When reality TV comes to knock on your door, you often feel flattered and it seems that nothing but good can come out of it. However, over the years some series have caused occasional disruption on the lives of people that took part. I often wonder how far that goes. Has there ever been research about this? Aside from some irregular news with a big OOPS factor we don't know what the final result was. That is often nagging at me when I think about it. How many restaurants did Gordon Ramsey actually make better? How many people were satisfied with their extreme home makeover? How many girls became a super model? What did the idols get out of their fame? Questions that probably will never be answered because no one involved is interested in finding out. So we are left with the occasional laugh when things go really wrong. Imagine.......

I am sorry!

It is so cute. You have quarrel with your boyfriend. Shouting, slamming doors, a frying pan flying through the window! You feel hurt, sick, start watching “the way we were” with your best friend and a bag of chips. The next morning after you have a splitting headache from mixing sherry, wine and wodka you go to the kitchen for a strong, very strong coffee. After you get dressed and make yourself remotely presentable the door bell rings. There he stands with a lavish amount of roses in multiple colors and a camera crew. A what! Yes, you are on national TV and he is saying sorry! Can you forgive him? Will you take him back? He loves you after all and he is making a real effort? You enter an emotional roller coaster. How dare he to throw this on you? What is that camera man doing there? And that prying sneaky interviewer that you hate so much is pushing a microphone in you face. You begin to stammer and before you know it, you have said “yes”.

Happy faces you see when you meet your family and friends later that week. You are back together again and it was so romantic! You smile, and think of the laundry, his laundry, that is lying everywhere in the house. Some things did not change. A couple of years later you have found another partner. A more satisfying relationship. You parted with your former boyfriend on friendly terms. Pans did not fly any more. You both found something better. That evening the TV broadcasts part of the old “I am sorry” series. You find yourself and your former boyfriend back on screen. Your current spouse starts rolling this eyes and gives you that “is there something I should know” look. You sigh and realize you have a lot to make up for that night. Next day new friends and relatives begin to question you. You begin to understand this is far from over. But didn't you sign a paper? You were happy to be on TV. Got even some money for it. Yet, only lawyers can prevent this from happening again. And suddenly you know, you need a very very good lawyer.

Extreme makeover - home edition

You have an an apartment in the big town. You have plenty of books, simply because you like to read. There is nothing wrong with that. Many people suffer that kind of affliction. A disadvantage is of course that you need more space. It does not help that you have bottle collection of various fine whiskeys. Nevertheless you feel quite happy to sit on that old leather sofa with a book and a glass of whiskey in the evening. The TV ain't that important. You know it is old, but it has that light brown shiny colour that is so hard to get nowadays. When you draw the curtains (the earth color ones your mother bought for you just after your first marriage) are a bit dusty. It's not so apparent, but here and there it begins to unravel. When you go to your bed you realize that this style is called retro nowadays. You feel that you might need something new.

Next day, you mention this to that cute colleague at the coffee table. She starts to beam. There is this program on the telly now that helps people with such matters. Shall she make inquiries? You mumble something. She should not bother herself too much, but you can see you already lost the battle. She found a new project! Not long after a middle aged woman with a nice voice calls whether she can make an appointment! Astonished you set the date. You invite your colleague to come also. After all how can you leave her out? The designer comes to see your apartment. You are send away. She and your colleague will discuss the improvements. On the day itself you are entertained elsewhere while construction workers give your apartment a makeover. Then the final moment comes. You are allowed back home!

The moment you step into the hall your heart begins to sink. The old wallpaper is removed. That was to be expected, but the walls are now all in plain white. Instead of a wardrobe stands now a pink salon table, a decorative mirror and white curvy chair that is too low to sit on. Beside the mirror are some modern art paintings of the type you abhor. Seeing no reaction of delight on your face the designer begins to explain something about what she has done and why. Through the haze of words you catch a bit about clean fresh colors and the need for space. A suspicion begins to creep up, but you try to shake it off.cryingman It can't be true, can it? You are marched on to the living room. There you stand, they have looks of expectation. Will they now get that scream of delight? But you look around as if you are living a nightmare. The walls white! The chairs white! The windowsill white! The bookshelves gone! And for that matter where are the books? Where are the whiskey bottles you collected over the years. Where is your sofa? What are those purple and pink striped cushions doing on those designer chairs? Who ever thought that this was comfortable? Suddenly you can't stand it any more. To everyone's surprise you start to cry and sink sobbing on the clean white floor.

To be continued (note all these stories are inspired by real series, but are not factual descriptions of what happened there)


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