‘Home Makeover’ astute and inspiredly empatheticBy Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Of the many TV5 shows we’ve viewed in the past months, one of the most seminally potent productions is “Extreme Makeover— Home Edition.” With Paolo Bediones as its hands-on host, the weekly show aims to give a needy family … a brand new home!
For many Filipinos, the dream of acquiring a home to call their own is an emotionally charged goal that ranks among the most important priorities in their lives. Thus, the TV5 show’s decision to grant that key desire once each week is both astute and inspiredly empathetic.
Bediones and his production and construction teams add to the show’s emotional appeal by strongly feeling for their recipient families, and working around the clock to give them their unparalleled moment of pure joy at the end of the program, when their new abode is dramatically unveiled.
Tears flow profusely, and fervent and perfervid hugs are exchanged, first among the ecstatic members of the family, then with Bediones and his team, who bask in the gratitude of the recipients of the results of their hard work and empathetic enterprise.
True, some viewers may find this too emotionally manipulative for their taste, but we daresay that most members of the TV audience will regard the lush, emotional reaction as a merited response, given the seminal underpinnings of the typical deprived Filipino family to finally own its own corner of the sky—and the earth.
In any case, the show’s gift to its recipient family is worth a lot of money, so the overwhelming response is justified, even if some aspects of it may be thought to be excessive. Even if most of the expenses involved are based on “exchange deals,” the price of the benevolent gift is still substantial, so the recipients’ gratitude is definitely in order.
It’s also true that the show’s outright gift of a new home may strike some viewers as a “fantasy-reality” ploy that may make other needy viewers wish for the same good fortune to happen to them, instead of working hard to eventually achieve it through their own resources.
But, we trust that most viewers will be able to tell the key difference between “fantasy” and reality, and will take the show’s weekly display of amazing munificence in the right context.
At the heart of this weekly reality-TV makeover of people’s homes and lives is Bediones’ heartfelt commitment to it. He doesn’t have to “milk” it to achieve high levels of emotion and empathy, because those are part of the warp and woof of the dramatic or even melodramatic experience.
Finally, we hope that the TV5 show will motivate people to not just empathize with the recipients of its bounty, but also redouble their efforts to make their own dream of owning their abode a reality —even without the help of a reality-TV program that grants families’ most fervent and seminal wishes, like TV5’s “Extreme Makeover —Home Edition.”
Recent Stories:Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.