The American dream…


Actually, that image is me apologizing to myself.

Despite working in television, I really do not watch that much of it– at all.

Except for HGTV.

I watch a RIDICULOUS and totally inordinate amount of time watching HGTV fantasizing about a house I don’t even own. (In fact, as Hubby-to-Be and I sat here this evening looking at listings for homes we have no hope to buy in anything that’s remotely considered the near future, I said more than once that I could assist with any renovations because “I watch HGTV.”)

(I don’t actually think that qualifies me to renovate much. I am not that much of a twat, I promise. However– I am not TOTALLY hopeless… I mean… I figured out how to make jewelry, right?!? I can probably paint a room or arrange tile in a pretty design, right? I mean, if Hubby-to-Be thinks he has solid experience as an electrician because he worked with one for three months, then clearly, not only are we READY to take on a fixer-upper, we can probably build a shelter equivalent to a child’s homemade blanket fort.)

(We GOT this.)

Anyway– I LOVE looking at houses, floor plans, renovation shows, the whole thing.

But the thing about HGTV I can neither understand, nor keep my blood from boiling over, (though clearly their tactics work because I continue to tune in regardless), is the unimaginative & annoying homeowners they cast. (Buffy…)

Okay, so yes, I get that it’s not true reality. I would wager about 90% of the time the Love It or List It people already know what they really want to do and are just looking for a discount renovation, and I’ve heard the House Hunters people are totally staged.

I also have worked in some manner of reality TV before and now work in news, and yes, I understand scripting, and editing and all that nonsense, but here’s the thing. Even if we WERE going to edit things together totally out of context (which on a serious note, I am totally against and is totally unethical, but that’s a serious journalistic rant for another time and place), you STILL HAVE TO SAY AND DO THE STUPID STUFF in order for us to string it together!

For example– Every SINGLE episode of Buying & Selling or Property Brothers I’ve ever seen where the couple/family insists on living in the home while it’s being renovated, they all spend approximately 85% of the time whining about how it’s such a pain to live in a home that’s in the middle of being renovated and less than 10% being grateful for what they’re getting, and whatever’s left is when they finally act like acceptable humans. I’m talking tears, confessional cameras with heavy, panicked breathing, anxiety over having to sit on the floor to eat, the whole nine. Um… okay, A. YOU CHOSE THIS. You SIGNED up. I’ve lived in a home that was being renovated before, too, and I am against washing dishes in the tub as much as the next person, but are you seriously that ungrateful you can’t see what you’re getting and there’s a means to the end? Really? I would LOVE for those adorable brothers to come hook up some dump of a house into the Taj Mahal for me, I don’t care how inconvenienced I am for a few weeks. (Apparently I have no B. here, but you get the point.)

Then, there’s the aforementioned Love It or List It. If you’re unfamiliar, the gist is, one person hates their house because they were stupid when they bought it and didn’t realize what a disaster it is, and other person is fully convinced that despite the fact that it’s an 800-square-foot shack, somehow when the magician designer is finished, they will be living in a 4-bedroom, 5-bath McMansion, on a $30,000 budget. Inevitably, both people once again come off like unimaginative spoiled brats. They’re stunned they can’t get a larger, fully renovated, stunning home in their same city neighborhood while only paying $25,000 more than their current home is worth. Who ARE these people? And if the producers script it, are we supposed to hate them? I don’t get it. And how do they manage to only find people with current homes that will have some sort of totally shocking, completely devastating and budget-eating must-fix-now-or-die issues? What do the producers put in these casting call requirements? I won’t even touch on how awful the hosts’ banter is.

And finally, House Hunters. These people are perhaps the most unrealistic of all. They never seem to understand why they aren’t getting a perfectly designed and decorated home with huge rooms, the exact paint colors they want, right on the beach, for their $175,000 budget (or insert whatever is a ridiculously low budget in your area here). What do you MEAN I can’t have a penthouse suite on Park Avenue for a song and $10K? Most of the time they pass up homes I would be THRILLED to own,  because there’s yellow paint in the living room, the carpet has a stain, or the driveway is on the left instead of the right. Do any of these people have any idea how that sounds? That’s not even talking about the guy who had to have all his sisters accompany him to check out townhouses whose chief complaint was whether his garage would be good enough for his “baby”, which was admittedly, a beautiful red sports car of some sort, that he spent FAR too much time petting in the episode. Or the guy who kept complaining living rooms weren’t big enough for his Sunday Football multi-TV setup… and when they cut to him at the end, he had a flatscreen TV wired to the wall, and then what looked like 2 different 13-inch woodgrain wrapped tube TVs from 1973 atop barrels. (Classy. I can see why you made your wife forego all the houses she liked for this). Or the lady that thought giving a home character meant painting the beautiful cherry cabinets varying, non-matching shades of green. The list goes on.

I get that the shows have to be entertaining, but it does make me mad that all my favorite designers only work in Canada and the people they choose to do cool stuff for on the shows are rude to them the whole time. (Well, most of them.)

So here I sit… typing this post, petting my dog, and planning my upcoming weekend of HGTV watching.

I have no life.

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2 thoughts on “The American dream…

  1. rkench says:

    I, too would love the property twins to show up at my place. Wonder Twin Powers Activate. Form of a scruffy “masculine” hunk. Shape of a “conservative” bucket of Ice Water… err.. anyway. I LOVE Love it or List it because, despite the episodes where you KNOW what is going to be decided ahead of time, there are those that truly take you by surprise. They are, alas, as rare as David finding something WITHIN BUDGET & PREFERRED NEIGHBORHOOD. But I also love watching the evil Eddie & Fergus break bad news to Hillary and Mountain Troll with a Flair Desta (Seriously, she is the “Herbie the Dentist Elf” of Reality show sidekicks)

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