Making It: Full first season thread
August 6, 2018 1:43 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Notorious woodworker/crafter Nick Offerman and notorious-noncrafter Amy Poehler host a feel good show about making stuff. Full first season discussion here.
posted by jenfullmoon (58 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
In the first episode, they seem to be using a short-challenge/long-challenge format common to many competitive reality shows, where the second, longer challenge determines who is eliminated. Typically in this format, the winner of the short challenge receives some kind of advantage in the long challenge, but here the short challenge winner received only a patch, with no indication yet of any meaning to the patch other than having won the short challenge. I assume the patches have to have some significance to the competition at some point during the season — otherwise, why have the short challenges at all — and I'm curious to see what that will be.

I really liked some of the side bits with just Nick and Amy, maybe even as much as the competition itself.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:15 PM on August 6, 2018

This show is currently streaming on Hulu in the USA. I hope people in other regions post in this thread on how they can watch it in their own areas. I wish this information was included in the main post, but it is easy to add it as a comment. :)
posted by seasparrow at 2:32 PM on August 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'd like more information about the projects. How much planning did they get to do ahead of time, for example. And technical stuff about how they're made.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:07 PM on August 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

The show seems to be using the Great British Bake-off / Baking Show template, where all / both of the crafts come into play in making the decision of who wins for the week and who goes home. At least that’s the vibe I got from watching it last week.
posted by thecaddy at 6:53 PM on August 6, 2018

It was quite enjoyable --- my crafty wife and I really liked it
posted by davidmsc at 11:34 PM on August 6, 2018

I thought this was adorable, and I don't usually watch reality shows at all. Nick and Amy just seem like two old friends who are doing this on a lark, and I like the overall positive attitude -- as of Ep 1 there hasn't been any shots of contestants trash-talking each other, and in fact they seemed to help each other out when time was running out.

I don't really know why they have to do the "eliminate someone every episode" thing, they treated that like an unavoidable Rule of Television but I think it could have worked without it.

The judges were OK although I disagreed with about 100% of their choices. But I'm rooting for the technical skills (that intricate japanese "quilt" design was awesome) and they're looking at other aspects, which is fine.

I was unclear exactly how much time they had to do the big project... Was it days? Hours?

Loved the instant absolutely perfect chemistry between Nick and Amy. They obviously improvised a lot of their bits, and I could watch them improvise for hours even without the rest of the show.

Oh, one other good thing -- they didn't have the horrible reality TV recaps where they say "Before the commercial, Glen was working on this and Bob was worried about that. Here's a clip of Bob talking about it that we literally saw five minutes ago."

Jeffery's backstory about his family abandoning him when he came out was tragic, but nothing felt like the kind of heartstring-tugging emotional manipulation they do in shows like Shark Tank and Undercover Boss. I like how they revealed backstory about the contestants in bits and pieces during the competition rather than having a five-minute montage for each one.
posted by mmoncur at 4:20 AM on August 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

I've been looking forward to this show for a long time. I'm a fan of Jimmy Diresta, who worked on the show as a "workshop assistant" or something like that. He's been talking about it on his podcast for a long time how. You can briefly spot him in one of the woodshop scenes though it looks like he's been left on the cutting room floor for the most part. I assume this Will it Saw bit is web-only.

Nick and Amy are the best. Such great chemistry between them.

The editing seems a bit off, which makes some of the jokes and laughter seem a bit forced, but that's my only real criticism of the show. They have a lot to squeeze into an hour so I get why they had to cut out a beat here and there that would improve the timing.

I loved some of the projects, especially that shadow puppet theater and the Japanese wood "quilt."
posted by bondcliff at 7:13 AM on August 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

I don't really know why they have to do the "eliminate someone every episode" thing, they treated that like an unavoidable Rule of Television but I think it could have worked without it.

That is an unavoidable Rule of Television these days. The masses love elimination and "sending someone home" (though "hang out with Nick and Amy" sounds like an awesome way to do that). It may also be a rule of Game Show television, because a show has to have certain criteria to count as a game show. If you remember the snark on Whose Line Is It Anyway about "the points don't matter," that is specifically so that the show counts as a "game show" and is cheaper to make--I heard this from taking a workshop with Laura Hall.

Okay, back to crafting since I watched this show again!

I loved how other contestants (and Amy) helped each other and that was totally okay with everyone. And that two of them did bees and were awesomely fine with that, while Amy was all "fire in the hole!" Crafters are (almost always) such nice people. I was also impressed that Amber and Jeff had "real" (probably boring) careers and managed to turn crafting into one. I have no idea how to do that, but also I have zero business sense, so.

I normally hate reality TV most of the time these days but this would have been a show I would have wanted to be on. Except I looked at the application and when it said "show us your social media," I was all, "I'm out, I know what they are selecting on and it's your online popularity." (Definitely clear with Amber and Robert since they seem to have craft careers from blogging/vlogging.)

I absolutely love "show us your secret beast," that makes me ridiculously happy to think about. I loved those. I really liked how well done everything was* for the most part and how innovative. I assume they were told ahead of time to bring family pictures and heirlooms to cut up?

* Jemma....seriously, if you bled on a project, either go soak it in water and/or just take that piece out of your hoop quilt. If she'd just left that one out and a few others out and left it with 3 rows of hoops, it wouldn't have looked so obviously not done yet!

I don't know what I would have done for these crafts myself. I suspect my secret beast is either a unicorn, cat or rabbit and 2 out of 3 were done here :P Or maybe I should have done an octopus since I am pretty much this one. Anyone else have thoughts on their secret beast?

I really felt for Jeff because of how horrible his family was and having to do this sort of project had to make him feel bad. Then again, I don't know what I would do for a sentimental family project anyway since mine is not exactly close and loving with lots of photos to share either.

