Is Netflix’s Get Organized with The Home Edit the most 2020 show of 2020?

It isn’t over yet, but I’m already prepared to call Netflix’s Get Organized with The Home Edit the most 2020 show of 2020. A show about the inside of people’s houses, in a year when we’ve mainly all been looking at our own, it can be best described as “What if Queer Eye, but shelving?” It’s a bit Marie Kondo, a bit Instagram, a bit Cake Boss. And, just to give it an extra lick of on-trend 2020 zeitgeist, the series also gave me such a headache that I had to turn it off and go to bed for an hour.

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Get Organized with The Home Edit is a makeover show, based around the wildly popular Instagram account, website, book and merchandise line of the same name. It’s a company run by two women named Joanna and Clea who, for the low low price of $250 an hour, will come to your house, throw most of it away and sort whatever’s left into similarly colored clumps. It is, from what I can tell, extremely popular with the sort of person who will describe themselves as being “a bit OCD” despite not actually having ever been diagnosed with any sort of disorder.

In the name of transparency, I should point out that I am the opposite of this. In fact, my opinion of this show might be colored by my stone-clad certainty that if anyone involved in its production came within three miles of the unpassable obstacle course that is my home, they would cry, vomit and faint in that order.

But still, even if I was its target audience, I’m not entirely convinced that it works in the way it was intended. Its peers are programs like Queer Eye and Kitchen Nightmares; shows that managed to push a simple message of transformation by focusing on relatively extreme cases. Dramatically failing restaurants were taught to be leaner and more reactive. Men shut down by their own brittle masculinity were gradually prised open until they felt able to participate in the world again.

Meanwhile, the first subject of the first episode of Get Organized with The Home Edit is famous actor Reese Witherspoon, who wants some of the outfits she wore in some of her films to be hung in a gigantic room in one of her mansions. And so, unless you also happen to be an unimaginably wealthy Oscar-winner who wishes to create a walk-in shrine to herself, chances are you won’t leave the episode with a ton of concrete information.

Nor is this a one-off. In another episode Retta maddeningly frets that she doesn’t know what to do with the mountain of free loot that she’s taken from all the various gifting suites she’s ever been invited to. Astonishingly, Joanna and Clea’s solution to this problem didn’t involve torching her house and writing “EAT THE RICH” in the ashes, which seems like something of a missed opportunity.

And, despite it supposedly being an exercise in neatness, The Home Edit is packaged in an absolutely intolerable way. It has that shrill, compressed, angrily-edited feel of the cheapest possible reality show. It is soundtracked by music you only hear in clothes shops that you’re 15 years too old for. Three of The Home Edit team look, dress and speak so identically that I had a full-blown breakdown trying to tell any of them apart, and 90% of every episode consists of a nightmare feedback loop where they all just repeat the word ‘cute’ to each other. Every single person who appears on the program is medically incapable of entering a room without screaming like they had just been presented with the cadaver of a loved one arranged into a sexually offensive position. My average tolerance for an episode topped out at about 15 minutes.

And that’s a shame, because the second half of each episode is almost uniformly the best bit. This is where, having satisfactorily warmed their ego on the glow of celebrity, Joanna and Clea snap back to reality and focus on real people who live in identifiably sized, identifiably untidy houses. And in these sequences, some of their lessons actually fight their way to the foreground. Don’t use mismatched hangers. Don’t fill everything to maximum capacity. Put documents in nice boxes. That sort of thing. If you’re seeking genuine advice, then this part of the show might hold some value for you. Just be sure to skip the first 20 minutes of each episode, or may God have mercy on your soul.