Moving Up

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Moving Up TV Poster Image
Tame redecorating series has a twist but still lacks pizzazz

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Encouraged by the host to make assumptions about the new homeowners based on their decorating style, participants often poke fun at others' decorating tastes in ways that reinforce stereotypes. In one segment, for example, a couple called a man's flowered wallpaper "feminine" and said it was probably chosen by a woman. Some subjects also get emotional over the changes the new homeowners make.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Very rare use of "hell."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while there's no iffy content in this home decorating series, the subject matter probably won't interest kids or tweens. Participants often poke fun at others' style sense (mostly fairly mildly), and the host encourages them to make assumptions about the new homeowners based on their ddcor, which leads to some stereotyping. There's some emotion as people see how new owners have changed their beloved home, but overall the tone is positive.

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What's the story?

In MOVING UP, host Doug Wilson observes the renovation process of two newly purchased homes and then brings the previous owners back to check out the changes. In each episode, viewers meet a chain of three families who move into one another's homes and set to work making them their own. When the dust settles, Wilson takes the former owners on a room-by-room tour to gauge their reactions to the new look.

Is it any good?

Best known for his edgy creativity as a designer on Trading Spaces, the charismatic Wilson is the lone bright spot in this otherwise dull series. While the premise is intriguing -- and unexpectedly fresh in the heavily trodden path of home/decorating-related reality TV -- the show devotes too much time to interviews with the subjects and their petty comments about how their design sense differs from that of the other homeowners. It even tries to play up what little drama there is by honing in on tension (where it exists) between contractors and the owners, all the while giving little air time to the actual design transformation.

There's a fair amount of raw emotion when participants are confronted with the fact that treasured parts of their homes have been refinished, resurfaced, or just plain removed. Since the families never come face-to-face (the new owners watch their predecessors' reactions via video), there's noconfrontation to worry about, but there are often tears and lamentations over the changes. Bottom line? This series might interest adults, but kids and tweens are sure to be bored.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about getting emotionally attached to things/possessions. Which of your things are you most attached to? Why are they special to you? What memories do you associate with them? How do you think you'd feel if you lost them? How do our priorities and emotional attachments change as our lives evolve? What attachments remain constant throughout our lives?

TV details

  • Premiere date: January 29, 2005
  • Cast: Doug Wilson
  • Network: TLC
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-G
  • Last updated: September 19, 2019

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