I totally agreed with the winning pieces both times. Awesomely well done.

I haven't found too much commentary on the show, sadly, but here's a few links.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:29 AM on August 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

I appreciated that they didn’t say “spirit animal.” And that they were “patches,” not “badges,” but that’s a super nitpicky Girl Scouting thing.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:14 AM on August 7, 2018 [8 favorites]

I found it a bit cloying (and I've been rewatching Great British Bakeoff, so I know from cloying). But I would like this to succeed!
posted by ChuraChura at 1:47 PM on August 7, 2018

Jeffery's backstory about his family abandoning him when he came out was tragic, but nothing felt like the kind of heartstring-tugging emotional manipulation they do in shows like Shark Tank and Undercover Boss.

After many seasons of American Ninja Warrior, I am quite numb to the 5 minute montage of someone overcoming adversity. Jeffery telling that horrible story about the wreath and then getting on with making his art was far more inspiring.
posted by Gary at 6:08 PM on August 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


It's week 2!

Faster Craft: make a terrarium of your home. I think this one sounds fun. Though if I made one of my home, I would uh...seriously want to put a mushroom cloud on mine because we have nukes. If Simon thinks abandoned highways are dark, wait until he meets me :P

I like how Billy is recreating his brother having beer poured on his head (with crutches), which is a hoot, but I do have to agree that the monster thing didn't look great...not that I know anything about Fenway Park, but the real life thing didn't look spectacular either. I enjoyed the glitter Golden Gate Bridge of Amber's, I think she's my favorite. Jeff's family issues were brought back a bit. I gotta give Khiem points for originality.

I do wonder on whether or not to use your "special skill" or not here. Judges go back and forth on "hey, you branched out from felt but um" or "hey you should branch out from balsa" and it's like, what do you WANT?

Amber wins the terrarium, which I am pleased with.

Master Craft: make a kid's fort and a toy.

Oh, Jeff. When he was all, "I hate this, I am redoing it within 2 hours," I was choking. Dude, as Tim Gunn would say, MAKE IT WORK. You get docked if it "looks bad" (not that I saw it up close but the paint looked fine on TV) and you get docked if it looks last minute. Though to be fair, a cloud palace is a fairly nice save.

Robert, aren't that into gray. Or tangrams. Everyone's got totally blank faces with those (I remember them though)! As for Khiem's spaceship, Simon sure knows how to give an...interestingly kind of insulting compliment for them.

I enjoyed Amber's "quirkus," that might be my favorite of the bunch. The butterfly fort is also amazeballs.

Billy and his taco truck win, in a stunning comeback! Jeff is booted for last minuteness and overall lack of color. Sigh. I enjoyed him. Oh well.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:32 AM on August 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

Thank you for setting up this show! I adore it. Amy and Nick are magic. My only quibble is that I wish there were different judges each week. Simon does not like Khiem's aesthetic and it really sticks out on a show that is so overly warm.

Effing tangrams. We did them every day of fourth grade and since then even seeing them now evokes feelings of fierce boredom. But I adored how Robert used the tangram designs on the geodesic dome.

I'm sorry Jeff went out, I really think he's super talented and that his parents deserve a few more weeks of being exposed as monsters on prime time network TV. I think I'm rooting for Amber and Jo now.
posted by kimberussell at 10:03 AM on August 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Just watched week 2, I pretty much agreed with the judges this time. I'll miss Jeff but it was really clear that his last-minute changes didn't work on the big project.

I didn't really like anything Billy did before, but that taco truck really worked. It was the only "fort" that I could really imagine kids playing with all day. (Contrast Nicole's butterfly, which I'd actually appreciate seeing if it was in an art museum, but I'm not sure what a kid would do with it.)

Diresta made an appearance!

I loved the "Nick wants to eat everything" running gag throughout the episode.

I'm not a huge fan of the judges -- Dayna seems contractually obligated to say "X is a huge trend on Etsy right now" once per episode, and Simon seems a tiny bit like the "reality TV insult judge" like certain other people named Simon. I felt bad when he called Khiem's spaceship "B movie" although it was a semi-compliment, and similarly his exclaiming "Brutalist" at Robert's fort came across as hurtful although it wasn't really an insult. (I love brutalist architecture and thought this was a great example. Just maybe not as much fun for kids as a taco truck. And I'm not sure Robert got the reference.)

I do think the judges have a bit of a thankless job, though. They have to be the ones to point out flaws in things, because I think Nick and Amy are too nice to say anything mean. And I did agree with their choices this episode.

My one regret is that Nick was joking when he said "Today's second project is to create an even smaller terrarium that will be displayed within your existing terrarium"... That would have been an interesting show.
posted by mmoncur at 1:23 AM on August 9, 2018 [5 favorites]

That's two obscure art references in a row for Simon, I'm hoping he makes it a trend.

I think Jeff's problem was his design was too tight and didn't leave enough space inside. If he had stacked what he had on top of one or two of the new layers it would have looked more finished.
posted by InfidelZombie at 7:09 AM on August 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

I love this show. I want to move into the barn even though it is a set and even though Nick and Amy and the crafters won't be there. So far I've watched both episodes live, which I never do with TV, because after the first five minutes of the first episode I wanted to see it as soon as I was able and now the gaps between Tuesdays are interminable.

The competition element is also my least favorite part but it's the best executed on any reality show I've watched. (I see all the comparisons to Great British Bake-off about tone, and I totally agree it, but I find the baking parts TOO STRESSFUL even in that low key environment). But it terms of overall competition, Amber and Jo came to win, though so far, I think all of them have shown talent.

