What to say if you like it
A stirring tale of triumph over adversity, as unemployed, untrained teenagers overcome incompetence and internal friction to build an enduring monument to their fortitude (a “luxury” flat in south London).
What to say if you didn’t like it
The detritus of English youth are dumped together in one location to exhibit their negligible worth to humanity in vulgar, vicarious victuals for vile viewers.
What was good about it?
• Project manager Phil Ashton is a decent considerate professional, who is perhaps learning as many new skills as his novice builders by having to arbitrate between fractious puerile teenagers.
• The graphic representation of the flat to illustrate what the teenagers need to accomplish on each step of the project was clear and informative.
• It was difficult to pick out the teenagers who appeared to be pleasant and competent as they hardly got a look in, but David, Hannah and Laurence seem to be in that category.
What was bad about it?
• The whole concept of building is very, very dull.
• It’s very difficult to feel empathy with the teenagers as only those who caused trouble got much airtime – the emotionally distraught and inept Dan, apprentice thug Ricky, sanctimonious Zac, tardy Gregory and gobby troublemaker Lauren.
• The teenagers were almost all characterised through the editing in a negative manner, either through lack of ability or emotional fragility.
• As with many other reality shows, the whole show is wreathed in an aura of amoral manipulation. Throwing together 10 teenagers for an almost incidental task they are ill-suited to perform was bound to cause bitter conflict. Plus, the bonus pool of £50,000 that is reduced for each individual misdemeanour is designed to increase the tension as the hard workers feel resentful to their lazier colleagues.