Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

14 Jan

Summary: I watched ABC, Home edition that airs during primetime at 8pm. On this show, different families who are usually less fortunate than the average family in America have the opportunity to have their house rebuilt by amazing designers and construction teams that rebuild, redesign and upgrade their house while they get sent away on vacation for a week.

Analysis: The Gibbs family is the family that was chosen on this episode on home edition. The Gibbs family is a family with a single mother raising the children, their father died and the mother was diagnosed with 5 aneurisms. In the beginning they discuss the family’s situation introducing the fact that the woman is sick, alone and struggling as a single mother of six. The way in which she is represented from an oppositional stance she is presented in a way that makes her look desperate, incapable of providing for her family and that the presence of a man is needed. The fact that her husband has passed, they make effort to show that the reason she is struggling is not only because she is sick, or because she simply has six children but because she is a single woman alone. I can imagine it would be hard to have the single parent job regardless being male or female but the show uses emotion very heavily when they are doing home makeovers for women particularly. At one point her two sons made the comments that; “it is hard for her to pay bills, and she has to depend on us” “I worry that the stress will get to my mom”… both comments, I noticed were made by the males in the house hold.

At one point one of the male designers approached the oldest son and said that he seemed to be the “head of household” when his father died, and that he was the backbone of the family, and took on the role of taking care of the kids. From again, the oppositional stance, it seems as if he approached him with this conversation because he is the oldest son, there was also an older child that was a girl, there was no conversation between her and any of the designers discussing her new responsibilities as role in the household. Instead with the older daughter, the woman designer talked with her about how she felt and her father dying and her future plans as a young woman.

Response: On the surface when watching this show, you may get emotional as you connect with the people that have gone through a lot, whether it be sickness, death, or whatever the issue the family had that lead them to be selected on the show. I’ve always watched this show and I never noticed how gender is represented and how from an oppositional stance it’s so black and white. The girls are presented as being weaker, emotional beings and the males are presented predominately as being strong, leaders and the “solution makers” (I mean that in the sense that they are or know the solution to all of the problems that women have). Next time I watch I am going to note the gender roles and I would like to see an episode where the mother is not present and it’s a father they are building house for, I would like to see how the producers present the family and the story.

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