Even though token 'hot bearded daddy'' is a box I like to see checked on my TV, I was pretty much over Billy once we had one too many "We get it, you make crafts for jocks" (despite me personally loving his Tecmo Bowl thing previously) with his Fenway Park terrarium (despite Amy's delivery of "That's so Boston!" when he describes beer getting poured on this brother on crutches), but his taco truck was definitely the most original and well-executed (I would have LOVED it as a kid.), and I like that there are more different types of makers with different viewpoints represented. It could have easily been just "Pinterest white lady mom" crafts vs. "Pinterest white lady hippie without kids" (which I still would have been on board with, tbh) but it's more than that and the show is better for it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:54 AM on August 9, 2018 [5 favorites]

This is so very much Bake Off inspired*.

The cash prize thing is interesting. Do the contestants know?
It feels like the network insisted on a big cash prize because they think that's what makes a quiz show interesting, but the show itself really really downplays it*.

*This is a good thing
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:34 PM on August 9, 2018 [3 favorites]

Eh, the crafters are just gonna spend the prize on more stuff for crafts anyway, man. Might as well just give them a giant gift card for Joann's/Michael's/whatever.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:17 PM on August 9, 2018 [3 favorites]

I tried to put up a post for this show last week but couldn't because IMDB hadn't kicked it down to Fanfare yet. ANYWAY. We've decided in our house that Making It is the official antidote for Oragne is the New Black and Handmaid's Tale. (The Handmade Tale?)

But man, I was sad to see Jeff go. I literally went NOOOOOOOO!!!! Don't start shit over dude, don't you know that never, ever works?

The judges blow, though. Like, who the fuck cares what's trendy on Etsy? Also I think Khiem gets shafted like every single time in a way that feels kinda racist? Like okay the Asian dude keeps getting dinged for his work being "too mysterious." Sounds legit.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:55 AM on August 10, 2018 [5 favorites]

I really agree on the judges.
It feels like The contestants and Nick and Amy and about 90% of the production team are all reading from the same script but then about 10% of the team (including the judges) are still working from "standard american reality show" script.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:38 AM on August 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thanks for posting this - otherwise I would not have found out about this show. All it needs is for Mel and Sue from GBBO to drop by and play rigging games with Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman.
posted by janell at 9:52 PM on August 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

For those who want to know Simon Doonan's Dos and Don't, there's an extra on Hulu about it in which he claims to like it "dark." It's a "do," he says.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:53 PM on August 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

I only just caught the first episode of this show and we found it delightful. Finally a show that gets why and how Great British Bake Off works and applies it to something interesting. Couldn't think of 2 better hosts.
posted by Ashwagandha at 4:44 PM on August 13, 2018 [2 favorites]


Week Three: the party episode!

Faster Craft: make a "snack stadium" for some kind of TV watching party with a variety of snack foods and one moving part "like a vomiting child or stumbling sports fan."

I want to know where they are getting the food and crafts. The show doesn't show it, but do they get to go shopping like at Mood on Project Runway? Are they ordering online? Does stuff just show up?

Robert: SNACKQUATIC STADIUM with gummy fish on a wheel going through waves, fishy snack theme. People swimming on a cake. They wanted him to be fun and he's being fun!
Nicole: Rockamole--tortilla rock with people climbing it on "zoodles," i.e. zucchini noodles. Amy and Nick are horrified at this concept of the noodles, though "we love a pun around here." Simon says the focal point is a brown mound, which is true.
Amber has a Rose Bowl for champagne and rose with champagne gummy bears. This was my favorite in some ways or at least I want to go to that party. It has bubble wands.
Khiem did a colosseum out of Rice Krispie treats, which sounds very tasty but the inside (which has a trapdoor) looks kind of depressing and fatal. "Hellish inside," Simon says. "Where's the emperor?" "Probably dead."
Jo has an ice skating rink/Olympic theme with a music box ballerina, which looks like it failed to turn during the judging. She has star fruits, red pepper torches, silver and gold medals (i.e. sprayed cookies).
Billy has a "soccuterie" of meats and cheese with a soccer theme and Foozball guys. Nick points out that Billy puts some kind of pig in everything he does. The breadsticks are glued, which Simon thinks is a bit dodgy.

Robert wins his second patch!

Master Craft: Backyard Bonanza! Outdoor party space for 4 that uses recycled materials and has an activity.

Billy: New England clambake and candlepin bowling, dubbed "Chowdahead Nirvana." He has a "cartoony sensibility."
Jo: Cribbage with giant cactus cribbage board and a ring toss on the back for the kids. She cut up shibori dyed shirts to weave on the chairs.
Amber: covers 5 gallon paint buckets in rope--which you could do at home--to set up a Little Havana domino game like back at home. She stamps the fabric. "Stamping is the gateway craft."
Khiem does a backyard movie screening with colors! He says "not much" when asked what he's up to and Nick informs him he is in a challenge.
Robert has innertubes and a summer camp starwatching theme. This is dubbed a risk, but a "one toe in the water" risk since the judges don't love innertubes.
Nicole has hanging swings and a Maui theme and several games, which the judges don't like. I do agree with Simon that where are you going to hang them normally.

Amy: "It's not fun unless it's stressful."
Amy and Nick play "What's In My Bucket?" (identifying tools again). Toward the end Amy says, "Ladies, if any man comes up to you and asks, "What's in my bucket?" and shakes her head.

Nick says if someone disappeared every week it would be terrifying and they should not do it.

Khiem wins for showing his "softer side" and colors. Nicole is sent home this week.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:37 AM on August 15, 2018 [4 favorites]

Hooray for Khiem! I, too, was a little horrified at the Colosseum filled with dead gummy bears and candy bones. I was thinking that since going home wasn't on the line, that Khiem was all "you want to see dark and depressing? here you go!" and served it up. And then came through with a lovely outdoor movie theater.

