Thursday, July 12, 2007

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

My ten year old daughter is in love with Ty Pennington. Ty is the host of EM:HE. If you haven't seen the show, it is on ABC almost every Sunday night. The premise is that people write in suggesting that either they or a deserving family get a makeover for their home (this usually involves demolishing the existing home and building a new showcase. In most instances, the family has been through some extremely tough times and many of the stories have been known to evoke a tear from me.

Anyway, the 10 year old is in love. She desperately wants Ty to come to our house and make it over. She likes the man's work.

EM:HE is a show that I do take time out to watch with my daughter. Nobody else controls the remote when Ty is on... so we're sitting in front of the TV a while ago and my daughter expresses her sincere desire to get Ty over to our house for some demo work. I point out to her that Ty and his crew tend to show up at your house when life really has sucker punched a family. You get that shiny new room when your old house has burned down or somebody has a horrible affliction or when the breadwinner is dead. I suggested that we probably didn't want a situation at home where we needed the services of Ty and crew. She pondered that for a while and I could see the light bulb come on. I guess she had never really paid attention to the stories behind the new house. She was thinking that it was really cool to get a new house in one week -- and never really saw the backstory.

I still like the show. It is a really nice thing to see a family who is really been through a ringer get a new start. I can't begin to imagine how the staffers at ABC ever pick out the right stories. They have to have thousands of applications -- most with horrible stories to tell -- and then they have to sort out the scam artists from the people who legitimately need the help of the show. But it is truly a lottery. There must be millions of people who legitimately could benefit from a home makeover, yet only 25 families a year get featured on EM:HE. If you think about it, these families have typically won two lotteries: they've won an awful lottery of hardship or pain; then they have won a very very positive lottery by getting a new home and a new start. And Ty seems like a pretty nice guy.

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