David Usborne Our Man in New York: Go Ahead Punk, Make Me Over
Usborne, David, The Independent (London, England)
When my buzzer goes I am afraid. I know they are coming for me. There are only so many homes in America they can target and soon they will run out. "Mr Usborne, we are from DETV and we are here to make your ugly little apartment perfectly tasteful in 15 seconds on a budget of $22. My name is Perky Delicious and this is Andy Handsome. When we are done, please gasp for the cameras."
What will I do? The people from Design Emergency TV will not take no for an answer. Pug, partner and I will be obliged to stand aside because this is not about us. It is about entertaining America.
Home make-over shows have been around for ever, but they are no longer about giving tips on plumbing the Jacuzzi or wiring the garberator without losing a hand. Today, they have been subsumed into the reality television genre. First, we will be humiliated - Aargh, the blue in the bathroom. Aargh, the green in the kitchen - and at the end we will be humiliated again, as tears of gratitude well in our eyes.
So the place could do with a few added touches. I have done what I can. The Ikea wardrobe with the mirrored doors seemed inspired until I discovered I couldn't open both at the same time without the whole thing falling on top of me. And I am responsible for the green and the blue.
But DETV is not coming. We New Yorkers know better than to swallow their turn-your-tip-into-a-palace propaganda. There is no laying a Javanese mahogany kitchen floor when most of us don't have a proper kitchen. And as for those 10 easy steps to building the perfect deck with a vista of the mountains - it would be tricky when all I have outside my third-floor window is a rusty iron fire escape.
But beyond the borders of New York City, this is what people do. When ordinary Americans are not watching programmes such as Design on a Dime or Weekend Warriors on Home and Garden Television, Changing Rooms on BBC America(I admit, DETV doesn't …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: David Usborne Our Man in New York: Go Ahead Punk, Make Me Over. Contributors: Usborne, David - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: October 26, 2004. Page number: 4. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.