I'm over the judges. Robert gets dinged for interpreting a different style of seating, because Dayna can't figure out how to get comfortable on an innertube. Nicole, who is a woodworker and could easily build a structure from which to hang swings, gets dinged by Simon, who can't fathom a person being able to hang swings in their yard.

So I'm going to take the 90% of the show that I enjoy and ignore the 10% that I don't. Misterussell and I get a lot of mileage from adding "is a trend on Etsy right now" to almost every sentence while watching. Prosciutto is a trend on Etsy right now.

Can I say how much I love Amy's "I suck at crafting but I am putting my overalls on and going all in!" attitude? And Nick's absolute joy at seeing things come together? He was too cute on those swings.
posted by kimberussell at 8:33 AM on August 15, 2018 [9 favorites]

I am unsurprised on the innertubes, because I doubt that would appeal to most adults who have issues getting on the floor (clearly not Amy), especially one in extremely flashy heels and tight pants. I concur that yes, it's hard to find somewhere to hang chairs, but this isn't exactly reality in your own backyard here and Nicole could also make hanging chair stands (disclaimer: I have a hanging chair and it has a stand). I liked them. That would have been the most fun for me personally. I wasn't THAT into the 5 gallon rope barrels at all and was surprised at how overhyped those were, but I like Amber otherwise.

Amy and Nick are adorable.

I thought Khiem was "going home" (to the tiny house, that is) after that colosseum of death, but he did pull it out with that backyard theater. Meanwhile Nicole had a first project they found "eh" and then they nitpicked the second project. I still don't get why having two games is so bad for Nicole when Jo had two set up on that cribbage board, either. BFD.

Billy's chowdahead and pins was very innovative, I thought. I also really enjoyed the cribbage board, but I grew up playing cribbage.

I think I would have ended up doing a Oscar party theme and I'm surprised nobody else did that for their stadium. As for the backyard, it probably would have been cliche luau-ish, I guess, if you saw my backyard. Furniture isn't my strong suit so eh on that.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:39 PM on August 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

I also didn't agree with the judges about Nicole's hanging chairs and their supposed impossibility (even if you didn't have a good tree, a swingset frame or two would make them delightful) but I did think that the "lack of focus" with the two separate games was a fair critique, whereas Jo's reversible cribbage for the older set/ring toss for kids felt like another example of Jo's killer instinct. (Her stuff is not to my taste is always a good idea well executed.)

If I had the money, I would pay to put Khiem's movie set-up in my backyard right now though I'd probably paint it different colors and would almost definitely prefer it whichever way he would have chosen to do it if not trying to give the judge's something "more colorful."

Amber's enthusiasm is infectious and she has the talent to back it up. In hindsight, I also do not really care for the 5-gallon bucket seats with the rope but last night watching it, I was like "we're making those THIS WEEKEND!" (It is a good thing I've started latch hooking recently because I did not have a current craft thing I was doing, and this show REALLY makes me want to craft.)

Billy gets such a stereotype edit that we would definitely think it the show was being offensive if he was anything other than a white dude from New England. (Also he's fully aware of this and leans way into it so I don't think it's really a production choice.) After being sort of "meh" on him mid-Week Two, I'm digging everything he's done. (To be fair, like Nick, I am strongly in the "party snacks should be as salty and meaty as possible" house.)

I'm glad Robert didn't go home but did not care for his inner-tube chairs for the same reason as judges. They did make much more sense when I realized they were for a "stargazing party" which this show tells me is actually a hot trend though I wouldn't bet my shibori on it. The dyeing on the chairs looked nice though, and it led to my favorite Amy-bit of the evening when she talked about him going crazy with the eye-dropper.

And yeah, jenfullmoon, I can't believe that nobody did an Oscar party. Not to stereotype middle-aged white gay dudes but I bet Jeff totally would have if he hadn't been eliminated last week (if he hadn't done a Tony party one instead).
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:40 AM on August 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

I think if he had put in some kind of back rest on the inner tubes they would have been much better seats, though I admit I have no idea how I'd do that.

I didn't agree with the criticism of the hanging seats either - tons of people have a covered patio, an eye bolt in a beam would handle it nicely.

Is shibori just tie dye? It looks like it's just tie dye.
posted by InfidelZombie at 12:06 PM on August 16, 2018

I think it would be better to say that tie-dye is an informal subset of shibori. Broadly, shibori is any technique for mechanically resisting a dye. It might be rubber bands or tied string (as in the tie-dye t-shirts, generally), or it might be stitching (with or without folding). Or clamping (with or without folding). Or clamping of a perforated substrate. Or twisting around a rope. Or stretching along a rope and then winding the rope. Or twisting around a pipe. Or pleating and tyeing. Or pleating and clamping. Or pleating and tieing onto a pipe. Or ties around objects or forms... the results can be casual and random-ish (the hippie spirals or circles) or very precisely controlled.
Shibori is the Japanese word, but it was independently invented all over the world.

The next level of shibori is using it to pattern the threads rather than the cloth, in order to achieve a figured result (rather than just variegation) once the cloth is made. In weaving this is called ikat or kasuri.

I prolly should make an FPP.
posted by janell at 12:48 PM on August 16, 2018 [9 favorites]

Hah, my "I have a design degree" answer to "is shibori tie-dye" would be "pretty much, yeah, except we used indigo dye only in school." And it looks like there were a few other colors besides that on the show. But yeah, you use the same techniques either way.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:15 PM on August 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

This show is so wholesome, I love it. I do admit I eye-roll at a lot of the cornier segments, but the amount of time they showcase the making side of things is really cool. I love a show that has so many creatives that don't butt heads with each other. I get the feeling they are really competing against themselves rather than each other and it's relaxing to me.

