It’s hard to keep up with pop-culture. Things emerge and disappear at such a whiplash pace that any single human-being running a comprehensive media blog might be forgiven for letting some exciting news slip through his fingers. The news in question? The July 31, 2018 release of NBC reality show, Making It. Hosted by none other than
Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman.
Seeing as the show premiered just last night, and the show’s YouTube channel has been up for like, four months or something, this hardly qualifies as “news.” But it’s recent enough for me to gush about it and to count my lucky stars that I even heard about this to begin with.
It looks like another competition-based reality show, but sharing its concept with some of the most popular videos on the internet right now: Arts and Crafts. Crafters are all over YouTube, from tutorials in homemaking to replicas of famous weaponry. Mythbusters alum Adam Savage has earned millions of views on his workshop-based web-show, Tested, where in one now-famous video he modified a nerf-gun to shoot 10,000 rounds of foam ammunition.
Crafting is popular, and there are few more recognized craftsmen than actor Nick Offerman.
In his role as Ron Swanson on NBC’s own Parks and Rec, Offerman played the character as a government-loathing, hard-work, and self-sustainability championing everyman – whose longing for the outdoors, a stiff glass of scotch, and resentment of all personal vulnerability made him an ideal Hemingway hero.
Though it’s known in real life that Offerman is quite a softy, the handyman he played on TV was a representation of his actual proficiency in woodworking and other crafts.
Enter: Amy Poehler.
Self-described in the new show’s promotional material as a bit of a layman, her role as co-host seems more to appeal to the audience’s sense of voyeurism. That kind of, “watcha makin’?” approach.
The set itself reminds me of PBS’s The Great British Baking Show. Craft-stations are set up in a smaller, less-industrial environment with soft lighting and brighter colors. The promo also suggests a more friendly and cooperative approach to competition rather than the cutthroat and demoralizing bickering of other, more Ramsey-ish reality television shows.
All of this seems to act as the contrarian response to the acidity present in the modern social-discourse. Poehler at one point addresses this in the trailer, saying outright that the show is more about bringing people together over a shared love of creativity and artistry – rather than personal gain. In-keeping with the unshakeable optimism from other notable works in Poehler’s career, this might become the reality TV show to watch.
A little togetherness, Poehler says, is exactly what we need right now.
There’s an audience for crafts online, and people have certainly been pining for more Parks and Rec. This could be a hit, especially considering just how far the show’s cast has launched into the pop-culture spotlight since the show ended. Stars Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Aziz Ansari, Rashida Jones, Rob Lowe, and Adam Scott have all seen success in prominent roles for other shows and feature films.
Anyways, let’s see how this works out for Amy and Nick and their band of professional crafters. I’d be tickled to death if we got at least one scene of our two co-hosts chowing down on waffles at a local diner. Tickled. To. Death.
Making It premiered July 31, and airs every Tuesday at 10/9c after America’s Got Talent, on NBC.