Watching the new TV series Superior Donuts leaves us with a serious jones for Boston Cream. Why? Because viewing the CBS sitcom means being inundated with images of sweet, fried goodness for a solid 30 minutes.
Based on the play by Tracy Letts (August: Osage County), Superior Donuts (airing Mondays at 9 p.m.) takes places at an old-school Chicago donut shop that hasn't changed a bit since it was first opened in 1969 by proprietor Arthur Przybyszewski (played by Judd Hirsch)—meaning there's nary a cronut, latte or, heaven forbid, frappuccino in sight.
Instead, it's just trays and trays of fluffy, sumptuous-looking donuts. Which got us wondering about where those donuts came from and whether they're actually edible. Inspired by last night's episode, we did a little digging.
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Turns out that in addition to making sure all the napkin holders, coffee mugs and other donut shop accoutrements are where they need to be on set, the Superior Donuts' props department actually pulls double duty as donut wranglers.
In each episode, only about four dozen of the donuts you see lining the shelves and trays behind Arthur and his newly hired assistant Franco Wicks (Jermaine Fowler) are fake food. The rest are the real deal—purchased locally from Holly's Donuts in Studio City (where the series is filmed).
To turn the show's set into a bona fide donut emporium, the donut wrangling prop masters put in an order for 70 to 80 DOZEN real donuts—that's a minimum of 840 pieces of sweet doughy goodness—each week from Holly's Donuts.
While other shows might go the easy route and rely on plastic pastry, Superior Donuts goes the extra mile with real donuts because, "It looks better to have the real thing," says prop master Tim Schultz. "And besides, people like to take them home after the show!”
Another benefit of using actual donuts and sourcing them from nearby Holly's is that the show can tap the shop's expertise to create and craft the unusually-flavored specialty donuts that Franco introduces on the show. Last week saw the introduction of a hit Sriracha donut, part of an effort to modernize and bring business to the aging shop.
So, the next time you watch the show, keep your eyes peeled to see if you can spot the real-versus-fake donuts and, if you happen to be in the Los Angeles area, check out Holly's and get your hands on some of the show's favorites.