Friday, August 14, 2009

Move. That. Buuuuuuuuuus!!!!

I've been incapacitated for a couple of days with foot problems. Without going into too much gory detail it was better not to stand or walk on it for a while so I spent the time sitting down and catching up with some top telly.

Something that's really entranced me lately is mawkish US behemoth Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

I know I shouldn't and although I don't believe in the concept of guilty pleasures, if ever there was such a thing this is surely it.

If you've never seen it, burnished human megaphone Ty Pennington, a man of indeterminate age who can turn on the tears like nobody's business, surprises a family with a terrible tragic back story, or with disabled children, who usually all live on top of one another - there are always at least five children. They may as well live in a shoe. He hears their story then packs them off on a luxury break while the local townspeople gather strength, fight back the tears, grab their sledgehammers for the good of America and knock down the house. Then they rebuild it (for free) and the final product is a place so huge and sprawling and frankly ghastly in its showy opulence, that even the Carringtons would have baulked.

All the time, good old boy Ty is bellowing in encouragement, often through a megaphone, while he and his quirky design and build team seek out furniture, make awful sub-Changing Rooms display cases, decorate wildly and spend a fortune on the latest gadgets and fixtures, although I hear these are all donated free of charge.

Then the family arrive back at the house, with a big coach blocking their view. The millions of people who have congregated outside like it's some kind of event wipe away their tears and all scream for the driver to 'move that bus', revealing the brand, spanking new giant-sized house. From a shack to a king in just under a week.

It's dreadful, pushes all the wrong buttons, is overly-sentimental and very, very American. But it's great, and I love it. My only complaint is it takes a good 15 minutes of tragedy and tears before the makeover starts, and then you don't get to see too much of the finished product. I have a feeling it's not really about that though.

Are you a fan?


Matthew Rudd said...

I like "from a shack to a king". Very good.

I have seen this programme and also find it oddly compelling, but not remotely moving. It's too American to garner real sympathy.

Ishouldbeworking said...

Sure you weren't feverish? This sounds like delirium to me.

Cocktails said...

I haven't seen it, but it sounds like I should. I still miss Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

I am DYING to see Iron Chef. Have you had the privilege?

Five-Centres said...

Is it shown here, Cocktails? It must be lurking on one of the channels I'm sure.

Cocktails said...

I don't know. I haven't seen it. And aren't you meant to know these things??!!

Five-Centres said...

Hands up! I haven't got a clue!