Aus Dopers: What's the deal with this TV show?

From this article, about a new Fox reality show.

How could this possibly be that popular? I think the article must be leaving something out.

It’s based on [url=]‘The Block’. It was shown over here too, and involved home renovation. There were three hot couples and a two guys (gay). Never got into it.

The more localised reality shows get made here, the more they manufacture its popularity, and the audience falls for it and starts to believe they are worth watching.

The trick in The Block is to have couples who are good-looking, are likely to be contentious between each couple, and between each other within the couple. It isn’t about renovations, it’s all about the arguments and stupid mistakes.

I agree, it’s a stupid idea. But if they promote it right, stupidity of an idea is irrelevant.

Was pretty popular, making the Nine network a nice packet of cash. It gained a lot of publicity due to the fact it involved a gay couple in what was marketed as a family show - some didn’t like that, of course. I think the renovated apartments sold for an insanely high sum.

It seems to appeal to a homeowner’s real life situation and dream:

I buy a house. With limited funds I decorate it and improve upon it. When I sell it, I hope I make a big profit. And, I have to do all this with my signifant other.

Can you tap into the middle class any better than this?


Nope, that pretty much describes The Block. A crossover of Big Brother and renovation shows, enormously popular here (not that I saw it, but you could not escape).

The couples were fairly photogenic, and one was gay, as someone’s already mentioned, for a bit of extra spice. Seems to me that was a good thing, portraying gays as just normal folks with normal lives, rather than as seen on Will & Grace or QEFTSG.

Much of the money the TV stations make from it comes from people phoning in on toll-lines to vote for their favourites.

The prices the units went for were a bit over the odds but not enormously so, just to contradict Gerome a little.

I hate to admit it, but I was very addicted to The Block. I’m a sucker for reality television, I don’t know why though, but the Block was just such an appealing programme.

I think it had just the right mix of reality, renovations, decorating, dramas, back-stabbing, and bitching. Throw in the 3 blonde bimbos, a token gay couple and lots of free alcohol and you’ve got yourself a very, very popular show!

I seem to remember from the final show when they auctioned the units off that at least one corporation “Crazy Johns Mobile Phones” got involved in the bidding - getting the company a heap of publicity. Also wasn’t some of the money raised sent to charity?

I believe that Crazy John was going to donate all profits made in rent from his apartment to charity.

It also helps that Sydney - where The Block was filmed is obsessed with property investment and renovation. The whole country is in a property boom at the moment, and Sydney is the centre of that boom.

It was par for the course, for a while, that you could buy any dump in Sydney, and if you renovated it and waited 6 months, you could make a huge profit.

moriah’s got it right, but it more appeals to the small time investor. And the middle class are increasingly becoming small time investors - “gotta get my nest egg for retirement.”

Thanks, I knew you would manage on my incredibly vague description. Sometimes the SDMB is better than Google!

It does sound like it all just clicked over there, and that the chance of it working over here is nearly nil.