Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

So today I did something I never thought I'd do.

I attended a filming of Extreme Makeover - Home Edition. A family about 1/2 hour away from where my mother lives was chosen and the cast and several thousands of volunteers spent the past week completely transforming their home. The two-hour episode will air as the season opener late September.

We got there around just before noon and took a quick look around the house before finding a spot to camp out. I had a hunch that a lot of the filming would take place near the tents they'd set up, and thanks to my new-found Parisian metro maneuvering skills, we managed to get a good spot right up front. A short while later, Patricia Heaton (the mom on "Everybody loves Raymond") came out to talk to us. She was the celebrity guest for the episode and she interviewed a woman just in front of me who'd been saved from a burning apartment by the father of the family.So there is a good chance I will end up being in the background during that segment. Then there was a lot of waiting around. We were told the family would be arriving at 3pm. 3pm came and went and I got tired of standing around (and it wasn't really my thing), so I went back to the car to wait for my mother, who wanted to see the family arrive. She still hadn't come back by 4:30, so I made my way back over to the construction site. I saw a whole bunch of builders and volunteers milling around in the front of the house in their red and blue shirts, and decided to head over that way instead of going around back where all the spectators where supposed to be. My gumption paid off and I ended up being right in front of the limo and the famous bus during most of the taping:I was one of the only ones not wearing a blue or red t-shirt, and a few people looked at me strangely but no one said anything. Minnesota nice and all that jazz. It's so funny to see how France has changed me in that way - I'm much more daring now when it comes to lining up and sneaking into places I shouldn't be.
One of the things that surprised me most though was the number of takes they did - they did at least three for each scene you see. So that means three times of the limo driving up, three times of the family getting out of the car, three times of us all shouting "Move that bus" etc. Not to mention everything that went on during the week. Since I was surrounded by all the builders and contractors, I got a lot of info about what they'd seen and heard during the week.
As for Mr Ty Pennington himself, he was barely around. The only time I saw him was when he was taping his segments. Off-camera, he stayed to himself and didn't interact with the crowd or his fellow cast-members. Makes me wonder if his whole Mr. Nice Guy schtick is just a big act.Between the Patricia Heaton interview and the filming of the builders & the arrival of the family, I should make it on the show at least once or twice in the background. Not that that's really how I wanted to make my national TV debut - my mom called me up at 10:30 and said "Be ready in 15 minutes" so I basically just threw on some clothes and pulled my hair up into a ponytail.

All in all, it ended up being about 7 hours of waiting for less than a half-hour of filming. A bit too much for my taste and my knee is killing me from all that standing around, but my mother really wanted to go. And hey, it gave me something to blog about, right?

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OpenID pinklea said...

That's not something I would think of doing either, but it sounds like it was a pretty interesting experience. I've only watched the show once or twice, and I can't stand Ty Pennington. I think his "sincere nice-guy act" is over the top and can't possibly be real. (Meow!)

August 11, 2009 at 7:17 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

Heck yeah, it gave you something to blog about! Thanks for the interesting insight into how a show like that works. I'll try to remember to DVR the premiere, but do remind us here, please!

August 11, 2009 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger wcs said...

Interesting. I've never seen this show, and I have no clue who Ty P. is. I assume that's him in the photo. His shirt looks Ty-died. :)

And what's up with his hair? Except his hair, of course.

All in all, all's fair in finding blog material!

Word verif: mingluer. Almost what you were doing among the audience!

August 11, 2009 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger L said...

That reminds me of my semiology course where my teacher reminded us that just because we "Saw it on TV!" doesn't mean it's "real" or at least truly like that in life.

August 11, 2009 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Emily Marie said...

How fun! I've met Ty (his mom goes to my parent's church) and he really is a nice guy. I'm surprised he wasn't more friendly.

August 11, 2009 at 11:37 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

At our cabin (in very Northern WI) we get the TV station out of Duluth and I saw a newsreport on the makeover. How funny that you were there! I would have been interested in seeing the house but am especially glad to not have driven over for the reveal as it doesn't seem like it would have even been possible with all the people!

August 11, 2009 at 4:12 PM  
Blogger The Bold Soul said...

Actually I was a big fan of the show when I lived in the States (can't get it on the internet now, the network blocks foreign IP access) and despite all the Hollywood crap, product sponsorship and general goofiness, what I like about it is this: how many reality TV programs out there actually HELP someone who really, really needs it? Even if Ty and the others are all stuck-up, I still think that what the show does for these families is amazing and kind of outweighs the drawbacks.

I think it's cool you got to see some of it. I would probably have gone, too. Did you see the family's reaction after the bus actually got moved. What was the family's story, why did they get chosen?

August 11, 2009 at 6:02 PM  
Blogger Ksam said...

Yep, I did see their reaction - I was maybe 10 feet away from them at the time. They were very happy but refrained from histrionics, as any good Midwestern family would do. ;)

And thanks Lisa, that reminds me of another post I wanted to write!

August 11, 2009 at 6:13 PM  
Blogger wcs said...

OMG, did I type that? I meant, obviously, Ty-dyed.


August 11, 2009 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger garcal said...

Ah cool nous devrions te voir Leesa & moi dans 2 ans quand l'épisode passera en France :o)

August 11, 2009 at 10:19 PM  
Blogger MilkJam said...

reminds me of going to see Obama - an all day event for 1 hour of Obama under the hot sun too! :-) you didn't get tan that day either...

August 12, 2009 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger Leesa said...

I LOVEEE that show... I always get teary eyed!! Cool that you got to see it...

August 13, 2009 at 7:36 AM  

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