Finally! In roughly three weeks, Season 3 of The Repair Shop arrives on Netflix US. Yay!
I cannot to tell you how excited I am that folks in the US will finally get to see the third season of The Repair Shop, the sleeper hit series that has become something of a national treasure in the UK. (The show’s sixth season is currently airing on BBC One, where upwards of 6-7 million viewers are tuning in to the series each week.)
One of my favorite British TV shows of 2019, this factual series follows various experts as they restore family heirlooms and other cherished items from their current broken or damaged state to pristine condition for the owners, who come from across the UK to bring their beloved possessions to “the workshop of dreams,” housed in the Court Barn of the Weald and Downland Living Museum in Singleton, West Sussex.
The experts include carpenters and upholsterers, ceramics and painting conservators, furniture and toy restorers, leather and metal workers, and a horologist who uses his skills to restore more than clocks and watches. (I admit to having a huge crush on him.) And the array of other specialists called upon for projects on the show include those who restore music boxes, gramophones, pinball machines, antique typewriters, vintage electronics, and more.
Amongst the items the restorers returned to their former glory in Season 1 and Season 2 include: an accordion played by a woman during the Blitz to help keep up Brits’ morale; a vase made by Picasso contemporary Jean Lurçat; Dalek figurines from the 1970s; a cash register from 1913; a 300-year-old desk; and a violin that helped keep a Jewish woman alive while in Auschwitz during World War II.
Like a good drama, viewers watch episode after episode of The Repair Shop for its “characters,” the highly-likable restoration experts who work both singly and as part of a team when required; the stories, deeply personal ones told by the owners about their prized possessions; and the dramatic elements, such as whether a specialist will be able to fully restore an item given its state of disrepair. There’s also the structure — three stories per episode, each with a definitive beginning (the owner bringing the item to the repair shop), middle (the loving, painstaking process of restoring the item), and end (the return of the item to the owner, who’s usually gobsmacked and in tears at the excellent job done).
What can we look forward to seeing in Season 3? The experts restoring a military riding crop from the era of the Great War, a late Victorian-era stained-glass window, and a pocket watch with quite a history. Take a look…
By the way, if watching the series inspires you to be less a part of today’s throwaway culture and to take on repairing some of your own cherished belongings, check out the series’s companion book, The Repair Shop: A Make Do and Mend Handbook, which offers “advice and stories from each of the show’s experts, to help you understand and care for those aging treasures and heirlooms around your house or gathering dust in the garage.”
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