The outdoor theater deserved the win but I really enjoyed the lobster trap bowling. The clam pillows were so cute. Even though all the critiques of the judges here are totally valid, I still agreed with the awkwardness of the hanging chair ensemble though. The lack of focus didn't help her, but personally I don't really "lounge" in a swinging chair. If we are talking about accessibility, seats with backs do much better.
posted by xtine at 1:26 PM on August 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm so grateful there's no "And now, let's go to the Home Depot wall where whoever deep-throats this belt sander gets first pick for supplies!" crap that shows like Project Runway literally harp on.

It's incredibly wonderful that whoever's handling the sound editing intentionally avoids the ostentatious auditory shorthand that colors my predictions about judging. Like, I don't see any bitchy jump-cuts between contestants punctuated by siren sounds! I mostly just see people being nice and helping each other.

This show is a genuine tonic for my soul, and watching it on Hulu without commercials is the best. Even the product placement/sponsorship stuff I see there is tastefully done!

My current pick for final three: Khiem (they are really sleeping on his talent, FFS), Jo and EITHER Amber or Billy. I also believe Jo could be surprise eliminated before then, but anytime I've felt her stuff was "meh" the show people loved it, so I'm probably not able to predict her path with any accuracy.

Amber is talented, well-rounded and seems to plan and execute her stuff well and without too much stress.

Jo I like, but honestly, she seems more "technically competent at tons of crafts" than artistically inspired like Khiem or Robert.

Robert I think deserves to be final three, but his stuff is clearly either "100% delight" or "WTF are you thinking?". That kind of polarizing effect usually gets my personal faves kicked off reality shows before the finale.

Billy's stuff gives me a "lowbrow artist" feeling that would be aggressively mediocre if he literally only did felt dolls or pennants. But because he's adept at translating his aesthetic across different materials, dimensions and themes, I find him a lot more interesting than I thought I would. My first impression was "gotta throw some white cishet lowbrow craft guys in here so it appeals to more than just women viewers," and I'm relieved to be wrong about that.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 7:54 PM on August 16, 2018 [3 favorites]

I think you might have seen an Oscar theme if the show were on ABC or Tonys if it were on CBS, but since it is on NBC, I guess nobody was feeling the award shows they have in their stable. (AMAs? Golden Globes?)
posted by jimw at 9:49 PM on August 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

I love this show. I think the show must be sponsored in part by Etsy, and that's why there's the name drop every episode.

So far, the eliminations have all felt "correct," with Nicole's being the only one that's at all controversial. That said, they're looking for "cohesion" when they ask for the sets, and her whole thing was sort of a hodge-podge. The bit about being hard to hang was a weird criticism that distracted from more legitimate critiques.

I can't wait to see what they're actually doing with the eliminated contestants, since they're not even pretending that they've "gone home."
posted by explosion at 8:56 PM on August 19, 2018

At the very least, one of the judges works for Etsy and I have seen the show mentioned on the website.

I think reality shows usually just send eliminated contestants to a hotel until filming is over, and also they are sent to therapy...Maybe not here, though, this isn't Survivor.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:35 AM on August 20, 2018

Happier than Nick Offerman at an all-you-can-meat buffet:

‘Making It’ Renewed for Season 2 at NBC
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:28 PM on August 21, 2018 [5 favorites]

No! They're all living together in that great little house teaching Amy how to craft and waiting to celebrate the winner! Don't ruin this for me.
posted by InfidelZombie at 3:14 PM on August 21, 2018 [3 favorites]

Sure they are, InfidelZombie, because THIS show is different. I was just saying MOST reality shows do that. But not this one! Because everyone is happy!
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:52 PM on August 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


Week 4: All The Holidays at Once! (Except Christmas because seriously, everyone does that to death.) I'm psyched for this week!

Faster Craft: make a last minute costume to go to Simon's Halloween party, using 3 out of the 5 types of items below:
* feather duster
* mop head
* coffee filter
* loofah
* pot scrubber

Note that Halloween is the "second spookiest holiday after Easter" because a bunny lays eggs.

Robert embraces the pool noodle and makes a prizewinning blueberry pie with blackbirds in it. "America's pool noodle craft crazy."

Jo makes a sock monster/dryer and Amy donates a sock off her foot right there for the cause.

Khiem originally wanted to make a bat eating his own head, then changed it to his dog Rowdy when he realized it looked more like a dog. Khiem is being eaten HEAD FIRST and has a heart on his back because he is being eaten by his dog's love.

Amber makes "pizza my head" with thought bubbles. It's opinionated New York pizza.

Billy is a beefcake. Almost everyone is making food or something that eats something, the hosts note.

Nick dresses up as Simon.

Dayna loves the sock monster but thinks it looks a little sloppy. Khiem's costume is dubbed "absolutely insane, it's brilliant" by Simon and you must agree. Billy's costume loses some puffs so his craftsmanship is iffy, but they love the reusable mask. Robert, well, "even your pastry is chic." Dayna points out that she's seen plenty of pizza costumes on Etsy but Simon like that it's breaking rules.

"Beautiful and surprising, surreal things," says Simon.

Khiem wins! "I didn't see it coming," he says literally while wearing the costume that forces him to walk backwards.

Master Craft: they have made five porches in the barn that everyone needs to decorate for a holiday! I love this so hard.

Billy: 4th of July "wrestler's holiday" with giant felt arms and the technique of "trapunto" to make them, along with wrestler beer cans. I do get laughs at Billy's macho crafting.

Amber: Valentine's Day with tons of love letters addressed to herself/husband/son attached to a typewriter, a mailbox with letters pouring out addressed to the other contestants, candy box on the door, multiracial hands. Amber misses her family and Nick hugs her. "I got a message that someone needs a hug at this station."

