Sunday, March 20, 2011
Watch Junk Raiders 2!
Welcome to the wonderfully wacky world of Reality TV.
And if half backed Las Vegas starlets can have a reality series based on their exploits why not one based on green concepts?
That's where totally relevant Junk Raiders 2 comes in.
It's an irresistibly watchable Toronto-based series taking us step by step through a process whereby a crack team of contractors build a public space clubhouse out of nothing more than discarded materials. Or garbage and junk if you must be
The series contains all the elements of reality TV: there's tension as the deadline day approaches. There's conflict among a burly gang of contractors each of whom has a separate opinion how this thing is going to look and function.
In the first season the seven professionals attempted to renovate an old steel factory in downtown Toronto and turn it into a high tech loft on a budget of only $5,000.
How could they possibly do this? By urging Torontonians to donate anything and everything they wanted to throw out.
The series' creators even sought an exemption from police so they could sort through curbside garbage --looking through other people's garbage is usually a criminal offense in T.O.
This time out the builders have exactly a month to build a futuristic clubhouse out of discarded steel shipping containers. How they do this while all the time trolling streets for the necessary steel underpinnings makes for some very tense moments.
At the center is the tough but fair taskmaster Geoff Woodmanesey --yes that's actually his name,
He has to cajole, order, intimidate, threaten, lead and manage a highly volatile team of workers and cradftsmen --he must know all the tricks of the trade of leadership to keep his project from floundering.
There are times he has to crack his whip and times he doles out praise. And that forms the irresistible human drama at the core of this six-episode show.
It's the human element that kept me watching. Like Gordie Wornoff who is an ace salvager. Or the tough blacksmith Tom Mourgas. Merv Lane is the iron maker, Katrina Tompkins the expert furniture maker, Paul Graham the tech expert, Andy Berry handles design and John Johnson is the handyman/inventor.
How they interact and improvise makes this hour fairly whizz by. I can't wait to watch more episodes --I previewed the first new hour and found it exciting.
And relevant, too, with its emphasis on recycling and reinvention.
JUNK RAIDERS 2 PREMIERES ON DISCOVERY CANADA MON.. MARCH 21 AT 10 P.M.
MY RATING: *** 1/2.