May 28, 2004

Newsflash: Living in 1628 is hard work So that big reality show that had us all on the edge of our seat is finally over: that's right Colonial House! This is the latest in a series of programs done joinly with PBS and Channel 4 in the UK that explores what it would be like to live in a certain historical time period - modern people try to recreate that time with as much accuracy as possible. Hilarity, controversy and awesomeness insue (with video diaries!).

The first in the series was 1900 House (in US), which was followed by a favorite of mine, Manor House (in UK). Manor House really focused on the 'Upstairs, Downstairs' world of the Edwardian period and was riveting for the way people really started to become their roles. Frontier House (US) took it in a new direction, namely, the pioneering 1880s. Finally, that brings us to Colonial House (in US, but with a mixed US/UK cast). Throughout all of the projects, they bring in people of all ages and races (even kids!) and really try to explore what their position and heritage means for them. As far as I know, us Americans haven't yet gotten Regency House, where young maidens try to snag a husband in true Austen fashion, or 1940 House, which focuses on Britian in wartime, but I can't wait. Maybe I'll get get the DVDs.

  • I was disappointed in both Colonial House and Frontier House. All those people did was whine. What did they expect?
  • Pish Posh! Those 17th century colonials had it too easy! For a more challenging living experience, I'm looking forward to 950 House, with Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. (Link goes to Regia Anglorum, an early-medieval living history group) Or better yet, throw the cast naked into the wilderness, and recreate "Quest for Fire".
  • It's just like any reality show, I guess - you love to hate the whiny people. It was interesting to see where they came together as a villiage, and what drove the apart. When one servant came out the closet it was pretty much a non-issue, but when one family decided to boycott the Sabbath, it almost tore the show apart.
  • *them apart, of course, and out of the closet. D'oh!
  • I enjoyed Frontier House much more than Colony House. The Frontier seemed more intimate and that we got to know the people better than in the Colony. However, I have to say that the one that Canada did where they spent an entire year on the plains was the best by far. Two families for an entire year made it much more intersting than just the 3 months or whatever the PBS/BBC ones.
  • A year?!? Long-suffering Mother of Lunacy, NO!
  • After some looking I found the name of the Canadian series. It was Pioneer Quest. I couldn't find an official site for the show though.
  • I loved Frontier House. I loved to hate Colonial House. I think they rushed through some of the episodes. I would have liked to see more information about how they managed to do things throughout the day. I thought the Heinz's were pompous and self-important and were not playing along well. Neither were other families, though. They were supposed to be in the 17th century, NOT the 21st so 21st ideals were supposed to be left on the boat. Not that I'd do any better in the same situation. But to make it harder, apparently a producer visited them all every week bringing a bit of 21st century with her so they never were totally immersed in the time period anyway. I could have done without the closeup of the contents of the chamberpot, though.
  • jccalhoun, for Colonial House, it was 6 months - I think that's the standard.
  • I think the NZ Colonial House was six months, from arriving in Lyttelton via steamship to walking over the hills to Christchurch proper, to building a cottage and running a farm.
  • Future Possibles: 1) "Crack House." ...mix 10 twenty-somethings with 5 pounds of rock; add guns and take a big hit of FUN! 2) "Bau Haus." ...eight hours of German families folding construction paper. Liesl has a stapler--but will she share? 3) "Out House." ...a sleeper hit-- midgets with spastic colons seek a better life indoors, away from the spiders. 4) "Ronald MacDonald House." ...furries Tivo alert! Lots of Grimace/Hamburgler action! (and sick little kids, but they're, like, already asleep.)
  • Pioneer Quest was indeed the best of the lot. Colonial House was probably my least favorite because you didn't get to know the people, really...and they did nothing but bitch.