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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Home Free is a reality show about teams of two people working to renovate houses ostensibly to be given to families in need. The twist: The homes are actually for the contestants. They're under pressure and may bicker and express frustration by throwing tools to the ground. They curse at each other (and their tools). "Damn" and "hell" are heard; other four-letter words are bleeped. Host Holmes can be harsh in his criticisms; he doesn't suffer fools gladly and has high standards for the work done. Untrained contestants work with saws, on roofs, and in other dangerous conditions; no one is seriously injured. All competitors work hard and are motivated by helping other "deserving" families.
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What's the Story?
On reality show HOME FREE, nine couples are challenged to renovate one fixer-upper house every week. On each hour-long episode, teams of two pitch in to reconstruct falling-down abodes under the direction of noted contractor Mike Holmes (Holmes on Homes). Each week, the couple who does the sloppiest job on the renovation is eliminated. But there's a twist -- unbeknownst to the remaining competitors, the eliminated couples are given the houses they've just renovated. It's a lot of hard work -- but everyone wins in the end.
Is It Any Good?
The sweet (but not saccharine) plot pivot of gifting a house to each couple makes this home renovation show a whole lot easier to watch, for kids and sensitive adults, than shows where contestants leave empty-handed. Watching them struggle to strip roof tile and screw down drywall has meaning when viewers know their hard work will pay off. Renovating a house sure looks like hard work -- contestants sweat and cry their way through tasks -- but watching a couple win a life-changing prize is a pleasure. Recommended for whole-family viewing, particularly for families who enjoy makeover, real estate, and reality shows.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about why there are so many shows centering on renovating homes. Which shows can you name? How is Home Free like or different from these shows?
Why are contestants on this show not told they're renovating houses they will each win?
Stranding competitors in a remote location and putting them into physical stress is a classic reality show gambit. Why?
- Premiere date: July 22, 2015
- Cast: Mike Holmes
- Network: Fox
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: March 2, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
Holmes on Homes
Contractor rebuilds what went wrong; won't interest kids.
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Interesting and dramatic ... for a reality show.
Real estate reality with a big, brash personality.
For kids who love giving
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