Construction Intervention

Jodi, Come Visit Us!

Out of nowhere, I received an email from the Discovery Channel.  Ummm….that was exciting, because I love the Discovery Channel.  I was hoping maybe Jaime Hyneman or Adam Savage from Mythbusters had intuited that my family was bingeing on episode after episode of their series and they maybe wanted to say, “Hey, thanks for the support!  Come visit us!  We’ll let you blow something up.”  And then I would put the computer down, put my helmet and Kevlar vest on, and be on my way.

Alas, it was not, but it was an invitation.  I was invited to screen an episode of “Construction Intervention“.  The episode chosen for my eyes was based in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook, which I can walk to from my cute little hood of Carroll Gardens.  And though I’m a little, “uhhhh….hmmmm” because the title has the word “Construction” in it, I still think well that’s nice for Discovery Channel to care what I think so, YES.  CHOOSE ME, I WILL WATCH, AND I WILL REPORT BACK!

Construction Intervention is a new series which seems to be going for the union of “Extreme Home Makeover” and “Hell’s Kitchen”.  But instead of mean foul-mouthed Gordon Ramsey or impossibly cute and sweet Ty Pennington, you get gravel-voiced Charlie Frattini. He’s Brooklyn through and through (Which honestly I just love.  These gruff Brooklyn dudes with hearts-of-gold?  Cute as a button.  I wanna pinch his cheeks.)  He’s backed up by a team of blue-collar loyalists, the most endearing being a guy named Beaman who says Frattini gives him “uplifting words” as you hear Frattini losing it in the background.  Classic.

C'mon, I dare youse. Pinch my cheeks.

The premise of the show brings a dream-team of construction workers, contractors, designers, expeditors, architects and whoever else works in the industry (have I mentioned I know nothing of construction?  Can you believe I know what an “expeditor” is?) together to swoop in and save a small businesses who are trapped in construction nightmares.  The Red Hook business to be saved was a wine store called Botta Di Vino.  The plot is summarised thusly:

Charlie helps newlyweds Jeff and Triciann who are broke and frustrated after spending this past year and their life savings trying to open dream wine shop in Red Hook Brooklyn New York.

So I can get behind that.  I’ve been a small business owner, I’ve been a newlywed, I’ve been broke, and I’ve been frustrated.  But the result – newlyweds Jeff and Triciann just do not do a thing for my heartstrings which are seriously dying to be plucked.  I want to care about them and be happy for this big rescue, but what comes across is a couple who has wasted the past year and over $30,000 on essentially arguing with each other, and putting their contractor in the middle of things.  Jeff and Triciann kind of make me a little cuckoo.

Still – Construction Intervention has actually very little to do with the story of Jeff and Triciann, and gets its momentum from Frattini.  He is overbearing (at one point demanding that a vendor look him in the eyes, actually pulling his face towards him.  Awkward.) and he is dramatic but if I had a need to be saved from a construction k-hole, I’d totally want to have Team Frattini behind me.  He seems to have an answer to every set back, and does absolutely know what a deadline is.  How often does that actually happen in construction?

Construction Intervention: Botta Di Vino will air Friday night, May 07, at 10:00 EST pm, on the Discovery Channel.  I’ve seen signs around the corner from my house where they’re filming a new episode taking place in this pharmacy that has been closed for years and years.  I’d say it’s safe to say I may be hooked on this show because I’m sort of stalking the scene – we’ll see if they invite me back to screen another one.  Let me know what you think of the series, and if you get a chance to watch this episode, let me know if you take it in the same way I did.

[In other “Huh?  Really?  Why you?” news – I’ve been invited to interview Musician and Actor and all around awesomeness Common next week.  I’m planning on asking him if he’ll run away with me.  Check back for the results.]

15 thoughts on “Construction Intervention

  1. I’ve seen this show before, but not the episode you watched. I noticed a lot of yelling by the HBIC, but also couldn’t help but like him. Must be the Brooklyn pinch your cheeks thing. I love that. I wonder if he’ll let you if you finally meet him? Please keep us informed.

  2. Sounds awesome to ME! I love most all of that type of show. As long as they are doing real construction and not cardboard backgrounds to give the appearance of makeover bliss.

