Dream Home

Seven drives home the cost of living crisis with frazzled families in need of a reno -but the format is far too close to its last dalliance in the genre.

If you’re missing The Block, Seven’s Dream Home is here to help.

Or if you’re missing House Rules, it’s also a TV substitute. In many ways it is also a clone. I really struggled to find the difference between Seven’s former renovation show and it’s new-look entry, save for cheerful host Dr. Chris Brown in place of Johanna Griggs.

There are six pairs who will renovate each others’ homes, dividing up rooms for reno and following the design requests of the owners. In the old version they were the house ‘Rules.” Here they come in the form of a fancy video from one architecturally-informed couple, or in a homely hand-written letter from another.

The series underlines the current cost of living (you could almost make a drinking game from the number of times it’s referred to) and our Aussie familes / homeowners have got themselves into a right rut with crumbling, unappealing, crowded spaces. But Dr. Chris Brown is here to make their day by telling them they have made it onto the show (I reckon they secretly knew), before we fast-forward to blindfolds off and OMG / tears as they see the finished products.

“Let’s go and make some dreams come true!” -Chris Brown.

In episode one two Victorian-based homes will be made over by three teams together, one in Watsonia and the other in Northcote.

Like The Block, we have to see couples driving in cars for reasons that escape me -is it product placement? Is it because couples feel they are in private and let down their guard? I have no idea.

A floorplan is divided up at each site -but oddly it leaves out some of the rooms without any narration from Dr. Chris to explain why. At one site there’s a whole second level I don’t know who is renovating. Maybe that’s still to come?

There’s not a lot of detail on budgets nor time frames, although I did hear a reference to 10 days somewhere in the mix.

Like other reno shows, there is a bit of inspo, bickering, shopping, negotiating, and tears under pressure. And those obligatory pop choons.

There’s also two foremen at each site, builders Nick and Luca, and a bunch of unnamed laborers who are here to do the lion’s share of the construction.

To Dream Home‘s credit, there are so many walls being knocked down in these shells, that it’s not just a case of slapping paint on a House Rules wall. In this sense they do feel like larger builds than Seven’s predecessor.

Dr. Chris book-ends the first episode, as well as narrating, by visiting with the three judges, Lana, Simon and Rosie. For now it’s a largely introductory visit, given the couples are still in the sledgehammer stage of renovation. Literally.

Whilst there are hints of bigger builds and property porn houses by the end, this format really needs more difference from House Rules, and less cookie-cutter storytelling from The Block. Other reno shows, such as Grand Designs take a much deeper dive into the DIY and overcoming ambitions, but the reality genre is focussed on competition and clashing personalities.

Some have also questioned the diversity on Dream Home, but to be fair there appears to be a mix of heritage in contestants Brad, Jacinta, Jordan, as well judges Simon and Rosie.

For a show that is all about building from the ground up, this one really needed more original format beats to distinguish itself from others in the genre.

Dream Home screens Sunday – Tuesday on Seven.

14 Responses

  1. Dream Home is like a light version of the The Block. I will give it a go, because I’m interested in the genre, but I find The Block too much at times.

  2. I think that instead of judges that they should just go out and find random members of the public from the street at the end of the renovations and get them to judge the renovations and that way they will get independent and unbiased opinions of what has been done.

  3. I miss the good old days when we had more lifestyle shows about fixing houses and gardens. The likes of Room For Improvement, Changing Rooms, Backyard Blitz, Ground Force etc. These days, it’s the reality genre of fixing up houses (The Block, House Rules, Dream House etc), which focuses on everything except telling us viewers on how to fix up our property.

    I also don’t get why we see a lot of driving around on shows like The Block, singing along to the radio, or ordering a coffee from a sponsored shop. Looks like this show will be the same.

  4. It’s just a matter of which will do worse, Summit or Dream Home? I feel Seven will need a miracle for theirs to be a hit. Bring on DWTS, they’re also starting to tease Voice.

    1. Not bad for night one.

      Seven News Seven 2,318,000 1,363,000 54,000
      Dream Home Seven 2,253,000 950,000 64,000
      Travel Guides Nine 2,154,000 1,100,000 80,000

  5. Loved House Rules at first but the producers did it no favours by dividing up each house in the hope of creating conflict rather than doing what is best for the house (so rather than giving one couple the Master suite three couples would have the bedroom, en-suite and walk in robe along with other areas).

    Seems the main difference here is doing two houses at once, so will the house renovation phase just run for three weeks then followed by a final week of renovating the backyards?

  6. The best thing about this new show I believe is your review David. Some great lines in there 🙂 And it confirms there is no need to watch it!

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