TV Article

Rocking the Houses

Sick of ''Queer Eye''? Here are five spunky makeover shows where houses, not humans, get a brand-new look

Ty Pennington, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition | NO PLACE LIKE 'HOME' Host Pennington goes to ''Extreme''s
Image credit: Ty Pennington: Bob D'Amico
NO PLACE LIKE 'HOME' Host Pennington goes to ''Extreme''s

Sick of ''Queer Eye''? Here are the new makeover shows

Don't get us wrong -- we LOVE the Fab Five. But sometimes, ''Queer Eye'' is just so last season. Check out these five new home makeover shows that take the classic premise of ''Trading Spaces'' and add surprising new twists. (Warning: Two of these shows air mid-day, so fire up the TiVo.)

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC, Sundays, 8 p.m.)
THE NUTS AND BOLTS A team of designers and builders led by ''Trading Spaces'' hottie handyman Ty Pennington remake the houses of needy, but noble families in just one week.
WHAT IT'S LIKE ''Trading Spaces'' + ''Extreme Makeover,'' save the graphic plastic surgery
WHAT WORKS The show is shameless in tugging the heartstrings; you can't help but cheer when the long-suffering homeowners see their souped-up new digs.
WHAT NEEDS FIXIN' Some have accused the producers of being -- sniff -- emotionally manipulative with their sad, sad stories.
MEMORABLE MOMENT The look on paraplegic Robert Gil's face when he discovers that his house has been made wheelchair-accessible. Even the workmen tear up.

Surprise by Design (Discovery Channel, syndicated, Monday - Friday, 1 p.m.)
THE NUTS AND BOLTS Designers and all-around kooks Rebecca Cole and Robert Verdi remake a room in one day for $2,500, then spring the results on an unsuspecting homeowner.
WHAT IT'S LIKE ''Trading Spaces'' + ''Will & Grace''
WHAT WORKS Cole and Verdi are a hoot, spending more time goofing around than lifting and painting.
WHAT NEEDS FIXIN' Well, maybe they should spend a little less time goofing around. Verdi may be a decorator to the stars (Courtney Love and Ricki Lake are clients), but not all his designs are as fabulous.
MEMORABLE MOMENT Verdi, fearing his bald pate was burning in the sun, fashioned a hat from a faux mink stole.

Clean Sweep (TLC, Saturdays, 8 p.m.)
THE NUTS AND BOLTS Designers force pack rats to clean out their junk for a massive garage sale, then reward them with a room makeover.
WHAT IT'S LIKE ''Trading Spaces'' - junk + a yard sale
WHAT WORKS The couples' fierce battles over sacrificing things like figurine collections and sports trophies
WHAT NEEDS FIXIN' They could easily lose some of the repetitive organization tips. We know how to clean our closets, even if we never do it.
MEMORABLE MOMENT Sweet-natured mom Jennifer plots with organizer Shelli Alexander to get rid of her husband's gargoyle collection.

Monster House (Discovery Channel, Mondays, 8 p.m.)
THE NUTS AND BOLTS A macho construction team throws taste and logic to the wind to give homes bizarro fantasy makeovers.
WHAT IT'S LIKE ''Monster Garage,'' but with a house instead of a car
WHAT WORKS An overcaffeinated host (Steve Watson) and wacky themes (an Old West house!) make ''Monster'' a redesign show even tough guys will enjoy.
WHAT NEEDS FIXIN' C'mon, we need more follow-up with the victims, er, homeowners! Or at least tell us how long they waited before calling in their own contractor to remove goofy stuff like the fully functional merry-go-round dining room set.
MEMORABLE MOMENT The mute horror of newlyweds Tyler and Emily when they discover their fireplace has been transformed into a floor-to-ceiling, flame-throwing tiki statue.

Designer Guys (Discovery Channel, syndicated, Monday - Friday, 11 a.m.)
THE NUTS AND BOLTS Sharp dressers Steven Sabados and Chris Hyndman help the hapless redo their rooms without ever mussing their perfect hair.
WHAT IT'S LIKE ''Queer Eye for the Straight Guy'' + ''Trading Spaces''
WHAT WORKS In addition to a flair for cutesy banter, Sabados and Hyndman have excellent taste.
WHAT NEEDS FIXIN' The do-it-yourself craft tips. Who has time to make a fussy bamboo plant holder anyway?
MEMORABLE MOMENT Sabados, Hyndman, and homeowner Heather toast a job well done... with pomegranates.

Originally posted Jun 01, 2004
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