The third season of the new show is available on Netflix.
The new team has dropped "for the straight guy" from their title because they makeover as many women as men and they're not always straight.
I'm hooked on this third season. They're picking their subjects with greater care toward people who are psychologically stuck. I must say it is fun watching the team inhabit the lives of their subjects and get them out of the spot that they're in. They're a lot better than previous seasons at getting people to see how they're holding themselves back. Most have suffered some kind of psychologic tragedy that clipped them. Through play and by challenges the men pull their subjects out of their rut and push them forward into the unknown. Seeing the observable changes in people really is touching. One senses the changes are lasting. They each say, "you changed me."
Then again, a large part of the change has to do with changing the environment and that would not be possible without the production budget that is considerable. It's enough to upgrade every room of their homes. They upgrade their yards and their whole restaurant. When comparing with what these subjects could have done for themselves without the crew, there isn't much without serious loans and nothing without expert advice. So it's not all just snapping someone out of their slump.
They're great at showing people their own worth, getting people to care for themselves. They show people how to do that; how to dress, how to pick out clothes, how to apply personal hygiene, how to cook, how to socialize.
In one episode they played back a recording of all the instances of the man speaking about himself. Self-depreciating humor is one thing, self-awareness of one's shortcomings another, but this guy was made to realize that he was actually being self-abusive. He broke down hearing himself talking about himself. He's too kind to do that to another person. Hearing himself changed him. He stopped being so cruel to himself.
In another episode the same crew member (who's the most serious and bit of a drag) had his subject stack crates representing things that he thinks have held him back; my mother died, crate, I'm overweight, crate, I'm shy, crate, my self image is low, crate, and so on until a he had constructed a wall of crates. Now the psychologist is one one side and the subject on the other and the camera peeks through the slats of the crates. "I can only see a sliver of your face." The psychologist had the subject build a physical wall that showed the subject the psychological barriers he had build between himself and the world.
The subject is twenty-one year-old black male who had his older sister worried he was boxing himself in. And he was. The crew broke him out and got him socializing confidently with people who share his interests and that required changing his environment, his hygiene, his wardrobe, his cooking skills, his diet, and his willingness to face challenge and socialize.
A seriously scruffy scrawny white dude cleans up his act, becomes a man, a genuine father and reconnects with his son. Viewers observe the man actually change. His posture, his manner, his appearance, his ways all change as he grows into a new person right before our eyes.
Another man lost his wife and is raising their two young sons. He became stuck in his situation and the sorrow that hung like a pall cast over his family. The crew broke him out and into his new home that gave rightful homage to his wife and the boy's mother.
A gorgeous young lesbian black girl was rejected by her adoptive family and kicked out of the house at age sixteen. Her place was a sad dump, her prospects slim. She had no connection whatsoever to her past. She had a sister who she kept at arm's length out of fear of rejection. The crew basically gave her a new life. They brought out her own genuine beauty and showed it to her. They reconnected her to her sister who was waiting for such an opportunity. The crew took the sisters to genealogy society and researched their history. They showed her how to host her new chosen family of friends. This young woman has it all together. She's strong and beautiful and cheerful, and hot. But she was stuck in sadness and self-doubt and the crew pulled her out and pushed her forward.
All this action is taking place in Kansas City.
Another case is two sisters running a bbq shack with a good deal of family history. But they could take it only so far then became stuck. They couldn't make enough bbq sauce to satisfy demand so they stopped offering it. They couldn't expand their shack or use their lot to its full advantage. Their hygiene and wardrobes were disasters and their socialization was nil. They were both stuck slaving away in their shack at a very low level but still filling a spot in their neighborhood. The crew descended on them and expanded their world in all ways possible. The key was having their secret sauce produced elsewhere and made available to customers. They gave these two women new expanded lives.
The woman who wears only camouflage is a great episode.
That's as far as I've got. I'm still watching. I'm going to be sad when I get to the end of this season because it's fun watching people allow others to help them lift themselves up. Kudos to their great selection of subjects. Apparently the show gets a lot of nominations and whoever does the selections is doing a fantastic job. They know what to look for in people willing to work to bring needed change into their life in ways that have viewers examine their own.