By Adam B. Vary
Updated April 27, 2009 at 06:57 PM EDT

Last night, I gleefully sidled up to the TV to watch the finale of the Food Network cake-baking competition show Last Cake Standing. I eagerly watched three bone-tired cake decorators create massive confections of cake and frosting to satisfy their “mystery client” — i.e. a group of sextuplets, two girls, four boys, all turning 16 and expecting their single collective birthday cake to reflect all of their impressively divergent interests (“computer,” “soccer,” “saxophone,” “aeronautical engineering,” etc.). This assignment came after a marathon week of cakery, whittling six competitors down to the final three for a $50,000 prize and the dubious title of “Best Cake Artist in America.” Of the finalists, I was pulling most for Bronwen Weber (pictured), whose penchant for overly ambitious designs that are a bit weak on execution was balanced by her hilariously frank personali…

What the heck is happening to me?! When did agood quarter of my TV time become dedicated to watching people roll outa product called “fondant” that has apparently supplanted, you know,frosting as the specialty cake decorator’s covering of choice? When didI start growing as fond of the cast of Food Network’s Ace of Cakes as I am of the cast of 30 Rock or Lost? How did I become the kind of person who, after stumbling upon Jorge Garcia’s blog about the Lost 100th episode cake made by the peeps on Ace of Cakes, does a little dance in his desk chair?

I actually don’t even like large cakes all that much — I’mfar more of a cupcake or cookie kind of guy. And yet there I sit,making comments about “piping” and “gum paste” as if I have a flippin’clue what I’m even talking about, happy as a clam-shaped cake as Iwatch a grown man melt into a puddle of flop sweat over his sugar flowers.So tell me, PopWatchers, what random niche TV shows — be they aboutcake baking or otherwise — have you been obsessively watching in spiteof yourself?