The Unbridled Joy of Making It

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If you’re like me right about now, you’re looking for just about anything to give you a glimpse of joy and beauty in a world that feels like it’s burning to the ground. And if you’re a maker of beauty, you might also be struggling with trying to draw anything remotely creative out of yourself during this season. Despite what the productivity gurus might suggest, it’s kind of hard to get things done with the underlying anxiety and fear so many of us are dealing with (much less working and parenting from home 24/7).

Maybe the next best thing is watching others delight in the joy of creativity right now. Enter Making It.

Making It is the brainchild of longtime pals, co-stars, and everyone’s favorite Ron and Leslie, Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler, who also serve as the co-hosts of the show.

Now having just finished its second season, Making It is a competition show that brings together eight different crafters to undergo weekly creativity challenges such as designing your own mailbox, repurposing an office space in your style, or reimagining a favorite childhood toy.

While it is a competition show, it doesn’t come across as very competitive—in fact, the crafters are often shown encouraging each other and helping each other out. If anything, each contestant is challenging themselves and each other to do their absolute best.

In contrast to many other reality TV and competition shows, there’s not really any drama, real or fabricated, amongst the competitors. If anything, Nick and Amy sometimes humorously elevate non-existent drama to poke fun at the trope.

Another great thing about the show is how they highlight projects the creators are doing that could also be done by viewers like you and me. Nick and Amy and the competitors constantly encourage viewers to try their own hand at “making it” as a way to encourage everyone to be creative.

In a world of increasing cynicism, Making It is a bright reminder that we can still find and create beauty in small and simple ways.

Chris Yokel

One last thing I appreciate about the show is that it rewards imagination, not TV looks or appeal. The two winners so far have not necessarily been the most charismatic of the competitors, but they won because of their consistent skill and imagination. During these past few quarantined weeks, I’ve looked forward to sitting down every night with Jen to watch an episode or two, excited to see what the competitors would do with the challenges and where their imagination would take them. We finished Season 2 last night, which makes me a little bit sad, but it has also left me inspired to figure out new ways I can explore my own creativity. In a world of increasing cynicism, Making It is a bright reminder that we can still find and create beauty in small and simple ways.

Season 2 of Making It is currently available to stream on Hulu and NBC.com.

Chris currently teaches writing and literature to community college students in Massachusetts. He is the author of six books of poetry, and can probably be found reading a book, drinking chai, and wearing flannel. In 2018 he and his wife Jen co-founded The Poetry Pub, an online community for poets. He enjoys walking in the woods, hanging out in coffee shops, and poking around used bookstores.


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