Tag Archives: Reality Television

Throwback Thursday: Holmes and Holmes (2016-Present)

Living with family can be hard enough sometimes. Working with them, depending on the situation, has the potential to be ten times harder

The HGTV show, Holmes and Holmes follows the Mike Holmes and his son, Mike Jr., as they rebuild their client’s homes. Sometimes joined by Mike’s daughter Sherry, the viewer follows the family as go through the sometimes arduous process of creating their customer’s ideas of housing perfection.

At the end of the day, this is just another reality home renovation program. What makes it stand out is the unique dynamic that only comes from family.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Flashback Friday: Love It or List It, Two (2013-2019)

Home ownership, as great as it is, has its own unique set of challenges.

Love It or List It, Two (otherwise known as Love It or List It Vancouver) aired from 2013-2019. An offshoot from Love It or List It, the premise of the show has not changed. A couple of homeowners are fed up with their current home. One wants to move, the other argues they only need to do a renovation. Interior designer and former Bachelor contestant Jillian Harris will remodel the home. Real estate agent Todd Talbot‘s job is to show them possible new home. At the end of the episode, they will decide either to stay in their current home or move.

The thing about Love It or List It is that after watching a few episodes, it become background noise. The spinoff is fine, but at some point, it is likely that I will change the channel.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Flashback Friday: Flipping Virgins (2006-2012)

It has been said that experience is the best teacher. It is only through doing and making mistakes that we become better at whatever we are trying to do.

From the outside, the process of flipping a house looks simple. You buy a rundown property, fix it up, and re-sell it for a profit. But just because it looks simple does not mean it is simple. Flipping Virgins aired on HGTV from 2006-2012. Hosted by Egypt Sherrod, each episode follows those who are new to business of house flipping. Guided by Sherrod, the subjects will choose the property, renovate it (with the expected complications along the way), and hope that it is sold.

I like this show. Though it is reality television, it is a nice change from the other shows in this genre in which the experts go through the same process.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Flashback Friday: Building Off the Grid (2014-Present)

The process of building a home from scratch is difficult in itself. Add in Mother Nature and the process becomes twice as hard.

Building Off the Grid has been on the Discovery Channel/DIY Network schedule since 2014. The show follows homeowners who want to build new houses. But instead of building in new or existing neighborhoods, their homes are located in the middle of nature. On top of the challenges that come with creating a new home from the ground up, the owners and builders deal with roadblocks that come with their choice of location.

I find this show to program to be interesting. What keeps me watching is the heightened question of whether or not the final product will come to fruition as promised.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Throwback Thursday: Life at Vet U (2016)

There are certain professions in which it is easy to get a foothold. On the other side of that coin, there are other professions in which many aspire to, but few succeed in.

Life at Vet U aired on Animal Planet in 2016 for one season. This reality show followed six students at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) as they prepare for their future careers as veterinarians.

The reality of television is that every show is meant to last. Life at Vet U was one of those programs. Looking back, it was ok, but not as compelling as it could have been.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Throwback Thursday: Hometown (2016-Present)

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.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Flashback Friday: The Zoo (2016-Present)

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.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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Flashback Friday: Good Bones (2016-Present)

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.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Throwback Thursday: Desert Flippers (2016-Present)

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.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Recipe for Persuasion: A Novel Book Review

No one goes through life without regrets. It is part of the human experience.

Recipe for Persuasion, (based on the Jane Austen novel, Persuasion)by Sonali Dev, was published last year.

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.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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