Today's pun challenge: TV show themes.

Jo is having a bad time and thinks her St. Patrick's Day project is a mess. It has a rainbow balloon arch and tons of gold--gold floor, hanging coins, and everyone seems to think Simon is the model for the leprechaun. Jo is heavily foreshadowed as Going Home due to exhaustion. Amy suggests huffing helium for that. What would my daughter do, Jo asks. "If she didn't like a project, she'd add a lot of glitter to it." If this project sends me home, at least I'm going out with a lot of glitter." Robert helps her out when he's done early. Aww.

Amy points out that nobody can get away with saying "Kiss me, I'm Irish" any more.

Robert goes with Easter (I would too), but classy Easter, with a paper mache goose laying a golden egg. While there is no gray in his display, Simon wants more color and says, "Sometimes you gotta get your carnie on." "What's going to get you from chic to Librachic?" Nick asks.

Khiem is still high on Halloween and does layers of trees making a tunnel, with lights and fog machines.

Billy's display is not "cheeseball 4th of July."
Dayna loves Jo's gold glitter but wants more "Jo factor" and thinks it looks like a teacher billboard (yeah, kinda).
Robert has a tasteful Easter goose with blood red eggs (he did take a hint). Simon loves it and "you even had to make a chic goose," but at the same time it's not outrageous enough for him. Robert notes that it's hard to balance his aesthetic with what the judges want. Dayna says it's missing originality and risk. This is about the time where I thought Robert would be leaving.

Khiem's has the WOW factor, Simon is baffled as to what he loves.

Everyone loves Amber's diverse family hand colors and letters to everyone and emotionality. She is wearing a shirt with red lips on it.

Winner: Amber
Sent home: Robert. "You are true to your color palette. Gray is okay." Robert is fine with being critiqued for being too chic, he made new friends, and he's making omelets at the tiny house.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:00 AM on August 22, 2018 [4 favorites]

I started out really digging this, but with every episode my enthusiasm wanes. Dumb judges - well, the Etsy shill, at least. Amber's thing wasn't too far above Jo's in terms of classroom decoration; Amber's execution was and generally is superior, but it's never that interesting to me. It almost feels like they are angling for a showdown between warm & fuzzy Amber vs. dark & mysterious Khiem. Also, the 'We don't want people to leeaaave!' is getting tiresome - I'm pretty sure it's not in the constitution that people must be eliminated in a competition show. Why not let everyone get through and decide the winner by badges won, peer nominations, and the dumb judges?

Also there has not been enough DiResta.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:55 PM on August 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

The judges are the big let down here I completely agree.
Also "You should be more creative, I've seen loads of those on Etsy!" should not be a criticism if you are meant to be making Etsy look good. (Which she is, all the damn time)

I also would have preferred to see a show closer to Nick's speciality (which I know is not what this show is trying to be). I want to see a group of woodworkers all building a chair, or like, you have a week to make a puzzle cabinet. That sort of thing, with Nick judging and Amy being ContestantFriend.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:05 AM on August 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

jenfullmoon: thank you for your great recaps!

I was a little concerned because they didn't even show Amber until almost he end of Faster Craft and I thought ... did I miss an episode?

I'm glad the show is renewed for next year and I hope we get 2 new judges, because these two goofballs seem to reset their expectations each week and for each contestant.

Wouldn't it be great if this year's winner and runner up could be next year's judges?
posted by kimberussell at 6:18 AM on August 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

The judges feel like the weak spot to me, too. Possibly mostly because I am really into almost everything Khiem has done on the show and I feel like he's not getting enough love. Although he did get a patch, so my perpetual low-simmering annoyance about that was soothed a bit.

My partner conceived an instant dislike of Robert in the first episode and is over the moon about this elimination. Robert's grown on me over the weeks, and I liked his Easter porch, so... shrug emoji? The elimination was fine, I guess.

I like this show for what it is but if we could also have a Serious Woodworking Show ft. Nick Offerman, I'd be very into that. The Forged in Fire of woodworking, maybe.
posted by Stacey at 6:25 AM on August 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thanks! Was up at 5:30 doing this, oy.

To be fair, Khiem has two patches now, so I think the love is growing there. I thought he'd be eliminated faster but he's still in!

I dunno on judges. I think judges on shows tend to annoy everyone on principle, but I say that as someone who used to really be into Project Runway before it moved to Lifetime and turned into "make a blue dress" sorts of challenges. Judges in general in life tend to nitpick and possibly be confusing as to what they want out of you. I think it sounds pretty clear that these judges want COLOR ("carnie," 'nuff said) and those who do not do it--Khiem and Robert--are more likely to suffer in the judging. But I don't think Robert cares, he's gonna be fine.

I usually find Simon amusing in general and have no strong thoughts on Dayna (other than "trend expert" is an odd qualifier for judging, but whatevs), but I think we would probably find ANY judge annoying because they are picking on people we like. Like going to design school, every teacher/judge/TA/whoever has their preferences and if you don't fit their preferences, it won't go well for you. Either you fit their preferences or you go "haters gonna hate," do your own thing and suffer the consequences.

In the case of Robert on this one, he took some advice--no gray, used red eggs--but he didn't bling it up enough. Jo may have been having issues that day, but she blinged the shit out of it and saved herself.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:37 AM on August 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

My beef with the judges is that they always give criticism as part of the announcement that someone is going home. "The reason you are going is because you kinda sucked at this, that, and the other. " Give your feedback during the judging, and then just be kind when you reject the person at the end! "We are sad that you have to go."
posted by janell at 2:49 PM on August 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

I loved that nobody's favorite holiday was Christmas.

Khiem's halloween house was awesome, and I liked the crazy costume too.

