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A bit patronising, repetitive and tame but a least has more worthy claim that some reality shows

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
25 September 2005

Environmentalism is an important issue to many people (perhaps even most people) however how many actually put their money where their mouth is. Several families are selected (one a week) to be scrutinised by Penny Poyzer, self-proclaimed environmental crusader, who challenges them to change their wasteful ways. Picking through their bin bags, reading their gas & electric meters and looked in depth at their wasteful habits.

Having seen some dreadful "change yourself" reality shows, this at least has an aim that is interesting to me as someone who works within the environmental sector for many years and I watched it for this reason. Generally the show is quite interesting but, unlike other reality shows that change people (and thus subjects, problems etc) each week, this many change people but the issues are roughly the same – rubbish, water, energy and the like. This means that it does get a little samey quickly while the lack of fireworks in most of the episodes will disappoint those more used to the flying tantrums of Wife Swap et al. However Penny's sections help add interest by giving more detail on different aspects of efficiency each week.

The presentation is a little bit like being taken to task by a primary school teacher and, unless you are heating your water by using badger sh*t she will probably be pretty stern. Poyzer doesn't have a great deal of personality and without this she does come across as a bit pushy and smug as she looks down at the family – she does take away something from the show but she is still interesting enough. The families are all OK but, like I said, regular reality viewers might find the shortage of big fights and fireworks as a bit of a problem.

Overall this is an OK show but quickly gets samey and a little dull. The aim is worthy enough and it is a bit interesting but I doubt that it has the legs to become as successful as some other shows in the genre and I would be surprised if it gets a second series. Normally I complain that reality "improvement" shows are too cruel and gloating but many viewers will find themselves wishing the opposite as this show is a bit too tame.

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