DIY shows were the hallmark of reality TV for years, providing a nice, comforting alternative to the kinds of high-stakes game shows and prize shows which were fun to watch, but which didn’t feel attainable or relevant to a good chunk of viewers. DIY shows focused on real things we could all achieve, whether it was re-doing a porch or trying to build a shed from salvaged material for as little money as possible.
And for DIY enthusiasts, reality TV shows were also a great source for product reviews and recommendations on a realistic scale. Instead of a show like Top Gear, which recommends supercars nobody can actually afford, DIY shows reviewed affordable tools that the average person could really use around the garage.
Case in point: This Old House. This Old House was undisputedly one of the best shows on television, period. It has likable personalities, cool ideas, and overall, a sense of real people taking on tangible, doable projects with creative thinking and a clever use of resources. Like anything that takes off astronomically, though, the producers seem to have totally lost sight of what made the show great in the first place. Now, they seem more interested in writing a big check than getting their hands dirty doing real renovations.
Thankfully, the This Old House website is still a good source of information for usable project plans and power tool reviews. While the people on the show are busy paying for whole work crews to power through the night on multi-million dollar projects, the folks online are doing what This Old House used to do best, testing saws and other tools from the standpoint of the average DIYer and coming up with lots of useful how-to’s to help us all sharpen our skills.
Or look at Kitchen Crashers, which has done unbelievably well for a reality show that’s so wildly unrealistic. They show people having their kitchens completely overhauled by a crew that works round the clock to finish things in just 3 days, with a seemingly unlimited budget. It’s cool to see the results, but reality DIY shows were supposed to be about the human factor, and the painstaking process it takes to get from a to b.
That’s what we’d like to see come back to our screens. So, producers, if you’re listening, start freezing some budgets. Make your teams get creative and resourceful, the way they were in the first years. That’s the spirit that got us hooked, and that’s what it’s going to take to turn DIY TV back to gripping entertainment from the state it’s in now, which is basically a flashy before and after comparison that shows what can happen if you’ve got several million dollars, not what can happen if you’ve got a few talented carpenters and some restrictions to work around.
It’s not all doom and gloom these days, though. We’re loving the latest episodes of Rehab Addict, which bring back the low-budget, high-energy glory of early This Old House seasons, before they started replacing elbow grease with cash. If you miss old-school DIY thrills, give it a shot! Speaking of DIY carpentry and renovation, do check out bestsaws.reviews for the top rated miter saw reviews and a whole lot more!