The Wow Factor

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
The Wow Factor TV Poster Image
UK decorating series probably won't interest kids.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The hostess explains her design process in detail, giving viewers an outline and helpful tips they can use for their own projects. She's responsive to and respectful of her clients' unique tastes and strives to reflect them in her designs.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Designers occasionally refer to giving rooms "sex appeal."

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, given its home-centric subject matter, most tweens and teens probably won't be interested in this series. That said, hostess Tara Bernard does a thorough job of explaining her design process, offering viewers simple steps and helpful hints they can use themselves. She encourages her clients to confidently express their unique tastes and sets a good example by sticking to a firm budget for each project.

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What's the story?

In THE WOW FACTOR, British design consultant Tara Bernard demonstrates how combining confident style choices and thoughtful decorating techniques can create space that's uniquely yours -- on virtually any budget. In each episode, Bernard meets with a new set of clients to revamp cluttered or a poorly crafted living space and to get a sense of their personalities and budgets. Bernard and her design team then brainstorm the ideas she'll pitch to the clients. With their approval of the plans, the construction team moves in to start laying floors and painting walls, and the designers hit the streets in pursuit of furniture, fixtures, and the finishing pieces that will make the space come alive. Bernard also takes the homeowners on shopping sprees to locate items with personal appeal so their unique tastes will complement the room's design.

Is it any good?

Because they're so involved in the planning process, the clients' reactions to the room's big reveal are usually very positive, and it's fun to see them excited about their revamped space. Bernard also tallies the cost of the materials to make sure the project stayed on budget -- which, amazingly, it always does. Viewers with a flair for contemporary design (Bernard's specialty) will enjoy watching the transformations and learning some tricks of the trade, but those who aren't into home/design shows -- which probably includes most kids -- will find the series about as compelling as watching paint dry.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the educational aspect of reality TV. What can viewers learn from series like this? Can this type of show be considered "educational," or is the main objective entertainment? Who do you think is the show's target audience (design professionals, design novices, or homeowners)? What will that audience gain from tuning in? Why are shows about houses and real estate so popular with some viewers?

TV details

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