  3. Ooooooh! Ive been dying to know what was up w/ that pharmacy ! I’ll be watching the show. Thanks for the recco!

  4. I’m in the beginning phases of a major construction project– well, I say “I’m” but I should say “we” and by “we” I really mean my partner, myself, and our general contractor.

    Who told us at our first meeting: “This will be a trying time for your relationship. I do couples counseling on Saturdays, but that’s not included in my builder’s fee.”

    I think he meant it. Not that he’s a certified counselor, but he’s done enough work for couples to know what sort of stress it puts on a relationship.

    Now, I know this project will not be easy. HOWEVER: I want it done, and that means compromise on some things, and that also means communicating clearly. And realizing that we all have a common goal here, which is to have a nice house to move back into at the end.

    Sounds like the couple in the show are more in love with the process than with the goal. Which means they needed someone like your Brooklyn Boy to come in and set them straight.

    This sounds like a show I can actually get in to! 🙂 Keep us posted on the pharmacy build, and I can’t wait to watch the show– we may see you lurking in the background!

  5. Tiny – oh man that’d probably be a great way to get in trouble – I promise, if I ever see the guy, I’ll give it my best shot.

    Kat – Yeh this is no “Trading Spaces”. They’re tearing up foundations and floors and really get a lot done in four days. Kind of makes you wonder why it takes so long for most projects to get done….hmmmm…

    Liza – I heard it’s going to be an Egg Cream place? Could be wrong….hope I’m right!

    Kristen T – Well you’re super brave to start that project. I remember when my husband and I were remodeling our kitchen and bathroom, I thought we’d never make it through it. You’re contractor is right. You’re spot on about compromise – that seems to be the key. Good luck with your project! Hope it goes by speedy-quick!

  6. Very cool that you have a show like this in your neighborhood!

    My wife and I redecorated a small bathroom at my parents’ house just before getting married. No one talked at the dinner table until the two of us talked to each other. My parents weren’t sure we’d still get married, considering how our communications were going during the project. Many lessons learned, including never never never wallpaper a small bathroom.

  7. Jodi if I were an executive at a giant company, I’d get you to write reviews of everything we did. I love this post, and I never read movie or tv reviews. Keep it coming!

  8. Man, starting any business in Redhook is just asking for it unless a reality show can somehow make you into Ikea or Fairway or build you a little subway platform.
    I say that with incredible fondness for that ‘hood and its key lime pies.

  9. Wait a minute. What’s wrong with Trading Spaces? I yearn for those horrendous country kitchen patterns and sky high hung curtains and quilted headboards.

  10. For those interested in following this awesome addition to our charming neighborhood, please Like/Friend:

    Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain

    Opening in early June and promising the best egg creams in Brooklyn!

  11. Wow, I don’t think I can recall the Vermont Pharmacy ever being open.

    But now that I think of it, I have trouble remembering what I did yesterday. Hope I can remember to see how its egg cream compares to Tom’s.

  12. JEB – it’s funny what a big thing a small project can become, huh? Glad you guys got through it. Good advice on the wallpaper front.

    Emily – well go out there and become an executive lady! I’ll take the job!

    Lor – yuuuuuummm……key…..lime…..pie

    Ryan – oh man I watched that show a lot, truthfully. My favorite person to hate was that grumpy somewhat old man decorator. Awful stuff, in the best way.

    TC – you ALWAYS have the 411 on everything. How do you do that?

    Leroy – I’m thinking the Grand Opening on the 14th of May will be a nice time to give those Egg Creams a shot? I hope it’s great – looks really nice from what I can see in the photos!

  13. Oh my god, the Red Hook wine shop is the worst! It’s the least Red Hook place imaginable and is just not connecting with the locals. The woman who runs it seems obnoxious and the place looks so kountry kitchen/faux tuscan cheeseball with a TV and a bunch of crappy, super-commercial books. Nobody is ever there, despite its great location. The wine store down the street, Dry Dock, on the other hand, is just what the neighborhood ordered. Better vibe, selection, tastings, attitude, prices. My Red Hook friends and I are counting the days until Botta di Whatever shuts down and the space becomes useful. Yuck!

  14. Como seria bom se aqui no Brasil houvesse u programa igual rs, nota 10. 😉

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