Home Takeover with Simon & Tomas

TV review by
Elka Karl, Common Sense Media
Home Takeover with Simon & Tomas TV Poster Image
Benign but boring home decorating show has many store plugs.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The show's main take-away is that amilies can live a more fulfilling life by having a well-organized and beautiful home. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Cederlund and Davies are a good team and work well together to solve design problems. They display little to no discord when working on design issues and are very friendly and outgoing with co-workers and the families they work with. 

 

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

The designers do attempt to re-use furniture and shop at secondhand and antique stores. But there are obvious plugs for stores like Target -- i.e. the designers buy items via Target's website and talk about why Target is a good resource for economical decor.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while this design-based reality show has very little iffy content for kids, it's hard to imagine many children actually finding it engaging. Some blatant plugs for chain decorating stores (like Target) are the only questionable area for parents wary of consumer-oriented messages.

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What's the story?

HOME TAKEOVER WITH SIMON & TOMAS transports Scandinavian interior designers Simon Davies and Tomas Cederlund to American households, where they transform rooms -- and even entire houses -- into more stylish spaces. Along the way, they offer the featured families decorating, shopping, and organizational tips.

Is it any good?

There's nothing particularly awful about this decorating show, but then again, there's nothing particularly memorable, either. Davies and Cederlund -- who are English and Swedish, respectively -- attempt to add some European flair to American family homes. The show sells itself on the idea that these foreigners will bring quirk and style to some seriously boring homes, but the designers, the decor, and the show turn out to be a little boring themselves.

 

The show's attempts to distinguish itself as quirky and fun feel utterly artificial. For instance, the designers sleep over in the house they're redesigning -- in the family's bed -- to get a better feel of the home's functionality and needs. Not only does this decision not make sense, it falls flat as a way to add humor or fun to the show. Similarly, the designers drive around in a tiny European car (because they're European, get it?), which also makes no sense when they're antiquing and buying furniture. Perhaps most egregious of all are the blatant plugs for (presumably) sponsoring stores like Target. The designers call attention to Target shopping bags (wouldn't European designers bring their own reusable shopping bags?), discuss the usability of the Target online shopping experience, and wax poetic over the store's cheap/chic aesthetic. There are plenty of great home decorating shows currently on the air. Sadly, this isn't one of them.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the nature of applying for reality shows. Why do you think the featured families submitted their homes to be on the show? 

  • Would you want your life to be filmed? Do you think anything negative could come from being on a show like this? Anything positive?

  • How do you think Simon and Tomas were chosen to host this show? Do you think that they're good hosts? Why would a producer choose them over other people?

TV details

For kids who love lifestyle television

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