In my world, giving back to your community is a mitzvah (good deed)
The HGTV show, Hometown, has been on the air since 2016. The series follows Ben and Erin Napier as they renovate older homes in their hometown of Laurel, Mississippi. The narrative of the show is similar to that of every couple/duo home renovation program on the network. Erin and Ben show three possible new houses to neighbors. One is chosen and it is rebuilt to fit the needs of the new homeowners.
What I think makes this show standout is the charm and the chemistry of the stars. They are down to earth, genuine, and truly believe in the work they are doing.
When we are children, going to the Zoo is a good day out.
The Zoo has been part of the Animal Planet lineup since 2016. This reality series follows the staff of the Bronx Zoo in New York City as they take care of the thousands of animals under their care.
I love this series. Though it is a reality show, it is the type of program that the audience will learn from instead of having their brains fried. The staff clearly love their job, treating the animals as if they were a common house pet instead wild animals who are under their protection. I also love that they talk about climate change and animal conservation in a way that is palatable and educational without the audience being aware of the lesson they are learning.
Watching HGTV, the impression one gets is that home building and renovation industry is a gendered one. The man handle the construction and the women are in charge of the decor.
Good Bones premiered on the channel in 2016 and has been a regular part of the schedule ever since. The redheaded mother-daughter duo Karen E. Laine and Mina Starsiak Hawk, co-owners of Two Chicks and a Hammer, renovate and restore houses in their home town of Indianapolis. As is expected, there are issues along the way. But the hope is that once the home is done, it will be sold for a nice profit.
What I like about this show is the unique mother/daughter relationship. Mina is the levelheaded one while Karen is more creative. I also love that it disputes the myth that women are only able to and/or not interested in the construction aspect of home building and renovation.
Success in the entertainment industry, if nothing else, breeds copycats.
The HGTV show, Desert Flippers (2016-Present) follows IRL couple Wisconsin to Palm Springs transplants Eric and Lindsey Bennett as they buy and flip homes. The structure of the episode is the same as it is in the genre of home renovation shows. A rundown home with potential is purchased and renovated. Along the way, there are challenges. By the end of the episode, property of the week is redone top to bottom and ready to be sold.
As home renovation shows go, this program is par for the course. But it is still interesting to watch the process of finding a diamond in the rough and making it shine like new.
Chef Ashna Raje has a lot on her plate. She is trying to ensure that her late father’s beloved restaurant lives to see another day. Her overbearing and emotionally distant mother, Shobi, is trying to control her life. Out of sheer desperation, Ashna signs up for the reality cooking competition, Cooking with the Stars.
What could only make a bad situation worse is being partnered with Rico Silva, the recently retired superstar soccer player. He is also her ex-boyfriend from high school/first love.
Rico is not happy that he will be working with Ashna and is determined to prove that he has moved on. Their first meeting after twelve years does not go well. As much as Rico and Ashna would prefer to work with someone else, their chemistry is undeniable. But with too many unanswered questions about the past and unspoken feelings, is there even a possibility of re-kindling their relationship?
Among the six completed books by Austen, Persuasion is the hardest for modern writers to replicate. The past romance between Anne Elliot and Captain Frederick Wentworth creates a narrative complication that is unique to this particular novel.
That being said, it is not the worst JAFF (Jane Austen fanfiction) that I have ever read. Though the middle of the novel is a bit slow, I like that the author gave the reader insight into both Rico and Shobi’s perspectives, fleshing out the overall story. Austen only gives her readers a short time to see the world through Wentworth’s eyes, the rest of the story belongs to Anne.
I also liked the insight into traditional Indian culture, which I suspect is not much different than other traditional cultures.
There is no love like the love of a pet parent for their furry or scaly companion.
The Vet Life has been on the Animal Planet schedule since 2016. The series follows veterinarians Dr. Diarra Blue, Dr. Aubrey Ross, and Dr. Michael Lavigne as they balance work life in a busy animal hospital and their personal lives.
I really like this show. Though it is a reality show, it is neither mind numbing or salacious. It is I believe, one of the better shows within the genre to watch.
The reality television genre generates a variety of opinions, depending on whom one speaks to. It could be seen as a guilty pleasure and a reason to chill out after a long day of work or school. It could also be seen as brainless, trashy television that claims to be “reality”, but is actually as scripted as fictional programs.
The fish out of water narrative has compelled humanity for generations.
The Simple Life aired between 2003 and 2007. Then Hollywood socialites Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie leave their 1% world behind to see what life is like outside of their bubble. This reality show followed them as temporarily lived with other families and worked low paying jobs.
This show is nothing more than the reality television drama at its worst. Now granted, this program aired when the genre was in its infancy. As it was then, this is television trash and will always be television trash. It also set the stage for other “reality” television shows that took viewers into the lives of the rich and famous.
Reality television has a way of worming itself into every niche of the television world that it can.
In 2007, it made it’s way to Broadway. Grease: You’re the One That I Want!aired for one season. The purpose of the program was to use the reality show format to cast another revival of Grease. Using the competition show as a backbone, the format was not unfamiliar: the contestants would perform every week. One by one they are eliminated until the winners are cast as Danny and Sandy.
At the time, it was good television. Looking back I can see that it was not that good. It was not completely lifeless, but it was one of the shows that was only destined to last one season.
From an outsider’s perspective, renovating one’s home is a simple process. But those who know better can easily say otherwise.
Help! I Wrecked My House premiered last night on HGTV. On the series, homeowners who have attempted and failed to do DIY home renovations turn to Jasmine Roth. The goal of Roth and her team is to complete the process that the owners were unable to.
I enjoyed the show. Though it is reality television, it is not as much of a brain drain as other programs in the genre are. Roth comes off as both amiable and knowledgeable. As a viewer, I was engaged, eager to see the final results of the renovation.
I recommend it.
Help! I Wrecked My House airs on Saturday night at 8PM on HGTV.
This hobby blog is dedicated to movie nerdom, nostalgia, and the occasional escape. In the late 90s, I worked at Blockbuster Video where they let me take home two free movies a day. I caught up on the classics and wrote movie reviews for Denver 'burbs newspapers and magazines. Today, I continue to revisit the old and discover the new on the screen. Comments and dialogue are highly encouraged. This year, I'm excited to collaborate with other writers via SLICETHELIFE in which we will share our movie genre favorites in our 2021 Movie Draft!