Years ago when Bob Vila was in the Old house, he left because he said
that he didn't like the way the show was going..building and repairing
luxury homes only. I agree then and still agree, the way they show how
perfect they can make million dollar homes look great is sickening.
How many of us can afford such luxury? Maybe they felt some guilt and
now show another show right after that, "Ask this old house"...which
is fine. But so far i have never noticed them visiting someone in a
city, like NY or Chicago...its always a private home in some boon
IIRC, Vila got booted because he was trading on his fame from the show
getting an endorsement contract with Sears. From various interviews and
reports since then, the rest of the cast and crew considered him an
idiot anyway. (That agrees with my impression from watching TOH back
then, as well as his own copycat show. I grew up in the business, so I
knew a lot of what he was spouting was pure BS.)The first replacement
was okay, but really more of a boat geek than a carpenter. He is pretty
watchable on his current series with some other channel, about
historical buildings. The current puppy of a TOH host, pretty much of a
look-alike for #2,is no expert, but he doesn't pretend that he is, and
thus acts like a stand-in for the viewer.
They have heard all the people bitching about the show becoming 'This
Old Mansion', and are trying, sort of, to get back to their roots this
season with the New Orleans arc.
There was a hilarious true life story of what happened during a TOH
renovation. It was a disaster.
A major lumber supplier backed the show and promised to give all of their
products needed at cost.
So these people had a major renovation including red wood siding. The
project was approved. Unfortunately, the owners found out later that the
lumber company did not carry red wood siding so they would be on their
and so on and so on.
The smooth tv project actually cost at least twice what was predicted and
took 3 times longer than predicted. But it looked smooth on tv.
washington d.c. predates the new orleans project and was a non-profit
also, it occurred to me that they did visit chicago (lake forest, il to be
precise) with a kitchen remodel for a family with three kids.
Even though the Washington DC project was a non-profit and the budget
was ~250K IIRC, one has to wonder how much of discount and/or free
materials/labor they got from the various vendors.
In other words, could you or I have renovated that place for $250K?
I'm sure the same holds true for other "low-cost" projects.
regarding hosts: steve thomas was a boat geek, but i liked his approach to
hosting the show. he was knowledgeable, but only showed it in spurts,
instead allowing the others to show their expertise (sometimes at the cost
of his own appearances). but when you watch enough of his work you realize
that he's just asking questions that the average person might ask. he also
had a strong command of the language and talked about architecture with
kevin o'connor was originally on ask this old house as a homeowner with a
wallpaper problem and eventually got hired as the new host. his role is
essentially that of an apprentice who is learning the trade. he asks the
obvious questions and, as time has gone on, has learned more and more about
the trades which has made his commentary and questions even better. steve
was my favorite, but i think that kevin is coming into his own.
vila left because they wouldn't allow him to do endorsements for products
(like the bella wood floors he's hawking these days).
this old house does tend towards expensive renovations, but they have had
budget projects as well: new orleans and washington d.c. to name two most
ask this old house goes all over the place, including nyc where tom silva
helped two girls with a vinyl floor in their apartment. they've also gone to
the southwest, texas, california, etc. both are great shows undeserving of
anything less than praise.
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