The Repair Shop: First Two Seasons
December 31, 2019 4:20 PM - All Seasons - Subscribe

Expert artisans restore timeworn family heirlooms with touching sentimental value while also uncovering their uniquely rich histories. The depth of experience here is quite amazing, including painting and ceramics conservators, experts in woodworking, metalworking, clocks and gramophones, pinball machines, teddy bears, stained glass, music boxes, and more. If you have a damaged antique family heirloom, chances are this crew can fix it. On BBC ONE and Netflix

The Repair Shop: ‘We can fix anything but a broken heart – and Brexit’ from The Guardian

It is a true feat to make it through an episode of The Repair Shop without shedding a tear. While the premise of the BBC show is straightforward (members of the public bring broken, treasured items to be repaired by a team of experts), it is also the rarest of TV gems: an uplifting hour about the power of memory and how even simple belongings can become inseparable from our lives.

The Repair Shop’s presenter, furniture restorer Jay Blades, puts the show’s success down to its relatability and heart. “A lot of people are annoyed with TV at the moment,” he says. “There’s too much nastiness, whereas The Repair Shop is all about making things good again. We fulfil people’s dreams. And when we do, they have such wonder written all over their faces.”
You may remember foreman Jay Blades from his appearances on a similar show with a different twist, Money For Nothing.
WARNING: Tears for everyone, including you.
posted by Glinn (15 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
We have one episode left and have been saving it up. On the other hand, I could definitely just start watching again from the first one. I have some mild complaints: sometimes they rush over the most interesting parts! while showing the same little clips over and over again. And the worst one, is they rarely ever do a side-by-side at the end. I can't tell you how many times I have shouted at the tv for that reason. Oh well. So many lovely people I would love to hang out with. They are all my favorite, but maybe particularly the teddy bear restorers, and Will, and Kirsten the ceramicist. And Steve the horologist. And everyone else.
posted by Glinn at 1:53 PM on January 1, 2020

I have also decided (without evidence, admittedly), that if you are chosen to appear on this show you do not pay for the repair. Because seriously, the amount of money these incredibly skilled craftspeople would have to charge would not be in the budgets of most people, I don't think. Which is part of what makes it so great!
posted by Glinn at 1:57 PM on January 1, 2020

The show does not charge for repairs.  Many of the experts they showcase have their own businesses, so I imagine it amounts to a fair bit of publicity for them.

I too wish they'd spend more time highlighting the process of restoration.   Not being able to watch painting or woodworking restorations in more detail was particularly vexatious, but the show's so sweetly natured I can't get all that worked up over it.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 4:23 PM on January 1, 2020 [5 favorites]

I would happily repeat watch this while knitting but it vanishes so quickly from iPlayer to the point where I am pretty sure there are episodes I've never seen. *shakes fist*

It just is just a nice show, full of nice people, who do nice things while also being excellent craftpeople. I am in particular awe of Kirsten.
posted by halcyonday at 6:39 AM on January 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

The Guardian link goes back to this post, instead of this Guardian article.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:30 PM on January 2, 2020

Mod note: Fixed!
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:37 PM on January 2, 2020

It does hit the spot of warm, reassuring, not-stressful-to-watch tv. I like clocks and watches so horologist Steve's projects tend to be my favourite, although I do like his sister (the leather and saddlery expert) plus the teddy bear ladies.

I got a little bit choked up on the Raleigh Chopper episode, when I was a kid we couldn't afford new bikes, or very much of anything, so my engineer dad fixed up a junked scrappy old Chopper for my older brother's christmas gift. My mother re-upholstered the seat. When my brother outgrew it, it was passed to me.
posted by ElasticParrot at 6:02 PM on January 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

I've ended up watching a couple episode of this (possibly actually because of that link fix above, hazards of moderation!) and it's nice and charming, and at the same time I too wish it were more process-heavy and less tidy with a bow on top as a show. I've come away from it so far always wanting to see more of the bits we didn't see and hear less of the back-from-break reiterations of the episodic framing devices. Leaves me wanting to go watch someone quietly fix one thing for 25 minutes on youtube, basically? I want the four hour long cuts of these episodes, basically.
posted by cortex at 10:08 AM on January 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

They have a real knack of finding people who, yes, have interesting objects, but also are thoughtful about the items and what they represent.

Which makes the couple with the Victorian clock in s02e09 all the more hilarious.

"What did you remember about the clock?"
"It were broken!"
(clock is unveiled)
"And what do you think of it now?"
"Got, it's shiny! Must've taken you hours!"

I'm only barely exaggerating. They were hilarious. Sweet people, but also the exception to the rule making it clear how reflective most of the object owners are.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:35 PM on January 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

The last episode of season 1 - the Christmas episode - I'm tearing up just thinking about it. This show is so charming and wonderful.
posted by MsVader at 9:13 AM on January 6, 2020 [2 favorites]

I'm kinda crazy in love with this series because, being indigenous, we don't really have things that are passed down. And I love that idea of a clock being the heartbeat of a house and home. I had a German clock. I wish I'd kept hold of it.
posted by blessedlyndie at 8:53 PM on January 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

My spouse and I are partway through Season One and it's so heartwarming and nice. And it's moved us to get some half-broken stuff from our closets and fix them up or get them fixed!
posted by brainwane at 8:07 AM on January 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

I finished watching season 2 yesterday. I found it enjoyable but melancholy, in that “makes me think of my parents and my mortality” kind of way.

Will is such an adorable cinnamon roll - when he got all teared up after finding his secret Santa had knitted him a scarf, I wondered how long it will be before there’s Repair Shop slash-fic on AO3.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:50 AM on January 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

I just found this show and it absolutely scratches the same itch as the original GBBO and Time Team and Grand Designs. I just wish rtha were still here to watch it with me, as she'd have loved it as well.
posted by gingerbeer at 8:40 PM on January 16, 2020 [3 favorites]

Content note for the Holocaust, Season 2, Episode 1 (one of the heirlooms was owned by an ancestor who had and used it while interred in a concentration camp).
posted by brainwane at 12:17 PM on January 22, 2020

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