Five reasons to love #moneyfornothing @SMvintage
It’s my new favourite show.
Here is the basic plot: Sarah stops people throwing stuff in the tip, upcycles it, tries to sell it and give any profit to the person throwing it away.
Here are five reasons I enjoy the show:
- It is so polite! Sarah rounds off many an interaction with a happy-go-EnidBlytonesque-lucky “Thanks ever so much!” I wish I was the kind of person that lived my life saying, “Thanks ever so much!” intermittently.
- Lovely skilled craftspeople: When Sarah has selected her objects for upcycle, she takes them off to various young bearded craftsmen, like the woodcutters out of fairytales. They have cool workshops where they work their magic. As well as the young bearded craftsmen, there are others, including the most cheerful man in the world – Guy, who makes lamps out of literally everything. And Bex the blacksmith. And Norman – who Arthur-the-voiceover-man gives a hard time to. These people can do amazing things – and I can’t. As a child I was famous for being unable to make crafts. As a teenager I remember getting “poor” for woodwork. As an adult I persist in having no time and no taste and residual carpal tunnel syndrome – all of which mean I will never be able to have a cool workshop with tools and random offcuts of characterful wood. Sigh.
- Redemption and Rescue: Okay, so it’s not as “pure” a show, generally, as Salvage Hunters, (where Drew Pritchard is 100% faithful to the originality of each piece). To turn a profit, Sarah and her craftspeople generally have to reimagine and update the tip-salvage pieces. I really enjoy seeing dead chairs being resuscitated with striking reupholstery. Who doesn’t get a kick out of seeing wood being cleaned and waxed, bringing out the long lost (and almost lost for absolute ever) grain? There is joy there – in things being brought back from the brink.
- The Winning Formula: The show is extremely formulaic, with the three items being upcycled being spread throughout the show, so that one is hooked for the duration. There are the scenes at the tip where Sarah politely asks people if she can look through their rubbish (and they wish they had known they were going to be on the telly, or they perhaps wouldn’t have been looking quite so much as if they were going to the tip). There are the trips to Walthamstow and Surrey and wherever, to the workshops – and there are the return trips to the homes of the people whose possessions she saved from the tip. Whether the profit goes to charity, on a meal out, towards a project – there’s always a happy ending. Even when things don’t sell, one imagines that once the show has aired, someone watching will snap it up! And throughout, there is the wry punning of Arthur Smith.
- Editorial quirks: The show isn’t supposed to be binge-watched… but… were that to ever happen to you…ahem … there are things that you start to wonder about the cutting room floor. That bobble scarf of Sarah’s – just how many episodes does it appear in? That man who was clearing his attic out for his grandchildren to play it – how many was he in? And the guy that says in the title sequence “That’s amazing!” – was he not facing the other way in the real show? (As was the artist lady with white chairs)… I have to say, the decision to keep in Sarah’s near-stumble in the yard certainly added a surprise element to that episode. Phew, that was close.
I must have watched pretty much all the episodes now. I haven’t the talent, taste or time to get creative like that. But I enjoy watching it.
Sarah, thanks ever so much.