Making It Home: Greensburg

TV review by
Anne Louise Bannon, Common Sense Media
Making It Home: Greensburg TV Poster Image
Tornado victims rebuild; inspiring and engaging.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Not only are the kids encouraged to actively participate in the work, but the work isn't divided up by gender roles, either (in fact, in one case, Dewar comments that women make better carpenters). The community also joins together to help with the work.


Scenes of the devastation caused by the massive tornado that hit the town of Greensburg, Kansas, in May 2007.


Very rare bleeped words, usually in high-stress situations.


Signs for a couple of businesses are shown. In one episode, a parent picks up brand-name food items, but they're not focused on.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although this home rebuilding reality show focuses on positive things like community spirit and hard work, it does include scenes of the devastation caused by the massive tornado that hit the town of Greensburg, Kansas, in May 2007, as well as other pictures of tornadoes. The featured families also talk about their tornado-related experiences, which might frighten younger kids who don't understand how rare such events are.

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What's the story?

In May 2007, the town of Greensburg, Kansas, was leveled by a massive tornado that killed 11 people. A year later, families are still living in FEMA trailers and trying to rebuild their homes. Led by carpenter/furniture maker Faber Dewar and designer Doug Wilson, the folks behind MAKING IT HOME: GREENSBURG help six such families put the finishing touches on their new houses so that they can move back home.

Is it any good?

The show does an excellent job of creating a connection with the families and showing the process of making a house a home. Even though it's not exactly clear why the new houses aren't already ready to be lived in -- aside from the fact that they lack furniture -- the process of finishing the rooms off is fascinating, and the townspeople's attitudes are upbeat and engaging.

Plus, the fact that the kids in the featured families are encouraged to do real jobs is inspiring. In one case, an 11-year-old girl is asked to operate the nail gun (with strict supervision), and she completely impresses the carpenter with her patience and skill. Moments like these help set this show apart from other renovation/rebuilding series.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the members of the Greensburg community gather together to help each other. Why is it important to show things that on television? How do you think the featured families were chosen? Why might a family not want to be on this show? Do you think shows like this encourage viewers to be more charitable? Why or why not?

TV details

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