I guess I'm fine with Amber winning the big craft this week, it was very well executed. I thought Jo was going to go out, that leprechaun really did look like something a 3rd grade teacher hangs in class. But I guess Robert's house was pretty tame too. It really just looked like he bought some tasteful decorations at Target and hung them up.

Amy and Nick are still the best thing ever.

Simon didn't call anything "brutal" this week, and Dayna didn't say "X is such a big trend right now," so that's a plus. But I still hope we get different judges next time. Actually Simon is kind of growing on me a tiny bit, so maybe if they just replace Dayna. I'll nominate Nick Offerman's wife, Megan Mullally, just because she'd be hilarious. But I suppose they could get someone with an art or crafts background too.

This is literally the first time I've ever watched a reality show that eliminates someone at the end of each episode, so that whole concept still infuriates me. Amy and Nick spend so much time saying they wish they didn't have to, I wish they'd follow through and not do it next season. I suppose there's a budget consideration, though, because there's one less person to pay each episode.

I do notice that as they eliminate contestants we get more and more time to watch them do their crafting, though, so that's a plus.
posted by mmoncur at 3:55 AM on August 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

I kind of seriously wonder on the Christmas thing; did the show tell anyone not to or was everyone like "Cliche, everyone does that?" on their own? Could go either way, I guess.

I really do think if it was between Jo and Robert, it was Jo glittering it up that saved her this week.

I don't think I've ever seen a reality show that doesn't eliminate someone weekly. I think it's a requirement of the format that Nick and Amy just hate doing.

Ooooh, gonna go read Amber's blog now, thank you! I was hoping someone would do that.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:31 AM on August 28, 2018

Okay, I don't have time for this right now and I'm not an Instagrammer, but if anyone finds the contestants's Instagrams that she mentions, please post them here?
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:37 AM on August 28, 2018

I gotcha..

JO @OhSoJo_
AMBER @damasklove
ROBERT @robert_mahar
(Amanda and) KHIEM @akwoodanddesign
JEMMA @athomewithjemmablog
JEFFERY @jeffrudell
NICOLE @nicolesweeney_

(source: Broadway World of all places)
posted by kimberussell at 10:23 AM on August 28, 2018 [4 favorites]

Week 5: Inside Out. It's now the semi-finals and last elimination round, and the theme is The Great Outdoors, bring the inside out or the outside in!

(Hah, all this outdoors/interior design would so not be my week.)

Faster Craft: make a working light fixture with materials from the outside.

Jo: Tassel chandelier out of rope.
Khiem: works with wood lathe, lathe puns ensue. He wraps palm leaves through.
Amber: dyes corn husks and turns them into sunflowers with popcorn kernel centers. Don't get those too close to the fire, nick advises.
Billy: makes a parrot out of cardboard, covered in "snake plant." I am very impressed with Billy's crazy.

Amber: Dayna thinks the popcorn kernels are dull, Simon seems bored because "It's like Goldie Hawn opened a health food restaurant in 1965."

Khiem: Dayna likes the craftsmanship and that you can pull out the leaves. Simon wants to know what his genre is. Amy and Nick kind of make fun of Khiem's answering.

Billy: Dayna straight up thinks with the cardboard that the light is going to catch on fire. "Fire is the ultimate flourish," Nick says. Simon doesn't care if the place burns down but says there's no illumination.

Jo: "Boho chic is a moment," Dayna says, but the flowers are already wilting and it's "unnecessary whimsy." "I feel like we're on a houseboat together in Sausalito," says Simon. Whatever that means.

Winner: Khiem, for the third time! "Leave a patch for the rest of us, bro!" says Billy.

Master Craft: transform a backyard shed into a unique personal space with custom interior/exterior elements and a strong theme.

Khiem makes an observatory with separating/retractable roof and reverse Murphy bed. This is dubbed a "multifunctional shag pad" (Simon) or "love nest," and "nobody could handle how sexy his shed was."

Jo looooooves interior design and she's doing an art studio with double herringbone pattern on the walls, wood detail on the ceiling, Simon suggests some ceiling decoration so she uh, sticks brads up there. (Not my favorite, but Dayna liked it.)

Billy is doing a New Orleans party shack. He paints on the walls, he has voodoo dolls and a crazy flag.

Amber is redoing her grandma's house, dubbed "grandma chic." She makes a shelf of hula hoops, uses astroturf and pink crushed velvet ("pink crushed velvet is always a good idea!"), going big or going home so she's doing wackadoo choices, like upside down wallpaper (which she doesn't love so much). Simon goes on about wearing a negligee and Amy is all, women do NOT say negligee.

"Time to make like a cat and shed," says Nick.


Khiem: I'm not that fond of his star chart (coulda had better execution, though I like the idea). Simon thinks the Murphy Bed is a massage table. "Khiem, you might want to invest in some curtains. Simon haaaaaaates the fake brick. Dayna wants a telescope and Nick goes to get it! "You were saying, Dayna?"

Billy's house is da bomb crazy. Bayou bungalow party shack. Voodoo theme, swamp mural, has a stage inside, he took off the front to throw beads off a balcony. Dayna wishes the flag was 3D like the arms last week. The stools are boring and "not really blowing my wig off," says Simon. There's a lot going on here. OH, AND THE VOODOO DOLLS ARE SIMON AND DAYNA.


Jo has paintbrushes all over the walls that make Simon "completely mental" in a good way. Dayna finds it ingenious. Simon continues to focus on the boring chair (she ran out of time), Dayna wants a decorated table but Jo feared it might be too much.

Amber: has mannequin heads with floral hair, hula hoop shelf, crushed velvet bench, retro TV bar and phone. Glamorous fun risk factor for Simon, Dayna wants to make the shelf. "However...I know it's coming," says Amber. Dayna thinks the wallpaper is a little wonky and upside down.

