Full disclosure: I loved Top Design. I loved The Block. I loved Changing Rooms. I’m saying this because I might not be the best judge of a renovation show – for me, it’s all about the sense of relief that I’m watching someone else’s reno nightmare.
The premise of homeMADE is straightforward. A cast of 10 “designers” has been assembled. They are split into teams and each team has five days and $50,000 to makeover an entire home. Each week, the losing team will lose a team member. Each team has a builder “free of charge” (i.e. the builder’s costs don’t come from the $50K; I doubt that the builders themselves are working pro bono) but all tradies are paid from the budget. In addition, all bedrooms have to be ready in the first 48 hours as the families need somewhere to sleep. Each reno is screened over two nights, Sundays and Tuesdays, with the elimination taking place on Tuesdays. It is being billed as “The biggest renovation competition ever attempted on television”.
On first viewing, this seems entertaining enough. The host/mentor (or “Design Guru”, as he is styled in the caption) is David Heimann, of Orson & Blake. In a previous post, RR noted that he is a TV novice – he’s doing a sterling job. His to-cameras were used for quite a bit of exposition, which was a quick way to orient viewers to the new show; as mentor, he provided detailed, constructive feedback to the designers.
The cast of designers is young and attractive. As with all reality shows, there are contestants with eccentric spelling (Chontelle and Tonie); contestants who get the clueless edit early (Annie, a flight attendant who “has never worked with a client”); and contestants who defy simple categorisation (Jason, the model, whose participation in the competition is “a spiritual thing” and who is relying on “forces from the universe” to help him. Also, his pants fall down a lot).
It will take a couple of weeks to settle into a rhythm with the show. The reality schedule is chockers right now, though, especially with the elimination episode programmed against Top Model and Masterchef filling up so much of the week.
- no auditions! (although it might have been fun to see a prospective designer try to impress a producer in five minutes)
- the focus is on the work, rather than the personalities and back-stories
- the host
- I had to check the website to find out what the prize was, which means that they weren’t banging on about it every five seconds like some other shows *cough*Masterchef*cough*.
The jury’s still out on:
- having all the competitors share a house – why? It’s completely unnecessary and might become a crutch for some filler drama
- the judges – we’ll meet them tomorrow
- the decision-making process – David can’t have a role, being the mentor, but what about the home-owners?
- the structure of the show – will assigning rooms to designers have a bearing on the result? There seems to be a lot of pressure upfront on the bedroom designers
- the editing – hopefully we’ll get a better look at before/after
- the random upper/lower case title. Actually, that’s a lie – I hate it.
- the “Dodge Journey” giveaway? Dodge? Really?