28 November, 2005

Random Questions About Extreme Makeover Home Edition

We TiVo this, and watch it in clumps. Tonight was a two-hour clump which saw Tim and Me on the couch asking the same questions we always ask. I'll ask them outloud to see if anyone else has the answer.

1. Are They Truly Surprising The People?

When they pull up and shout "Good Morning,________ family!" everyone is always there. And dressed. And the women are all wearing makeup. I'll be honest. If you're pulling up outside my house on a random day, the chances are that I will be in sweats, hair in a ponytail and only Burt's Bees Lipbalm on my face. If I haven't lost the tube again.

2. How Do The People Get Off Work For A Week With No Advance Notice?

Any job I've ever had (save freelancing, which is another story altogether), I've had to plan my vacation months in advance, put in a request in writing and find a replacement for my duties. If you come to my house to rebuild it without my knowing, as much as I'd love a week at the spa I don't know that I could just up and go.

3. How Can The People Afford The New House?

Most of these people are living in near-squalor. Holes in the floor, ceilings flaking--general disarray. Many times they're either disabled or working eleventy-seven hours a week . They can't even pay to fix up the original place. How can they afford the 6,000 square foot McMansionette?

I'm glad for these people and I love this show. But every time I watch it, these questions bother me even more.

9 Comments:

At 7:45 AM, November 28, 2005, Anonymous Sarcastro said...

Haven't we jawboned this one before?

There is no damn way they are surprising these people. They already have their bags packed for whatever Disney resort they are bundled off to. "Oh, wow! Ty Pennington, no way! I just happen to have my suitcase packed with a week's worth of clothes for no apparent reason! What a coinkadink!"

The vacation bit may not be an issue with about half of the families as whatever personal tragedy that has befallen them, usually keeps them from working, hence the gettting of the new house.

The property tax burden, even if the house is paid off, must be staggering. Especially for the dopes living in California, where half of the shows seem to originate from. Must be more sob stories per capita than any state in the Union. Not to mention that the house has totally screwed up property values in the neighborhood for everyone else. If the needy family sells the house, they won't get the actual market value because the surrounding properties are still pieces of shit.

 
At 11:20 AM, November 28, 2005, Blogger dolphin said...

They're definately not surprising them, although they do a better job of faking it than they do on other shows. I love the show where they show the "surprised" party answering the door from inside the house. I imagine it would be difficult to be to surprised if you had to pass a camera man to get to the door.

sarcastro makes an intersting point on the property tax. Usually the house is paid for, and often the family is given a good size chunk of change which probably helps alot. I think that sarcastro's mention of other homes dropping the "made-over" home's value might actually help with that somewhat. When it comes to property tax it's probably more of an asset to have their new house devalued by the surrounding houses. It might be no good if they go to seel, but I'm not sure I've seen them build one that I'd want to sell if I had the opportunity to live in it.

One thing I've always wondered. What do the kids think of their rooms that all completely and totally themed to one specfic interest a year or to later when they've move on and could care less about that topic? I think were I a child who's home was going to be done, I'd rather have a more neutral beautifully decorated room with just a few accessories towards any given interest.

 
At 11:33 AM, November 28, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

One thing I've always wondered. What do the kids think of their rooms that all completely and totally themed to one specfic interest a year or to later when they've move on and could care less about that topic? I think were I a child who's home was going to be done, I'd rather have a more neutral beautifully decorated room with just a few accessories towards any given interest.

Oooh oooh oooh! That was one that I meant to add to my post. The show last night had kids who were 9 and 11. (They said their ages about 500 times) .

When I was 9 I was totally into sharks. I can just see the room I'd get--huge jaws coming out of the wall at the head of the bed, the ceiling painted like the sea with dorsal fins hanging down.

Of course, by the time I was 10 and totally into Cross-Stitching, this room would have been really stupid. And the cross-stitiching bedroom would have been super dumb when I was 11 and got into Star Wars. Etc.

