Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Surprise! I really Like Builder Boss!

So here I an watching the preview DVDs of the first two episodes of the new HGTV series Builder Boss starring that old smoothie Jim Caruk.
And I really like it!
Is it the TV voyeur in me? Could be.
Because I've lived in the same house for more than half my life and have no intention of renovating it or selling and moving elsewhere.
But I enjoy watching others go through such pain.
I guess I've seen practically every episode of Property Virgins which I admit has to rank high among the greatest ever TV titles.
And running a close second there's Selling New York with the fantastically motivated  Kleier  family who always seem on the prowl for new clients and new listings among the very, very rich.
And now along comes Jim Caruk who hosted seven seasons of Real Renos where he was revealed as an amiably shaggy dog of a guy who never really seemed to lose control or temper while renovations all around him fell prey to various problems.
Now he's ambling back into view with a look at various projects his construction company is working on.
The first episode titled "The Georgian" looks at his monster project to build a new mansion along the simple lines of a Georgian estate.
Now it's right difficult to show all the facets of home building in the 22 minutes alloted to a Reality half hour but Building Boss has the format down part.
First there's the feeling of artificial tension as various delays threaten to destroy Jim's cool
Then there are the mini climaxes every time the program segues into yet another commercial.
The Georgian is almost 5,000 square feet and first up the old bungalow must be demolished --feet away sits another new home which must not be touched or lawsuits would ensue. The project will take 62 weeks as the family keep changing their minds about the kitchen design.
But we get a first hand view of all the problems involved in a new built. The end result will be one of those so-called monster new homes that costs over $2.5 million.
In fact the second episode, "The Victorian" which follows is better structured. There's Caruk driving to the rescue of an old bud who wants a 100-year old home in Collingwood completely rebuilt so he can start a hair dressing salon.
But the budget is far righter than the Georgian and time is of the essence or the guy can't start his business. Never mind it takes Caruk three hours just to drive to the site.
This episode works better because we get to see the owner and understand what he's going through. And because this project is less grand we can relate better to it --the lack of insulation, the rotting timbers,the crumbling support beams. With the Georgian the family never appears and since they have limitless money the tension is often missing.
Caruk seems a little less laid back than he did on Real Renos. Watch him closely and you'll see a guy using all sorts of motivations to get the crews to work faster and harder.
And I'm enjoying it all immensely precisely because I'll never go that renovation route. Never.

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