he realize she loves him, not the guy she’s currently engaged to?). (I’ve never ever done this ― well, maybe just one time ― or two ― okay, at least once a week!)

Ok, you’ve got the tea ready and a nice cuppa poured, the treats plated up and tempting you with their aromas, a box of facial tissues (just in case you cave in to the tearjerker scenes) in easy reach, and have assured yourself that the remote batteries work. Now, just tuck the kiddies into bed, tell your hubby you don’t want to be disturbed, and enjoy the show!

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