January 21, 2012, was a landmark day for Rob Van Winkle. For two hours, HGTV’s younger, edgier, Ozzfest ’97–attending sibling, DIY Network, was voluntarily held captive by Vanilla Ice.
That’s not zero, but TWO shows for Ice, back to back, with the former a one-hour special and the latter the Season 2 premiere of his house-flipping show, The Vanilla Ice Project.
Yes, Season 2.
But that’s to be expected when your first season is met with all of these accolades:
- WINNER: “Best Home Programming,” Factual Entertainment Awards
- WINNER: “Publicity Campaign,” Hermes Creative Awards
- NOMINEE: “Best Show or Series — Reality/Game Show,” CableFAX Awards
In case you were out of the loop, Vanilla Ice is to DIY home renovation cable television programming what Möbius and Mandelbrot are to strips and sets.
He’s that important.
Fast-forward to 2013, a year including another “Ice My House” special and the conclusion of the third season of The Vanilla Ice Project (with a fourth en route in the fall), and it seemed as if Van Winkle’s Flavor Flavian dominance of a network couldn’t get any stronger.
That’s what it seemed. Until yesterday:
Well then. Ice, your thoughts?
That concluding “LOL” really adds a certain level of “I can do anything I want at the DIY Network, NINJAS” to an otherwise sincere-sounding statement. Anything else, Robert?
Whatever, Ice. You don’t have to convince us of your motives. You deserve this. If LL can star on NCIS: Hollis, Queens and host the Grammys on the same network, why shouldn’t you be able to juggle house flipping and a reverse DIY Rumspringa in the same fashion?
Answer: you should. And you are. Congrats.
While it’s becoming increasingly clear that the Amish, while anti-technology, have proven to be very pro–reality show, that’s not the most intriguing aspect of this announcement. Seemingly because of the popularity of Vanilla Ice, the DIY Network has decided to go all in on celebrities doing it themselves. In addition to Ice, its three other shows on the horizon:
- The Rev. Run Project: a show about Rev. Run renovating his home.
- Daryl Hall Project: a show about Daryl Hall renovating his home.
- Bronson Pinchot Saves America: a show about a guy named Bronson Pinchot going state to state, looking for items discarded from various demolitions.
Seeing as that there aren’t three more random formerly famous people than not-D.M.C., not-Oates, and Bronson Pinchot, one can (hopefully) assume this is the tipping of the celebrity grab-bag iceberg. If this experiment goes well, which it probably will, 2014 could see this trend take off unstoppably.
And since, over the course of this piece, I’ve become shockingly invested in the future of this network, it only seems appropriate to float some ideas DIY’s way, less because they haven’t been already explored, but mostly because I want to write about them.
- Extreme BasedOver: Home Edition: a show about Lil B coming to your house and making your home very #based. The first episode will involve turning a nine-bedroom mansion into a tree house made out of Valentine’s Day Sweethearts.
- The Rasheed Wallace Project: a show about Rasheed Wallace moving into an unexpected family’s home for a week and redecorating the hallways however he sees fit. The first episode will involve Rasheed sneaking into the White House and placing pairs of white-on-white Air Force 1s around the necks of every presidential bust. He will be arrested soon after. This show will only have one episode.
- Bronson Pinchot Ruins America: a show about a guy named Bronson Pinchot going state to state, house to house, drawing his face on people’s living-room walls. The first episode will land Bronson in Amish country, where he will stumble upon Rob Van Winkle. It will be like The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, but with an unhappy ending.
- Extreme BasedOver: Based Edition: a show about Lil B coming to your #based house and making it even more #based. The first episode will involve turning a tree house made out of Valentine’s Day Sweethearts into a cirrus cloud constructed solely from positive tweets.
There are more. These, as noted previously, are just the frontrunners.
Godspeed, DIY Network. You have a bright future ahead of you. Don’t mess this up.