Winner: Jo

They really seem to have a hard time picking who to eliminate this week and at this point it's really painful. Billy goes home, though SImon compliments him a lot and doesn't have much bad to say. They love his signature style but this kind of took a step back (whatever the hell that means). Nick is all, "Billy, will you please hand over the two voodoo dolls?"

At the tiny house, Billy is encouraged to talk Boston-like.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:49 AM on August 29, 2018

I fell asleep through Tuesday's episode, so I didn't finish until last night.

That elimination was such a heartbreaker for me. I wonder if they judge based on both Faster Craft and Master Craft because that's the only way that I can see Billy going home. Because I was completely on board with the parrot lamp, but yeah ... it's cardboard and is going to die in a day. (but then why ask them to use natural materials if your intention is for the lamps to actually last?) And I thought his Mardi Gras shed was better than either of the (beautiful!) She Sheds Amber & Jo made. Thea again Khiem CUT THE ROOF and didn't win that patch, so ... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Simon was a more than a little pervy tonight and it was jarring to me in a show that's usually so saccharine.

No matter who wins now, I'm going to be happy for them.
posted by kimberussell at 6:46 AM on August 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

again Khiem CUT THE ROOF and didn't win that patch, so ... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

It seemed like Khiem had a lot of help cutting and placing the roof so I wonder how much that factors into it. Not that I care if he had outside help (it was amazing) but it makes it hard to compare a massive undertaking like that vs the more decorative sheds the women made.

For a show that's only six weeks long, they should have dropped the elimination altogether and just split the grand prize into a bunch of smaller prizes (trips, cars, craft store gift cards, whatever) they win along the way. The show is more fun seeing many different takes on the theme compared to only having a few people. Plus it would let them do challenges where they randomly pair up and see how they collaborate.
posted by Gary at 5:43 PM on August 31, 2018

I’m really hoping the rest of the crafters come back in some way for the finale. I love this show and the elimination is the worst part.
posted by sleeping bear at 8:36 AM on September 1, 2018

I wonder if they judge based on both Faster Craft and Master Craft because that's the only way that I can see Billy going home. Because I was completely on board with the parrot lamp, but yeah ... it's cardboard and is going to die in a day. (but then why ask them to use natural materials if your intention is for the lamps to actually last?) And I thought his Mardi Gras shed was better than either of the (beautiful!) She Sheds Amber & Jo made. Thea again Khiem CUT THE ROOF and didn't win that patch, so ... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I don't think they're gonna have the same person win patches both times in one episode, period. It would be overkill.

I think they probably are judged on Faster and Master, but yeah, natural material lamps are NOT a thing you'd be using for more than oh, 24 hours at the most. That was kind of ridiculous. But note that Dayna asked Khiem if he could pull out the leaves or not.

Btw, I don't know if/when I will be able to do a recap of the last episode since I'm traveling--we'll see.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:14 AM on September 1, 2018

Okay, I'm going to attempt to do a recap without having immediately watched the show first.

This week's theme is weddings. The show has gotten a couple (Dave and Talisa) to let them do their wedding (more on this here) and after a brief interview--Talisa likes chickens and nature, Dave is minimalist, they have 2 kids-- the Faster Craft is to make them a wedding topper. Amber makes a god's eye, which is great for symbolism but probably a bit simple for this show, plus I guess just making one takes the whole three hours. Jo and Khiem do fairly similar 4-people with a heart cake toppers. Khiem's has plants and lights (though the lights aren't really seeable in daytime) and tiny peg people that don't come off the best, Jo's wire people wins the patch.

The Master Craft is to create the wedding backdrop and a gift for the couple. And I thought I had a hard time picking gifts for people I KNOW.

* Amber does a simple circle with flowers decorating it and a little wooden puzzle game for the gift. Very cute and charming but...probably too simple for the taste of the judges.
* Jo has hanging petals of sorts (dipped in gold after Dayna wants some gold in there) and some greenery. Her gift is an entire damn chicken coop, which DAMN.
* Khiem has a wooden backdrop with triangles and plants as a theme. His gift is a hope chest with a record player in it.

In the end, the winner is revealed before the wedding and we see their backdrop being used. Khiem wins! The rest of the contestants are brought back to the wedding.

Here's an article from Amber about the end of the show. And an interview with her about the application process.

"Making It was all about the journey. If I had shown up with the sole purpose of winning, I would have missed out on everything else. This would be my reminder to anyone applying for upcoming seasons of Making It. Be ready to work harder than you’ve ever worked. Be ready to test your creativity like never before. Be ready to support and encourage your cast mates. If you win in the end, HOT DAMN! If you don’t win, I can promise you’ll still come out feeling proud and accomplished. "
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:56 AM on September 6, 2018 [3 favorites]

This show was a delight, from beginning to end. It wasn't perfect, but I loved it.

Next season I hope there are new judges. That's really all I'll say about that. I'd like to see more of Jimmy Diresta but I don't expect I will. I'm biased because I'm a fan but they really didn't need him and I think he got the spot (other than the fact he's a wizard in a shop) because he and Nick are friends.

I hated how Nick and/or Amy would tell a joke and there'd be a very quick cut to everyone laughing and then they'd move on. I know they gotta tell jokes and they need laughs and whatnot but I felt the editing was done poorly on that and I hope they improve it.

I won't spoil the winner only that I loved their final project and I think they deserved to win, though all of the finalists really deserved to win.
posted by bondcliff at 7:02 PM on September 6, 2018

‘Making It’ Renewed for Season 2 at NBC. Apparently Jimmy Diresta is heading out again, and will hopefully appear in more segments.
posted by jenkinsEar at 5:33 PM on March 12, 2019 [3 favorites]

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