Monday, November 12, 2007

Home Improvement

I've really not been too in to TV lately, as in I haven't really developed any must-see weekly TV. Maybe it's a withering attention span, maybe it's resentment for Channel 9 taking off ER (a show that is very hard to find to download), maybe it's because I'm just waiting for my Gilmore Girls season 7 DVD that I just pre-ordered from Amazon.

However, I realized this past weekend, there is one show I tune in to regularly and even know the various broadcast times it is shown on the Lifetyle channel. This show is Grand Designs, a UK program hosted by building/design guru Kevin McCloud. He finds a couple with varying degrees of building and renovation knowledge but armed with a dream to renovate some kind of really old house or buildling. Often, the build goes overbudget and into overtime. Somewhat often, ol' Kev doesn't really care for the end result. It might be environmentally wasteful, too ostentatious, or it just didn't end up as it was envisioned. Other times, he's profoundly moved by the structure and what it can do for the landscape, local history and the family.

I've become riveted by this show. I think it's the British-ness, the history, and Kevin's astute and thoughtful commentary. And, I think it's just a bit of voyeurism. It's like going on walks at night and seeing in to different kinds of homes. It's maybe a bit of growing older, as I find myself tuning in to This Old House or Location, Location, Location as well. Maybe it comes from watching a lot TV shows based in homes of impeccable settings - the Cosby's comfortable brownstone, Friends' spacious West Village flat (an oxymoron!), the Gilmore's idyllic Stars Hollow, and wanting to see an actual "set" at those standards and beyond, with a dash of Little House on the Prairie's rustic-ness.

Sigh...I do know it's good TV with a narrative structure that doesn't really change, but the contents do with each episode. And there's something to be said for employing that successfully. I know I find myself making Haydn put up gingham curtains and I have bought two eBay items recently -- an old gold reading chair, and a red fiesta ware gravy boat. Maybe I'm embracing a new home or craving creature comforts.. Regardless, if you can tune in to this gem, especially on a rainy Saturday afternoon, I highly recommend.

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