+1 to Joy

+1 to Joy: Making It

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Though I’ve featured a lot of videogame stuff in these articles, I did mention originally that this series of articles wouldn’t be confined to only my favorite hobby. I’ve also featured a series of books from one of my new favorite authors, but today I’d like to talk to you about my new favorite TV distraction: Making It.

Making It is the familiar concept of a reality TV show that revolves around contestants competing in order to stay each week–usually for a big prize at the end of the show. The twist in this case is that everything revolves around crafting. A wide variety of individuals with a large difference of preferred crafting methods are brought together and told to create something around a simple theme. Other than those simple instructions, they are allowed to make everything their own. To me this allows far more creativity than a standard show, which makes sense considering this show revolves around being creative.

The competition is hosted by Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman of Parks and Recreation fame. Nick is a consummate word worker and crafter in his own right, while Amy is completely clueless to the world of craft. Both of them have fantastic chemistry on set, and though they are often terribly corny, it works within the context of the show. They have moments of being legitimately funny, and their banter is always playful and fun.

My favorite thing about the show is how incredibly chill it is. Usually the hallmarks of shows like this are salty drama between cast members, snide judges, or screaming hosts. Instead, we have what appears to be a cast of people who all get along. The hosts sometimes play up the idea of drama, appearing as if jokingly trying to rile stuff up, but there is no drama to be had. Not only does everything seem amicable, but contestants will even help each other finish projects.

At the completion of an episode whoever was sent home actually has a small bit with the hosts, as they sit on a porch. It is a nod to the idea that even though they are gone, they are still part of the family. This makes it never feel spiteful or small, and really makes the cast feel interconnected. When the contestants do win challenges they actually receive little sew-on badges, and they are always stoked to get them. All of this combines to create something that is wonderfully refreshing, and just makes for a relaxing, positive vibe watch.

I’m not an incredibly talented person when it comes to crafting, but I love making things with my kids. Watching people of all different specialties making cool stuff is an incredibly fun time, and even has managed to spark creative ideas of my own. If that sounds even a little up your alley you should tune in to Making It on NBC at 9PM CST every Tuesday, or you can stream it the day after on Hulu.

Perhaps the show will go nowhere without the fiery drama people have come to expect from these types of shows. Maybe the time slot, the crafting element, or the hosts campy humor won’t connect with audiences. I’m really hoping this show is successful though, because we need far more positivity in this world.

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