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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 this surprise car-renovation show is based on a somewhat iffy premise. With the permission of family members, the crew pretends to steal the featured vehicle and follows up with pranks throughout the week while they work on it. While the owners are understandably upset initially (and it's hard to watch them experience the fake theft), they're always happy to get their updated vehicles in the end. Overall, the pranksters take a gentle approach and don't milk the joke too intensely. Lots of automotive brands are featured, along with major car fetishism.
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What's the story?
In each episode of OVERHAULIN', a team of mechanics and automotive designers collaborate to renovate a car enthusiast's vehicle without the person's knowledge. With the help of friends or family members, crew members stage a fake auto theft, bring the car back to their shop, and spend the next week redoing every aspect until the vehicle is in perfect condition. In one episode, for example, the crew went after a 1970 Mustang owned by a schoolteacher and father of three. Over the next eight days, the car was stripped down to its frame, repaired where needed, and then put back together using top-of-the line parts and given a custom paint job. Host Chris Jacobs pretended to be a detective investigating the car theft, talking to the owner on the phone several times.
Is it any good?
At 60 minutes, the episodes feel a little bit long. While viewers see a lot of work being accomplished, there's not enough variety or detail to keep it interesting, despite the camera's frequent jump cuts and the hosts' high-pitched enthusiasm. Kids with a particular interest in cars -- especially body work and design -- will find some good stuff here. But everyone else might find rehab shows with more flash or personality more to their liking.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about cars. Why are some people so fascinated by cars? Do you think it's important to have a car that looks nice? What would be the coolest thing to have in your car? How much money do you think it takes to fix up these cars? Do you think some owners are disappointed that they didn't get to work on the cars themselves? Why do you think the crew pretends to steal the car, rather than just announce to the owners what they're planning to do?
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