NBC has discovered a intelligent approach to bounce into popular culture’s deep do-it-yourself pool with “Making It.”
The six-week summer time series, hosted by former “Parks and Recreation” co-stars Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman (they’re additionally govt producers), performs like a “Nice British Baking Present” for crafting fans (or crafting wannabes) as eight contestants, every along with his/her personal crafting desk (akin to what you may see in a science lab), use on a regular basis supplies to compete within the present’s two challenges: the “Quicker Craft Problem” and the “Grasp Craft Problem.” They’re judged on their work by Simon Doonan and Etsy pattern professional Dayna Isom Johnson on the finish of every problem (the judges’ criticism, for those who can name it that, is mild — what you’d count on from a crafting present). Each week one contestant is distributed dwelling; the final crafter standing wins $100,000 within the series finale.
What’s good about “Making It” is the chemistry between Poehler and Offerman, who not solely remark on the motion — and banter with the contestants — however supply some comedian reduction briefly standalone segments (a “crafting pun-off” and a phase within the “Wooden Store” by which Offerman, carrying a blindfold, tries to determine wooden by its scent). The motion takes place inside a well-lit, spacious barn and there’s additionally an outside work space (for woodworking, and so on.). Poehler admits that she is aware of nothing about crafting, however believes that “making issues connects individuals.” That’s contrasted to Offerman, who identifies himself as an “actor, woodworker, craft fanatic” and actually is aware of what he’s speaking about. His data turns out to be useful, significantly for one of many contestants, Khiem, who’s additionally a woodworker.
The likable contestants (4 ladies, 4 males) vary in age and in specialties, together with a craft blogger (Amber), a felt artist (Billy), a hodgepodge crafter (Jemma) and a designer (Robert). In contrast to, say, “Huge Brother” or “The Wonderful Race,” their again tales aren’t as vital as their potential to craft on a deadline, and they’re all centered on their very own initiatives slightly than on one another — a refreshing change of tempo from the standard backstabbing, gossipy (and extremely staged) actuality reveals. At the least for now.
The pacing is brisk (there’s tension-building soundtrack music that sounds so much like a Muzak model of Elvis Costello’s “Pump It Up”) and the cutaway segments with Poehler and Offerman are used to full benefit.
With TV networks comparable to HGTV and its sister community, DIY, dedicated to all issues dwelling enchancment (together with crafting), “Making It” ought to ring a bell for viewers who like to work with their palms — or want they possessed that expertise.