Reality Show 'DIY Permits' Follows Less Glamorous Side Of Home Renovations There are plenty of TV shows about home makeovers, but now a new show is focusing on the less glamorous side of renovations: getting the permits.
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Reality Show 'DIY Permits' Follows Less Glamorous Side Of Home Renovations

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Reality Show 'DIY Permits' Follows Less Glamorous Side Of Home Renovations

Reality Show 'DIY Permits' Follows Less Glamorous Side Of Home Renovations

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

For years now, the trials and triumphs of homeownership have provided fodder for reality television, especially renovations. Now, a new show on the Reality Network is taking that idea a step further - or back, as in what has to happen before a makeover. It's called "DIY Permits." As Alex Frias reports, it's part of a growing trend of reality TV that dramatizes real-life run-ins with red tape.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "DIY PERMITS")

S. POBLONSKI: You can't transfer me. I was just transferred to you. Hello?

Y. POBLONSKI: They transferred him.

ALEX FRIAS, BYLINE: In the pilot episode of "DIY Permits," we follow Same Poblonski and his wife, Yolanda. They're on a quest to get their plans for new master bathroom approved.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "DIY PERMITS")

POBLONSKI: I mean, imagine this space without that wall. This is going to really - it's going to change...

POBLONSKI: It's going to change our lives. I mean, how much time are we going to save? Like, it's worth it right there.

POBLONSKI: And somebody wants his bidet.

POBLONSKI: (Stuttering).

POBLONSKI: It's OK.

POBLONSKI: It's for me.

FRIAS: But before they can get that dream bathroom, they have to get their building permit.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "DIY PERMITS")

POBLONSKI: This guy who's supposed to be reviewing our plans is on extended leave. I mean, it's ruining our lives.

FRIAS: Instead of picking faucets and fixtures, the Poblonskis are just trying to find out what's going on at the permit office.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "DIY PERMITS")

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: OK, Sandy Park.

POBLONSKI: Ma'am, I'm sorry, I was actually - I was - I was here next. I was waiting. I've been waiting for over one hour.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: I get - I get that. We've all been - we're all just waiting here. I'm going to need you...

SHEILA PARKSDALE: Look, there's a lot of visual challenge with this genre.

FRIAS: That's Sheila Parksdale, professor of reality TV studies at Barded University Online.

PARKSDALE: You've got a lot of waiting rooms, people on the phone. And you can't use a lot of the conventions of renovation shows' - before-and-after shots for one because they'd be as boring as [expletive].

FRIAS: But reality network producer John Smaligow disagrees. He says these types of shows are relatable.

JOHN SMALIGOW: These are real situations. They're full of emotion. There's logistical headaches. People are looking at their phones and they're thinking, like, is this insane, or is it me? And so, now, the audience and the stars can be together and face-palm with each other.

FRIAS: Smaligow says programs like "DIY Permits" show a lot of promise. In fact, he says, audiences can expect more in the coming months.

SMALIGOW: We're in talks right now to option a show called "Canceled." Maybe not this best name for the show, but it pits cable customers against one another.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "CANCELED")

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: Please tell me what you're calling about. For example, you can say billing.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: I want to cancel my cable.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: I'm sorry, I didn't get that. Did you mean extend my contract?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Cancel - cancel my contract.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: Did you mean sales?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Look.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEPING)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: Are you still there?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Hello?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: Goodbye.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Are you kidding me?

FRIAS: But back to "DIY Permits," and spoiler alert - at the end of the first episode, premiering today, the Poblonskis finally get the call they've been waiting for.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "DIY PERMITS")

POBLONSKI: This could be it.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Mrs. Poblonski?

POBLONSKI: Yes, yes?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Your building permit's been approved.

POBLONSKI: Aw, we - we are going to be right there to pick it up.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Unfortunately, we've just closed for the weekend, and then Monday's a federal holiday, and Tuesday...

POBLONSKI: We finally - we finally have our permit, but this process has pretty much sapped me of the will to live.

FRIAS: On TV, home renovations can make you feel like anything is possible. But now, reality shows like "DIY Permits" just remind you of how frustrating they can be. And if TV is supposed to be an escape, then this new kind of reality television may be too real. For NPR News, I'm Alex Frias. [Editor's note on April 4, 2016: You may have figured this out already -- this story was an April Fools' joke. It's not real. We hope you enjoyed it.]

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