Catholic reality not made for TV

Megan Sweas| comments | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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It seems we humans are naturally nosy. We like to peek inside other people’s homes and see how they live their lives. That’s why we have reality TV.

CatholicTV is attempting to harness that curiosity and point it in a faithful manner with a new TV show. House + Home tries to be part HGTV, part TLC, and part Food Network, with a Catholic spin. 

Unfortunately, after watching parts of the pilot online, the only thing I’ve learned is that not everybody is interesting enough to have a half hour TV show dedicated to them. No disrespect to the family profiled. They seem really nice…but nice doesn’t equal drama.

The basic format is for the host, an overly enthusiastic priest, to visit average Catholic families at home. He enters looking at the house, asking about paint color and so on. Unfortunately, you can’t see most of the room from their camera angle, and the tour is a bumpy and dizzying ride.

You’d half expect Father to roll up his sleeves and take on a home improvement project. How about that for a show: Father Fix-It? Instead he goes on to interviews with the family members, and later they make a pizza together.

At the Catholic Media Convention, a producer said that living out his faith in Hollywood is less about making Catholic movies than telling good stories. Herein is the problem with this “Catholic” attempt at reality TV. There were interviews and set-up shots of activities, but you don’t see the family acting naturally. You can’t see the story or get to know the characters.

There are ways to do positive reality TV—Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. But in general, I would think that this is not an area Catholic TV stations would want to get into. (Jon & Kate don't seem to be doing well these days.) Watch and let me know what you think.