 
At 11:41 AM, November 28, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Haven't we jawboned this one before?

I guess we did discuss it at dinner. But I've not blogged it before.

They already have their bags packed for whatever Disney resort they are bundled off to.

It was funny to watch them handle that last night. Because the mom had cancer and they couldn't fly, the family had to go to "a resort in San Francisco."

When they go to Walt Disney World (TM), home of ABC's parent company, you hear "Walt Disney World" about 500 times. Last night I don't think I heard the name of the "San Francisco Resort" at all.

The property tax burden, even if the house is paid off, must be staggering.

And apparently now (this is also part of what we discussed at dinner) the big hairy deal is that the Federal Government may be siezing the properties for unpaid federal income tax. Tax law states that all improvements made to a property by a lessee are exempt from capgains tax if they are made within 14 days. Hence, the 7 day construction. Some idiotic tax people are crying foul and want the money. Of course, they have no idea what bad PR that would be. Literally forcing widows, orphans and injured servicemen out on the curb in a very public way would be such a bad move.

 
At 11:58 AM, November 28, 2005, Blogger Blake Wylie said...

Someone said that they'd like to see how the previous houses they've look now.

As for property taxes...I wonder if the show pays for the property taxes for the next few years.

 
At 5:32 PM, November 28, 2005, Blogger Patrick said...

Some of the families, the contractors, et. al. will pay their bills for a year.

On the door-knock, the family is notified that they're a finalist a week in advance, inferred by this google-cached article about an estranged sibling who missed out on all his family's hoopla. I'd still be running out the door when I saw the bus though.

On the vacation... since they get notified that they're a finalist in advance, I'm sure most employers would be somewhat flexible in the process. You can take a look at the application yourself for more details.

I particularly like "Do you live in a gated community? Y / N"

"Why yes, it's been a particularly rough year for Muffy and me... what with the price of gold dropping and all..."

 
At 9:55 AM, November 30, 2005, Blogger jag said...

'Gated community' certainly has a snobbish ring to it, but some low income neighborhoods do have them, and for the same reason the 'hoods in Green Hills do...to try and keep the bad guys out. And these bad guys are a lot worse than the ones in Green Hills. I don't know how much it helps, since people will walk out of the pedestrian gate, do their deal, and walk right back in.

I've thought the same thing about the kids rooms. This one girl (I don't even know which show) got an I Dream of Jeannie room, with wrap around bunk beds and desk, etc. underneath. She'll physically grow out of that in 2 years, and how are they going to sell that if they move?

And don't get me started on some of the craziness done on Monster House. Resell? With a stegasourus skeleton fused to the living room wall? Forget it.

 
At 1:28 PM, December 06, 2005, Blogger Sharp said...

I routinely watch this show but I am frequently worried that every tricked out room and its toys is broadcast on TV. Isn't this ringing the dinner bell for local thieves to target this house with a dozen plasma TVs and six computers?

 
At 10:26 AM, April 04, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't help but think that some of this is hype. Last week it was about a family who had a daughter with somesort of respiratory ailment including they showed the surgical scars from some sort of procedure. That girl was filmed saying,:now I don't have to worry if I can breathe or not. I don't have to wake up in the night wondering......(trails off). Come on! she screamed and wooted and hollered like an athlete. I know kids who couldn't leave the room without taking their oxygen, talk in whispers because their lungs are so bad.
And while we're on it, what of these people who can't afford decent housing, but the mother is a"stay at home mom"? Wow, wouldn't I LOVE to be a stay at home mom. But I'm working my butt off so next month we can fix the holes in the floor, and maybe fix the refrigerator so it doesn't clunk every time it switches gears. Maybe if I work hard enough, the kids could have their own beds...Yeah, it's been tough here in Sunny Florida, but I don't get out much to see the sun, working from sun up to sun down..

 

Post a Comment

<< Home