Tag Archives: Tell Tale Productions

Preview: VisionTV’s The Big Downsize is an emotional journey on the road to decluttering

Tidying up and decluttering isn’t a new thing—especially once spring arrives—and it’s reached new heights of awareness thanks to Marie Kondo and her Netflix series. I admit, I’ve used Kondo’s tip for folding t-shirts and it’s totally reorganized my dresser. But where it’s easy for me to clean up and get rid of my own stuff, the thought of doing it for someone else gives me the sweats and heart palpitations.

That’s where professional downsizer Jane Veldhoven comes in.

Premiering Monday at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on VisionTV, The Big Downsize follows Veldhoven as she helps two Canadian families as they seek to declutter, clean up and ship out.

For the MacNeil family, that involves going through 50 years of accumulated things and memories in their childhood home in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. With their mother passed away and their father living with one of his children, four of the five siblings have convened with thoughts of selling the family home. But to do that means a major cleanup.

It’s a daunting task, and not all of the MacNeil kids agree on how items should be divvied up. Throw in busy lives and nerves get jangled.

Meanwhile, Pam and Scott are on a different path. The Halifax couple is dissolving their marriage of over 20 years. The pair have a monumental task ahead: emptying a house full of items that were tied to them as a couple. Health issues have plagued Pam, adding another layer of stress to an already emotional situation. Things like key pieces of furniture are fairly easy to divide, but what about photos, clothing and the toys their son played with and, now, their grandkids?

“Even though downsizing seems like it’s just about getting rid of stuff, the stuff is usually a symbol of emotional chaos, something that’s happened in somebody’s life,” Veldhoven says during Episode 1. “In the end, that’s what we see physically but it doesn’t have a lot to do with that. People keep stuff for 20 different reasons.”

What sets the five episodes of The Big Downsize apart from other tidying-up television series or segments are the stories. This isn’t just about holding up a cracked old toy to the camera and wondering why it was kept. Tell Tale Productions, who previously made Growing Sense for AMI-tv, delves into the stories of these two families. The result is an emotional journey of togetherness, laughter, memories, tears and, ultimately, letting go.

The Big Downsize airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on VisionTV.

Images courtesy of VisionTV.

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Preview: Growing Sense adds gardening to AMI’s stable of original programs

Here in Southern Ontario, it appears winter is over. Squirrels are bounding all over the place, birds are waking me up and the crocuses in my front garden are in bloom. With the first day of spring officially arriving on March 20, AMI-tv is marking the occasion with the debut of its latest series, Growing Sense.

Airing Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on AMI-tv, each of Growing Sense‘s 10 episodes follow novice gardener Milena Khazanavicius and veteran ecological landscaper Rosmarie Lohnes as they build and tend an accessible garden plot in Halifax’s Common Roots Urban Farm. 

“I believe that when we heal the earth, we heal ourselves,” Lohnes says in the show’s opening credits. It’s sage advice. Viewers are first introduced to Khazanavicius, who once worked as a floral designer with dreams of opening her own shop before losing her sight at the age of 22. She and seeing eye dog Lewis hit up a local Halifax flower shop to nab some herbs for her balcony boxes. It’s at this store we learn Khazanavicius’ life story and the pleasure she derives from the smells and textures of flowers and plants. 

Lohnes, meanwhile, outlines her tale. The daughter of a miner who worked in Northern Ontario, childhoods were spent camping in the woods where she developed her “superpower.” Now she’s founded Helping Nature Heal, which restores sustainable ecosystems and connects people with nature.

The pair, introduced months ago, reunite with a bold plan: fill a community garden plot with plants and vegetables designed to reconnect Khazanavicius with her passion for plants while giving her food to augment her fixed income. Khazanavicius’ first challenge? Getting there.

Featuring integrated described video, Growing Sense is a wonderful addition to AMI’s quickly growing stable of original programming that is blind or partially sighted viewers but enjoyable by all.

Growing Sense airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on AMI-tv.

Image courtesy of AMI.

 

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