Extreme Makeover Home Edition on ST Rise on StarSat

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (S5)

The first thing you need to know about this reality show is that it’s more reality than show. Every promotor of reality television swears that everything you see in the show is legit but in this one it really is. No overblown drama, no over-the-top personalities (other than the main host Ty Pennington), just real families being helped out by real people within their communities, which is by far the best way to really make a good difference in the world.

The producers find a family going through tough times and decide to help them out by refurbishing their entire home and sending them on a fully paid vacation. The designs and décor are done by the show hosts, but the home’s rebuilding is done on the dime of local building contractors with members of the community helping out with the construction. It’s a good thing they manage to get so many hands to help them because they only have a week to complete the entire thing!

With such a tight deadline it’s an entertaining rush from beginning to end. You get to hear what the family has gone through and what they had to do to survive. You follow Ty as he explains what they plan to do with the house as well as what his personal project is going to be (he gets one in every episode). We also get to follow all the team members go around doing the shopping and constructing that’ll be needed to make the house beautiful. The chaos culminates in the family returning (in a limo) to a crowd of people and a truck blocking their view. The iconic words are uttered: “bus driver: move that bus!” and the home is revealed.

The family, as you would expect, is in shock and awe at what they see, and you might be too. The show does a great job of not giving away too much during the show so the first time you get to see the house in its full splendour is when the family gets too. After that, it’s a house tour with tears as they’re led from room to room to show off what they’ve managed. You can expect smiles, cheers, and quite a few tears, as you experience the delight, the deadline-driven tension and the heartbreak of the stories in each episode. If you want to walk away from a reality show with a warm, fuzzy feeling, with your faith in humanity restored, this is the show for you.

This is by far my favourite reality show. It was meant to be a spin-off of Extreme Makeover, but this series actually outlasted its parent by quite a few series. Turns out people are more interested in watching deserving people catch a big break than they are seeing self-conscious people become pretty. Who’d of thought?

From 6 May | Mondays to Wednesdays | 19:30 | ST Rise | Ch 120