Eduardo Xol - ABC - 05102011
Designer Eduardo Xol, who stars on the reality series. Photo by ABC
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The successful reality television show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," which is beginning its seventh season this evening on the satellite television channel Yes Real, would not attract any particular interest were it not for the fact that the country's most famous house, the white one, will play a role.

Over the summer, First Lady Michelle Obama was filmed for an episode of the reality series, which every week features home renovations for needy people. The week the First Lady appears, the show is set in North Carolina, and depicts how the program carried out improvements at a residential center in Fayetteville for homeless female military veterans.

The series as a whole looks like a parody about Americans. They cry and yell and get all emotional about absolutely everything, both big and small. The reality format also requires the recipients of the show's generosity to cry in front of the camera.All is not well, though. There have been reports that once the work crews from the show leave, families have been left with huge houses impossible for them to maintain. But that's not the main problem with the show.

Although the show has pretensions of carrying out acts of charity, which should normally be done in private, it also has an air of noblesse oblige. The recipients of the generosity, if not required to kiss the hands of their benefactors, at least have to agree to give public exposure to their miserable lives and throw themselves on the ground in their joy. A smile and a handshake won't do.

And now celebrities are lending a hand as well, including actor David Duchovny, singers Mary J. Blige and Kellie Pickler from "American Idol", for the program's benefit. Tonight's episode features actress Patricia Heaton, from "Everybody Loves Raymond." As noted above, however, the show bests that later with an appearance by the wife of the president of the United States.

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," Yes Real, 10:15 P.M, tonight.