TV Preview: “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” in New Orleans

ExtremesmallAs much as I regret missing "60 Minutes," I will do so this evening in order to catch the two-hour season finale of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," which begins at 7 p.m. (6 p.m. CST) on ABC.

This show is the culmination of a 50-state tour by the Extreme crew, and storm-torn southern Louisiana seems a fitting locale for that.

In this episode, a tornado-ravaged house is rebuilt for an extended family and a flooded church is rebuilt for a congregation. Read the full press release.

Here’s what I’ll be looking for:

• Some sense of how very hard it is to rebuild down there with the shortage of skilled workers and materials, rising crime rates and the rain, heat and humidity. I mean, you can’t just run down to the corner hardware store for some extra nails because the store is boarded up and abandoned and the owners relocated to Houston or wherever.

• A sense of historic preservation. Most "Extreme Makeover" homes are simply mowed down. And if a house is totally ruined, that’s fine. But with buildings from the 1700s and 1800s in southern Louisiana, too much of that would be a national tragedy.

• Ever more blatant product placement. Have you noticed how the long, lingering shots of store names and manufacturer logos have become more pronounced on this show over the years? Someday, this might be how all TV is done: You pick the products being advertised, and then build the script around those.

• And finally, the emotional payday with tears and cheers. You can’t help but feel for people whose lives are changed with a new home. (I’d love to write a book about what happens to these homeowners when the cameras have left. Here’s an Extreme Makeover home for sale in Atlanta.)

If you watch the show tonight, come back here and share your impressions.

1 Comment on TV Preview: “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” in New Orleans

  1. Kathy Price-Robinson

    I’ll go first:
    7:31 — I just can’t stop crying as this story unfolds. I never thought too much about New Orleans until recently, to tell you the truth. But oh my goodness, those people down there need help. For me, home is everything. And to see families who have lost their homes, it’s heartbreaking. I’m not sure what I can do to help, but I’ve got to do something. I can’t just sit here happy and smug in my own home. Something’s got to change.