Making It premieres July 31st, at 10 pm on NBC.

Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman are coming back to TV! Just not with the Parks and Recreation reunion we were hoping for…

Unfortunately, the former co-stars’ new reality crafting show Making It doesn’t live up to expectations. The series follows eight individuals competing for a $100,000 prize awarded to the best “maker.”

While the premise of Making It is commendable, (the concept has never – to my knowledge – been explored on reality television,) the episodes fall extremely short of expectations. Each week brings two projects, the theme of which is decided by Nick and Amy, and then judged by Simon Doonan (Creative Ambassador of Barney’s NYC) and Dayna Isom Johnson (Etsy trend expert). The tasks require the contestants to use only the materials and supplies provided to create a craft. At the end of each round, the winner is given a patch. Of course, each installment also brings an elimination as the stakes get higher and the pressure builds. Critics were given the first five episodes out of six to review, and even with a shortened season, the show felt trite.

The competition is not engaging in the slightest. The only saving grace is an upbeat, optimistic tone. After all, NBC has given a wonderful platform for creatives to showcase their talent. In fact, the best part about the show is seeing the makers’ finished crafts. The work is mind-blowing and stunning.

However, that’s pretty much where the positives end in Making It. Nick and Amy’s humor isn’t the same banter fans are used to, and it feels awkward (and not in a Knope/Swanson type of way). It’s almost like you can feel how scripted the jokes are. The hosts are trying too hard, and entirely unnecessarily I might add because they’re amazing people!

Making It‘s focus should have stayed on the talent the contestants display. Instead, Poehler and Offerman sprinkle in random scenes that feel too forced (i.e., the Blueprint product placement). That’s a bummer because fans will want to appreciate the reunion, but I don’t think they will.

 

I give Making It a C-.

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