Wednesday, October 19, 2005

What's Your Fantasy, Part 2: Get Out of My Dreams, Get Into My Front Loader

(Note from Mei: In case you missed Part 1, check out this entry from the August archive; also check out the "Gorgeous Men of Decorating" entry as a point of reference.)

For all the talk about home makeover shows and the hot handymen that populate them, it's easy to understand why This Old House doesn't get as much press. Compared to the younger-skewing shows, which promise swift, miraculous results in no time at all, This Old House is about gradual change, hard work, and small fixes so your house won't end up like a candidate for demolition. You have to sit through the whole season to see what the house will look like, from mockup to moving day. And the homeowners don't holler and burst into tears as soon as the house is unveiled.

All of these reasons, however, are enough to explain why I make it a point to watch the This Old House Hour every Sunday afternoon. Especially since - let's face it - none of the professional handymen featured in the show are anywhere near giving Carter Oosterhouse a run for his money in the hotness sweepstakes.

Wait, I take that last statement back. Because I think Kevin O'Connor is cute.

Of course he's married. Of course he looks more like the kind of guy who fetches the building permits for the other home-makeover guys while they sort through steamy love letters from the ladies. And even if he does scrap the plaid shirts for leather jackets and artfully disheveled rock tees, well, there's still no way he's hiding a six-pack under there, so there goes that fantasy.

That said, there really is something endearing about Mr. O'Connor. The guy's like a more laid-back, non-ADHD version of Ty Pennington: you could tell that he's passionate about his projects and he loves working with the guys, but not so much that every episode ends up becoming All About Kevin. There are times when he could be a prankster and play cute, but this is a guy who lets the project, the homeowners, and the experts speak for themselves. There is no way you would ever find this guy running around the construction site with a loudspeaker so he could harass the contractor for laughs.

(Not bad for a guy who used to be a bank executive before the TV gig came along.)

Like I've said, there's not a lot of things about this guy that makes me want to throw myself at him. And yet, what's so attractive is that I could watch This Old House and find myself sighing about how fun it would be to get together with a guy like Kevin - not just with the handy-round-the-house stuff, but because he just comes across as a guy with a certain kind of passion, who knows what it truly means to have a home. Even when he's talking about how his wife gives him grief about keeping the toilet seat up, he still comes across as the kind of guy who understands his passions and priorities - the kind of guy who will bring you breakfast in bed, even if said breakfast is a chocolate donut and a grande house half-caf from Starbucks...

...What? We've got an entire season's worth of home-building here! Wait till you see what they do to the house!

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