Over Designed

TV review by
Anne Louise Bannon, Common Sense Media
Over Designed TV Poster Image
Decor expert helps people learn that less is more.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Families and friends have to find a kind way to help someone with an issue, such as too many palm tree-themed pieces in the house, or too many penguins. Some teasing is invovled, but it's not too harsh.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this interior decorating-themed show doesn't have much age-inappropriate content (but, but the same token, its subject matter may not interest kids). The folks featured on the show often end up getting teased regarding their decorating obsessions, but it's not direct, and friends and family members are generally more interested in helping them than embarrassing them. The terms "intervention" and "enabling" are used frequently, which people who've been affected by addiction might find trivializing.

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What's the story?

What happens when someone takes a design metaphor and goes overboard with it? OVER DESIGNED helps folks who've done just that -- whether it's plastering palm trees all over everything, embracing an African theme that's run amok, or a home that's overrun with too many penguins. In each episode, host Kenneth Brown gathers the featured person's friends and family members; together they stage an \"intervention\" and send the person off to a hotel while Brown and co. redo the problem room.

Is it any good?

The show works for three reasons. First, the intervention is done with a great deal of kindness and love. Second, the issue usually isn't so much the person's passion as it is that someone else needs to share the space (and needs some room for their own style). And third, Brown manages to create spaces that take the reasons behind the person's passion into consideration. The woman who had a thing for palm trees, for example, associated the trees with vacations and resorts -- so she got a resort-themed room that honored her love without all of the palms.

And, of course, there are some good design hints for the viewing audience -- like using horizontal stripes on the wall of a small room to make it look bigger.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether shows like this are meant to inform, entertain, or both. What can people watching at home take away? Do shows like this make it easier to help friends make changes in their own lifestyle? Is this a nice way to help someone? Is it fair to question someone's individual taste if you don't share it?

TV details

  • Premiere date: September 20, 2008
  • Network: TLC
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-G

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