TV Review: Home Free (2015)

In a time when so many reality TV shows are about screwing people over and shattering other’s dreams to achieve your own, Home Free offers a refreshing and encouraging alternative to both reality competition and home renovation. 

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Now, for a bit of a deviation from my normal interests, reviews, and posts. It’s true that most of the time reviews and related posts on this blog will be about nerdy matters, but sometimes something will really grab my interest and I’ll just have to blog about it. That something today is Home Free.

The Pitch

Home Free is a mash-up of reality competition and home renovation shows. In Home Free, couples compete in hard labor challenges to renovate homes for deserving families all the while wanting to improve their skills and prove their worth so that they may get their dream home. They have five days to take rundown residences and overhaul them into a home that someone would love to live in. At the end of five days, however, one couple gets sent home while the others move on to the next week of challenges and a step closer to their Dream Home. The losing couple then gets the newly renovated house. It’s a competition where everyone is already a winner. The best part is, they don’t know it yet.

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The Best Of Two Worlds

Let me say this: I am usually not a fan of reality TV shows. However, I have found a few to be endearing, namely Stan Lee’s Who Wants To Be A Superhero? and Whodunit? (both of which were regrettably short-lived). Now, I can add Home Free to that exclusive list.

Home Free has all the drama and suspense of a show like Survivor or The Amazing Race. The couples argue, they get tense, and there are plenty of bleeped out words (most of which I am certain were only bleeped out in post to add to the drama). The challenges are reminiscent of Survivor’s Immunity Idol challenges and are nail-biters right down to the end. This show has all the drama you would expect of a reality TV show, but with a refreshing drop of encouragement. We’ll talk more about that later.

CMyeM-EUYAAnI_yThis may come as a surprise to some, but I actually enjoy home renovation shows. I remember growing up and watching HGTV every afternoon with my mother. We watched plenty of House Hunters and Divine Design. I love interior and exterior design, architecture, and landscaping. I’m not skilled at any of these by any means, but I enjoy seeing different homes and what goes into making those homes. Home Free gives me that with a hit of suspense and drama. We get to see reclaimed furniture (and sometimes vehicles) turned into something completely new, and the occasional house that was full of fire damage and graffiti turned into a two-story Southern Revival-style mansion. This is sure to appease the home decor enthusiast in you.

So Feel Good Much Love

As I’ve mentioned before, this show offers a really refreshing dose of encouragement. Sure, host Mike Holmes ruffles feathers and drives the contestants insane with his acute critiquing of their work and contestants are often at each other’s throats because of weeks spent in hard labor and heat, but at the end of the show, everything is ok.

I’m not going to get preachy in this post, but I will say that there is just too much negativity in the world today. All you hear is the news is bad, movies are bad, games are bad, people are bad. Everything’s bad. It’s easy to lose hope in humanity. Well, Home Free has restored some of that waning hope. Despite all his hard-nosed remarks, at the end of the day, Mike Holmes is going to give a deserving couple everyone wants: a home. The reactions of the “losers” pulls at your heartstrings and just makes you feel good.

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We need more shows like Home Free. Shows where everyone is a winner and the glory of being rewarded for your hard work is highlighted.

One time the show almost got me crying was after a couple had just found out that they would be the owners of this renovated home. Mr. Holmes revealed that everyone would be getting a house like them and the wife of the couple mentioned how happy she was that another couple’s kids would finally have a home. That’s just so sweet, it’s so genuine, and i’ts so how we should be with one another.

Anyways, I digress.

Home Free is a feel good show and we need more like it.

“Make It Right” 

The host of Home Free is a renovation guru named Mike Holmes. I can honestly say that I had never heard of this man before now, but now that I have, I’m a fan of this guy’s heart, attitude, and work ethic.

Michael Chiklis, is that you?

Michael Chiklis, is that you?

Mike Holmes has a saying in the show: “Make it right.” Of course, at first, this seems like a builder’s moniker. “Make it right the first time and you won’t have to redo it” or some such adage, but the more I watch Home Free, the more I’m convinced there is a deeper meaning to Mr. Holme’s saying.

“Make it right.” Make your angles right. Make the cuts right. Drill the bit right. Hammer the drywall right.

Make the world right.

Home Free is all about hard work and deserving people getting something they deserve. Sure, it’s a show about home renovation, but it’s also a show about Mike Holmes helping these really down-on-their-luck couples get that much closer to the American Dream. It’s almost selfless. Something we could all stand to be.

I applaud Mike Holmes for this show and for his work

The Kids

Is it appropriate for children? Maybe. Honestly, younger kids probably wouldn’t like it. There are no super heroes or ponies with abnormally large eyes to capture their interest. If you have a little aspiring designer that watches HGTV with you, they may enjoy this show. There is drama and there are words beeped out, so be prepared to explain to your child what all is going on between the contestants.

The Grade

Home Free is a refreshing take on both reality TV and home renovation. It makes you feel good to see others succeed and also gives you the opportunity to see some really beautiful homes. If you are a fan of reality TV or home renovation shows or just want to watch a show that will warm your heart, consider watching Home Free. You can watch new episodes of Home Free on Fox on Wednesdays at 9:00/8:00 C or you can watch the season from the beginning on Hulu (like my wife and I).

I give Home Free a grade of…. 

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What are your thoughts? Have you seen any episodes of Home Free? Are you interested in watching it now? Or do you think my review is completely garbage? Let me know in the comments below!

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