August 01, 1988 12:00 PM

PBS (Check local listings)


And here is a PBS clone of Home that is slightly more informative but every bit as twinkie thanks to overwritten, over-rehearsed, overacted scripts that are filled with the kind of casual, real-life chatter you hear from presenters at the Academy Awards. Host Gordon (WKRP) Jump stands in a kitchen to introduce a segment on tile, and then we hear a reporter say, “Tile…talk about a time-tested product!…in everything from cathedrals to condos!…in all sizes and shapes!” Aw, shut up and caulk! Finally, the reporter, a home owner and her friend the contractor (we should all be so lucky) do get around to installing the tile. They skip a lot of details—you shouldn’t go running into the kitchen with confidence and a trowel after you watch. But if you can ignore all their gab and the bad brunch music in the background, you can at least get an idea of what the job would be like. Next in this particular episode comes a good gardening segment about planting lettuce indoors and then a bad gardening segment in which some expert finds too many ways to tell us that planting peas adds nitrogen to the soil. Wake me up when the harvest is in. Finally, Gordon invites us to “a good old-fashioned pasta party.” Yeah, just like Gramma and Grandpa used to have in their log cabin: “Sonny, will you mosey out to the back 40 ‘n’ fetch them tomatoes I been a sun-dryin’?” This segment, taped in a kitchen filled with too many people who smile too much, looks more like a remedial sorority party. It looks like hell. But at least I did learn a little bit about laying kitchen tile. In another episode I learned that you can barbecue pizza—though I didn’t learn why you would want to—and I saw how to lay a brick patio. Here is the perfect home show to record on your VCR so you can skip the many bad segments and learn a little from the few good ones.

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