Extreme Home Makeover with Cry Pennington
We're five minutes into Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and I'm already weeping.
Why all the emotion? I think one of the designers put it best:
They’re just like any other American family, except the parents are deaf and their son is autistic and blind.
Well put, designer. If you haven't seen this show, I highly encourage you to spend the required 4 hours of viewing next Sunday and just let ABC manipulate and manhandle your emotions until you are a shadow of yourself. I did, and here's my story.
The show is hosted by Ty Pennington, America's Favorite Carpenter (after that other pasty, sandal-wearing guy.) Ty is one of these people that you would probably call a "numbnuts" or "hoozlehound" or "no talent lucky fucker." I find him to be inCREDibly annoying, and yet I'm hooked on his weekly miracles. I find the other designers to be tolerable, and every time I want to scowl at their incessant crying and spewing of inspirational poster fodder, I think twice, decide to cry, and cover my walls with kittens clinging to branches.
7:21 p.m. Ty calls the fam and tells them they'll be picking up some "new duds" (I quote to indicate the douchebaginess of the word "duds") for the vacation they're going on. "It's a high class place, so you'll need a jacket. And don't worry... it's on me."
Cut to: The limo pulling up in front of a desolate, barren looking SEARS, somewhere near Fallujah or Tikrit, I forget. I wish I were kidding, but there is no humor to be found there. "It's a high class place".... hmm... in Ty-speak, looks like the family will be feasting on DQ Blizzards.
7:24 p.m. Just realized that this was a TWO HOUR show. In other words, I could either watch this, or HBO Demand a number of different Tom Berenger movies. I'm torn.
7:26 p.m. They just cut down a tree that was probably 100 years old. Perhaps for Extreme Makeover: Log Edition?
7:45 p.m. A designer gives us some insight to the X-treme planning that's gone into the house:
When I design, I make a drawing first. I plan it out to the last inch. I make drawings.
When I have to go to the bathroom, I lock myself in an outdoor shed, pull my pants down, and make into a barrel. I'm a lady. I make in a barrel.
8:10 p.m. A different designer just blindfolded herself to get the sensation of "blindness" and is walking through the home with a walking stick. This is fucking ridiculous. Now she's crying. As she removes the blindfold, she reflects: "It's just really sad that he doesn't have the option to take this off." Hmm. I guess it is. Nothing to see here, folks, keep reading.
8:30 p.m. Shoot me. Adam, the contractor, is now rapping about the status of the house. He literally just said "My name is Adam and I'm here to say, assholes rapping are so fucking gay." I added that last part.
8:38 p.m. The family has just arrived at their new house. I am uncontrollably weeping. Will write more later. Must find tissue. This show is the best.
8:50 p.m. I watch a three minute long shmaltz fest recapping the episode in slow-motion, only to find out it's a commercial for Sears. They sponsored all of the furniture, and the previously mentioned "duds." I'm sorry Sears, the cross-promotional ties all make sense now. No hard feelings.
8:53 p.m. It occurs to me what barriers this show is breaking. See, up until now, autism and home design has been strictly limited to the wheelings and dealings of Paige Davis, the muppet-faced director of Trading Spaces who has done wonders for the cause, not to mention middle America.
But ABC is breaking the mold by featuring a youngster who's autistic AND blind. And I gotta say: Brah-voe.
8:54 p.m. Waterworks. The young autistic boy, who walked through the house really scared and confused (which would probably be my reaction exactly) finally cracks a smile: They built him a HUGE swing, and there he is just swinging and smiling. It's such a pure image. Cut to me: Eating Go Lean Kashi out of the box with a huge sad face on.
8:56 p.m. Marlee Matlin just showed up. I swear on my life. She presents the young 14 year old "normal" son with a $50,000 college scholarship. Everyone breaks down. They should bring these people to Guantanamo and really show those "prisoners" what torture is all about. Now one of the designers lifts the autistic boy up so he can blindly run his fingers through wind chimes. How do you spell "My soul has nothing more to give you, ABC"?
9:00 p.m. I want to thank ABC for reminding me once a week that I am not a soulless droid, but a robot programmed with the ability to feel. On that note, I gotta go make a Kashi run.
UPDATE: Check out Peretti's entry on a different Extreme Makeover episode. Apparently, weeping is not an uncommon reaction to the heartbreaking storylines.