In the interest of making a pitch for shows worthy of watching to help the lives of deserving people, there are some arguments for creating yet one more type of reality program. The popularity and success of shows like Extreme Makeover Home Edition instantly inspire ideas for other programs that might better fit the reality of how this format works in its present form.
Taking the existing format of the present Extreme Makeover show, this article will offer reasons why an alternative show might perform a better service to those who benefit from it. For those who are not members of the current viewing audience, the producers of Extreme Makeover Home Edition travel around the country looking for stories of deserving families whose situations and selfless devotion to caring for others make them good candidates for becoming the recipients of a custom built home of their dreams at no immediate cost to them.
Once a candidate family agrees to participate, they are immediately immersed in a lavish plan to make their dreams come true in the most commercially beneficial way possible. The family is interviewed to ascertain what they could possibly want in a dream home, and then sent away on a wonderful vacation in order for the program to begin working its magic in making those wishes come true beyond the wildest expectations expressed by the family.
Using commercially donated products that are offered in return for a sponsorship sales pitch, and the work of a host of local volunteers, the program slaps together an incredibly expensive, camera ready home in the time frame of one week. When all is said and done, the family is brought back to see their new home in a breathless, tearful, whirlwind tour and hype of their new facilities.
This process invariably results in every family member wandering into each room, choking back tears, repeatedly expressing their reaction with the words, “Oh my God! I can’t believe it. Thank you,” and the like. After the on camera personalities have extracted enough emotions, gratitude, hugs, and awe for what they have delivered to the family, there is usually an additional monetary gift to be given away as well.
The program sprinkles in individual on camera interviews with each family member to get more grateful commentary beyond the initial dumbfounded responses, then happily moves on to enrich the lives of the next deserving family who has found themselves trapped in a situation that has caused them to live beyond their means.
Now, the reasons why I think this exact program format might serve a better purpose by becoming a show called Extreme Makeover Apartment Edition are as follows:
1. The quality of anything constructed by a gang of volunteer builders in a one week time frame is probably going to be more in line with apartment building standards rather than a viable single family dwelling.
2. Remaking an apartment building into more lavish livings spaces customized to suit the needs of the renters would benefit the landlords who own and maintain the properties, and help to ensure a higher percentage of long term renters.
3. There are an equally plentiful number of deserving families dwelling in crumby apartments who have not yet reached the capability to fall into ruin from having fulfilled their dreams of home ownership.
4. By choosing apartment dwelling families to lavish these life changing benefits upon, the cost of maintenance, taxes, and improvements remain on the shoulders of the landlords, and do not circle back to bite the deserving families with more costs beyond their means down the road.
5. If the show awards apartment families with money they can use to pay their rent for the next couple of years, the family can earn interest, invest, and handle the taxes associated with the cash over time, and build better liquidity by not having to stretch their budget to cover the major expense of renting their home. By the time the free money plays out, the families will have had an opportunity to build their wealth, live in pleasant surroundings, and make longer term plans for overall improvement of their life style.
6. When these lucky families move onward and upward in their cruise through life, their vacated apartment remains to enrich the lives of the next deserving family that moves into the place. Of course, the show would have to make a stipulation to the landlords that they would not be allowed to charge more rent than the market value of the original property replaced by the new construction. In this way, lower income families could move into a palace for dump rates, and landlords would have a perpetual waiting list of new renters waiting for their chance to live like kings.
The one flaw in this plan would be the hidden problem of added expenses the landlords would have to pay to properly maintain the quality of these new properties. However, everybody knows that landlords rarely strive to keep their properties in pristine condition anyway, so the problem would solve itself as the new dwelling was slowly allowed to deteriorate into a dump again over time.
This concludes my presentation for why the Extreme Makeover show should consider changing its format to a more beneficial form of hyped up reality. Since the show probably has its own web site, you might consider adding your voice to promoting this idea with the show’s producers if you agree with my perspective on the subject. If you disagree with my arguments, then I suggest you waste time coming up with your own better ideas, and thanks for your consideration.