“Grand Designs,” “Restoration Home,” “Restoration Man,” “Double Your House for Half the Money,” “My Dream Derelict Home,” and “The House that £100K Built” are all TV programs you’ve likely not heard of or watched … and you should … and you can. That’s because thanks to YouTube, we can enjoy these UK and Australian programs too.
The fare on HGTV and DIY is fare-ly repetitive. If the market is roaring, we see house flipping, second home buying, and fire-stoking, get-rich-quick real estate stories. When the market shrinks, it reverts to cheap renovation, cheap decorating tips and blanding your house for a quick sale; awaiting the market to awaken.
Throughout it all, there is “House Hunters,” featuring couples who should never have married and “House Hunters International,” which is full of Americans lamenting itsy-bitsy refrigerators in far off lands.
Of course, it’s been fairly well reported that most of the shows are in some way fake. “House Hunters” is more about guessing which home the buyer has already purchased. Renovation shows always act shocked about “catastrophes” (revealed seconds before the commercial break) that a blind house inspector would have caught. Finally, there are the inane budget talks … you know what I mean …
Agent: “What’s your budget for your studio condo in Des Moines?”
Buyer: “$1 million.”
Agent: “Welllll, that’s a tight budget, it’s going to be very difficult. You may have to compromise.”
Regardless of the program, it’s all repetitive fake drama wrapped up with a bow in 21 or 43 minutes (subtracting commercials). This isn’t to say I don’t watch HGTV. I just watch it for information while trying my best to avoid the theater – the best way to do this is with a DVR and liberal use of fast-forward (and not just through the commercials).