Dare To Repair, a Do-It-Herself Guide to Home
Improvement on DVD
Billed as a Do-it-Herself Guide to Home Improvement,
this rather sexist-sounding disc is actually a fairly good introduction to the
wonders (okay, maybe that isnt the best term!) of home repair.
Dare to Repair is a DVD of a PBS show hosted by Julie Sussman and
Stephanie Glakas-Tenet, a couple of seemingly ordinary women whose husbands
have jobs that keep them away for a lot of the time. Glakas-Tenets
husband, interestingly enough, is George Tenet, former head of the CIA in the
United States, a position we can well imagine would leave him with little time
to fix a faucet.
Sussman and Glakas-Tenet open the show with bios of themselves,
outlining what possessed them to put on a tool belt in the first place
(desperation and helplessness, mostly, coupled with that so-American can
do attitude) then launch into a series of segments that, while so basic
even this "repair-challenged" reviewer already knew the material, are a good
launching pad into the wonderful world of home repair.
And simple the subject matter is, yet important. They start out by
telling the live and at-home audience where to look for the homes main
circuit panel and water main shut off. Then they show you how to handle such
tasks as fixing a garbage disposal, unplugging a toilet, balancing a washing
machine, and more.
They make it very easy and understandable (not that the tasks
arent anyway, once youve done them once) and with their easy and
friendly delivery they take a lot of the potential for intimidation out of the
subject matter. And while the show is obviously aimed at women, though they do
pay lip service to the male half of the population, its information that
could save anyone hundreds of dollars (if not much more) over the years
regardless of sex or lack of.
The ladies even leave the studio for a couple of jaunts to
locations. One is to visit the home of a military wife and help her get up to
speed with home repairs. It works well because it shows real world examples of
what theyve been illustrating in the studio but, because theyve
already illustrated it in the studio, its rather repetitive.
The other jaunt is much more valuable because they visit a
hardware store and show you what to look for in a variety of basic tools such
as screw drivers, hammers and wrenches (wenches with wrenches? Sorry,
couldnt resist the pun!)
Neither of these women comes off as slick and/or professional in
the typically TV host kind of way, but that actually works to the
programs benefit because we get to watch real people with real homes
tackle real problems. And despite their non-professionalism, their
delivery is just fine and they sprinkle their presentations with enough humor
and personal anecdotes to keep it interesting and human.
The DVD is presented in full frame video, which isnt 16x9 TV
compatible, so owners of widescreen TVs prone to burn in will want to
stretch/zoom the picture to fill the screen from corner to corner, but
thats okay. You wont be destroying any widescreen vistas here.
Picture quality is fine.
Audio is Dolby Digital and its as good as you need from such
There are no extras.
Dare To Compare, a Do-It-Herself Guide to Home Improvement, from
Paramount Home Entertainment
75 min. full frame (1.33:1, not 16x9 TV
compatible), Dolby Digital
Hosted by Julie Sussman & Stephanie
Produced by Roynn Lisa Simmons, Directed by Ed Gonsalves
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