DI (wh)Y

Welcome to Monster House

I was part of the initial Changing Rooms (Trading Spaces for those of you without access to BBC America) fanbase. Part of the great, unremodelled masses. Changing Rooms offered us the thrill of a wacky redesign, without the expense (or the drop in property value). Eventually, however, I became somewhat disenchanted. It was all smoke and mirrors (well, mdf and staples) – and it wasn’t meant to last. What is the fun of a radical change if you can just jam it all into a garbage bag and have your old house back?

BBC addressed the problem with Homefront in the Garden – a higher budged hybrid of Changing Rooms and Ground Force (like Changing Rooms, only people were generally happy with the results) with architect/designer Diarmuid Gavin. It’s fun – and I’m watching, but it still feels a little… safe.

Meanwhile, on Discovery Channel’s Monster Garage, Jesse James (of West Coast Choppers fame) is getting crazy. They’re turning Mustangs into Zambonies, and Hot Dog Carts into Dragsters… and there is fighting and sparks and blood and… it’s got a violence that you don’t normally see on DIY/Design shows. I love it! If only… if only they could have this sort of insanity on a show about home renovations… but seriously, what are the odds?

Welcome to Monster House. Host Steve Watson many not have the same extreme cred that Jesse James has, but he’s hot headed enough to keep the tensions high. The setup for both Monster shows is to bring in new people for the crew every week (rather than using the homeowners, like they do on Changing Rooms/Trading Spaces). That means that a big part of the episode is the interpersonal dynamic. Since everyone is crew (rather than guest), nobody has a problem getting mad. Mad with a nailgun is exciting.

Did I mention that the episode I saw was Tropical House? Did I mention that Tropical House had a big fire-breathing Tiki God in the living room? Do you have any more questions about why I love the show? Sorry Laurence, you are no longer the king of crazy home renovations. Steve, I was thinking of something in a Retro Spaceship motif.