Michael Oosterom says he owes some
If “The Great British Baking Show” isn’t getting you in the Halloween spirit, it’s time to check out “The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell,” a new Netflix baking show that features Delaware native Michael Oosterom.
Oosterom voices and controls Rankle, a mummified Egyptian cat who brings sass and charm to the gothic cooking show. The Wilmington-born puppeteer works alongside Christine McConnell, the Instagram-famous baker known for her ghoulish confections.
“It’s a combination of a cooking show and a narrative,” says Oosterom. “It’s not a typical cooking show in that Christine is a character living in a house with monsters and puppets and creatures.” Think “The Addams Family” meets Martha Stewart.
Oosterom first heard about “Curious Creations” through his work with the Jim Henson Company. If that name sounds familiar, that might be because the Henson Company is responsible for creating the world-famous Muppets, with which Oosterom has had the pleasure of working for much of his career.
“As I became a puppeteer, I realized that it’s a real honor and I kind of pinch myself a lot that I get to participate with them,” he says. “They’re also sort of like old friends to me.”
While his work with the Muppets is family friendly, Oosterom’s new show is targeted for a slightly older audience. The innuendos and general mischief of “Curious Creations” might go right over kids’ heads, but Oosterom recommends that parents check it out first.
“It’s a lot like ‘The Addams Family’ in that the characters are always alluding to dastardly things that they have done or are planning on doing, but you never quite see it,” he says.
The show premiered on Oct. 12 and has six binge-worthy Halloween episodes. It’s already getting online attention, including from writer Meghan O’Keefe at Decider.com, who calls Oosterom’s character “the best part of fall TV.“
The show PREMIERED ON NETFLIX
“Curious Creations” isn’t slotted for a second season yet, but Oosterom is confident that enthusiasm from the fan base will make it happen.
“Horror fans are year ’round,” says Oosterom. “There are plenty of people where everyday is Halloween for them, so I think a lot of staying power with that.”
Oosterom’s work in Los Angeles keeps him busy, from Disney Channel and Freeform (formerly ABC Family) to the Muppets and “Curious Creations.” It’s clear that his career as a puppeteer is a success, and he believes he owes some of that to his Delaware roots.
“I’m very proud to be from Delaware. I think everything I am today is a result of the great education I got there and the great environment I grew up in,” says Oosterom. “Being a ’70s boy growing up outside of Wilmington was very idyllic. Looking back on it now, it was a great place to grow up.”