$100 Makeover

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
$100 Makeover TV Poster Image
Penny-pinching design series pushes creativity.

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Kids say

age 2+
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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show promotes creativity -- rather than lavish spending -- as a means to achieving realistic design solutions. The hosts encourage families to repurpose things they already have, donate items they don't use, and throw away items they don't need.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The hosts keep a positive attitude despite their limited budget and work well together as a team. Their hard work pays off with positive results.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Vendor logos are shown, including 1-800-GOT-JUNK and Big Lots.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, aside from a little bit of brand promotion through visible logos, this design-oriented reality series is a great choice for families -- particularly those who want to spruce up their spaces without spending a lot of money. Rather than throwing fistfuls of cash at a design problem, the show stresses thinking creatively to solve organizational dilemmas and encourages reusing items you already have.

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Kid, 0 years old September 1, 2010

What's the story?

All it takes is a little cash to make a big difference in $100 MAKEOVER, an design series that limits its team to spending a mere $100 on every room it refurbishes. First, the team assesses the situation and works with the homeowners to determine why their spaces aren't working. Then they sort through mountains of stuff and decide what to keep, give to charity, or throw away. Finally, the families are escorted off the premises, allowing the design team two days to totally redesign their problem rooms.

Is it any good?

Compared with the overblown excess of design shows like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, $100 Makeover is like a breath of fresh air and comes off as both relatable and inspirational. Sure, the designers and carpenters are professionals, but the things they're doing to improve these families' spaces are essentially things that anyone could do -- and it might just motivate you to get organized.

That said, the show could definitely do more to educate the families (and viewers) about staying organized so that they'll be able to keep things orderly when the cameras leave. But it's still nice to see a show promoting a little creativity when it comes to problem-solving and reusing items that people already have, rather than feeding America's addiction to fancy new chotchkies and furnishings.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about consumerism and the presence of logos in the series. What does a company like Big Lots get out of appearing on a show like this one? What does the show gain by pushing companies' brands?

  • How does this show's approach compare with other shows about interior design and redecorating? Does a design have to cost a lot of money to be functional and beautiful?

  • Do you think the families featured on the show will be able to keep their new spaces organized? Why or why not?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love reality TV

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