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New Style series 'Built' a crumbling, vapid mess

Style

By Emily Bodden, For the Daily
Published February 5, 2013

“Built” tears down any remaining hope for the Style Network. The producers may have finally run out of all ideas for new programming. The premise of their newest show, “Built,” seems to have been invented by drawing two random words from a bowl and building a series off the combination. The program revolves around a team of handymen who also happen to be male models. Yep, that’s right, the show features male models renovating upscale homes.

The montages of the shirtless men fixing homes are sure to provoke a blush from any bored housewife. Bad music plays as the camera focuses in on the perfect curvature of the “workers.” The trashy tone of “Built” is evident by the end of the first five minutes.

While handy and handsome, these models cannot boast high IQs or eloquence. Their incessant chatter tempts viewers to hit mute. The more they speak, the less likeable they are. And even worse, none of the models seem to care that they sound unintelligible. We do get a hilarious compilation of all the models talking about what type of brain they are, though — one claims to be going through law school, which begs the question of how he can study, take part on a TV show and provide high-end home repair. Another speaks about how he is a creative type and “prefers to be called a visionary.”

How did these male models join forces? Shane, the head of the operations, recruited a handful of his male model friends who had “some” experience in construction. Fair enough, we’ll let that slide. But then, Donny, the airhead “pretty one” of the group, speaks of recruitment that occurred at a model beach volleyball tournament. What? There’s really something called “model beach volleyball?”

To make matters worse, Donny also utters the phrase, “Let’s go find some nerds.” He says this in reference to his desire to create some software (which has already been invented) that the head of design was talking about installing into their project. The fact that he says “nerds” makes him sound like a hyper-masculine heathen. In one sentence, he manages to disrespect the value of intelligence, and raise the question of how he has gotten this far in life.

And now their clients. The first homeowner, Adina, is the trophy wife of a lawyer and dons full makeup and a ball gown to meet the crew. She hires the team to turn her 1,000-square-foot closet into a “dressing suite.”

During introductions, she makes uncomfortable sexual comments and won’t keep her hands to herself. She even forces them to pull up their shirts to show off their abs within the first five minutes. This might qualify as workplace harassment.

The final reveal of Adina’s closet dispels any doubt about the craftsmanship of the models. While over the top and ridiculous, the work appears to be up to par. The structure of the show seems not to care about the actual work but more about how attractive the workers look while doing various tasks. This show is sure to be a hit for people who know what they’re getting themselves into, but without more mainstream viewership, cancellation looms in the very near future.


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