TV show appeals to many people

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 23, 2002

What brought together 200 people, young and old, men and women, adults and children this weekend?

The President of the United States?

Well, no. He attracted 5,000.

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Give up?

Trading Spaces.

Genevieve Gorder from Trading Spaces spoke at the Home and Garden Show in Minneapolis this weekend.

For those of you that don't know, Trading Spaces is a show on TLC about neighbors who switch houses and redecorate a room with the help of a designer. They have two days and $1,000 to complete the project.

The Home and Garden show features vendors with many items for, well, your home and garden. Those, like me, who rent an apartment and can barely keep two indoor plants alive, wouldn't have much reason to go the show if it weren't for the Trading Spaces celebrity.

Since it was a home improvement show, Genevieve did show some techniques that were -- literally -- easy enough for a child to do. Even I could handle those projects.

But the real reason everyone was there was to get the scoop on the show and the people.

For the record:

n Designers do not get to keep any left over money from the project.

n The crew does not go out and party when they leave for the night. When the cameras are shut off, they actually help the homeowners get ahead enough to be able to finish their "homework."

n The two new designers were added so that they could make 20 more episodes

n Genevieve is not dating Ty. "He's all yours," she said.

n Actually, no one is dating anyone on the show, she said. Although she made it seem like no one is dating anyone right now. "We got all that out of the way," she said in her vague response.

Why the interest in the show?

It all started when my college roommate got me hooked.

I would watch it casually at first and then had to sit through the whole episode, critiquing the designers choices. Groaning as host Paige Davis squawked about how great a design was. Laughing at the adorable carpenter Ty Pennington's jokes.

Oh jeez … I am a dork.

So being with other Trading Spaces fans Sunday made me feel little less dorky about whispering "Time's up!" to my friend when Genevieve was late for her talk Sunday.

I'm not alone in thinking the show is great. For a cable show it's doing pretty darn well. Trading Spaces ranked third among ad-sponsored cable shows last week.

For those that do watch it, they know the appeal of seeing a room transformed. Seeing the homeowners' reactions is undoubtably the best part of the show. What will they do when they see that designer Hilda put straw on the walls?

What will they think of the pink and white circus tent their living room has become?

Genevieve responded to a question Sunday about design choices by saying, "In design, there is no right or wrong answer."

That's the beauty of the show. Everyone can watch it and get something out of it. Even if they hate how a room turned out. Even if they are "forced" to watch it with their girlfriends/fiances/wives.

That's why people from all ages, backgrounds and stages in life showed up to see Genevieve Sunday.

And to find a television show that does that is pretty rare.