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Antiques Roadshow (1997)
The fun bits of this show that gives you a free appraisal of that thingamajig that you got out of Aunt Mabel's attic is when 1) it turns out to be very rare and/or valuable, 2) when it has an interesting history even when the monetary worth is minimal, or 3) it is a complete fake and the viewer learns, "Buyer Beware!", and the owner is (we hope for his sake) thankful that he only paid a few dollars at a flea market for it.
The appraisers always seem very happy when they are able to deliver good news to the person and quite consoling when the occasional fraud turns up.
What Not to Wear (2002)
I know what they would say about my wardrobe!
Trinny and Susannah are British fashion writers who secretly observe people (only women that I've seen so far) nominated for wardrobe help by their spouses, friends, co-workers, etc. After some well-intentioned remarks on how poor "Darcy" has fallen into a uniform rut, has lost her sense of her own femininity, etc, our hosts dive in to save the unfortunate soul by giving her advice on colors, styles, body types and so on along with 2000 pounds (US$2500?) with which to buy a substantial clothing infusion. Their "cruel to be kind" pointers do seem to be on target and their favorite tools are a 360 degree mirrored cabinet and hidden cameras.
Good-hearted and brutally honest, Trinny and Susannah seem truly invested in improving the lives of the fashion-challenged of the world. All of the nominees that I've seen were grateful for the help and seemed to have a positively increased sense of poise, self-esteem, and sexuality. Funny and very British, I enjoy this show and am interested to see if the American copycat of the same name coming out soon will be as good.
I haven't seen this since it was originally broadcast, but I do know my mother and I watched faithfully and often laughed out loud. I am still fond of Sam Waterston based on this series. I hope it would still hold up, but probably won't get the chance to find out.
Cynics won't like it...but they should watch it!
Pollyanna has had a hard life: she grew up in poverty overseas as a missionary kid, both parents have died, and she was then sent to live with an emotional amputee of an aunt who makes no secret of her dislike for the girl. I admire her pursuit of happiness in spite of these difficult circumstances. Her model of always looking for the bright side changes the nature of the town and is a refreshing change to recycled teen angst flicks. Some may charge it with being cheesy, nostalgic, or dated. I concede all of these in some measure, but I still like it!