Like most men in America, I spend my Sundays glued to the TV watching my games–screaming at the bad calls, judging the ridiculous decisions and on the whole frustrated by the end results. Of course, by “bad calls” I mean horrible real estate decisions and unfortunate interior decorating jobs, and by games I mean Love It or List It (I will use its colloquial name from here on out: “List it or Fist it”), Property Brothers and the classic favorite: House Hunters International.
The plight of the realtor.
In the concept phase of home improvement show planning, I’d imagine they all start with this conversation: “OK, so let’s have two hosts, one of them can be the realtor and one can be the carpenter; we’ll have the realtor wear a suit and the carpenter can wear overalls…it’s gonna be great and we’ll give them both equal airtime. Preferable that they all be related, but not necessary.” And you know what I’m about to say — that just doesn’t make sense, the realtor is soooo extra.
As a real estate connoisseur, here’s a secret: the only things that matter in real estate are location (location, location) and time. So it’s wildly unhelpful to hear about the buying and selling of homes in an unspecified city (spoiler alert: it’s Toronto, see next section) in an unspecified time period (are we in 2009 during the recession or 2014 in the bubble?). Stop trying to add value to the show with your annoyingly trite comments…nobody cares, go home.
List it or Fist it doesn’t even try and conceal how useless David Visentin is: while Hilary and her worker-bee, Desta (which in my opinion, isn’t a name) are very obviously spending months reno’ing homes, they don’t even try to make it seem like David put anything more than a day’s work into filming: he’s wearing the exact same outfit for each of the three listings that he shows. Punch in, punch out — don’t worry David, I got your six hours of work on the time sheet.
But in a recent commercial for Property Brothers, Drew Scott (the carpenter) goes for the jugular and makes fun of his brother Jonathan (the realtor) for being useless. “Uh, oh!” I gasped, “they’re onto us.” You see, capitalism is delicately held together by the Drews of the world not quite understanding what the Jonathans of this world do, but (rightly so) assuming that it’s too complicated for them to understand or do themselves. One day they’re making fun of their brother in a commercial, the next day they’re telling us they no longer need adjustable rate loans to finance a timeshare in Henderson, Nevada. I quickly shot off a warning e-mail to all of my plutocratic Capitol friends in Panem — the districts are starting to catch on. In the meantime, Drewseph, let’s just leaving mocking the realtor to your viewers at home; I asked for a carpenter, not a comedian. Finish building my open-concept kitchen or my ensuite bathroom, already.
Enough with the Canadian housing market already.
Even though I had watched marathon after marathon of HGTV, I never really put too much thought into the fact that every single house looks exactly the same (a two-story brick tudor with a basement) and all of the contestants have a slight Canadian accent. Then a friend pointed me to this article and the startling realization that most of the shows are shot in Toronto.
Here’s the thing about the Canadian housing market: once you’ve watched 35 hours of it, you kind of get it. For instance, in every contestant’s ransom list of demands is always a mother-fucking-entryway closet (the need is always exaggerated by a desperate reenactment of all seven family members coming in at the same time fighting to put their ugly Maxxanista coats on one hook). Why did Canadian architects in the early 1900s so blatantly ignore the need for an entryway closet? I don’t know, maybe people had fewer coats? Maybe they assumed all seven family members wouldn’t be such ass holes about that coat hook and could just make do with any of the other closets in the home? I don’t know, but more importantly, I don’t care. As a native Californian, I’m just not spending a lot of my time thinking about winter coats.
All of this is to say I’m pleased to announce that I’m creating a Kickstarter campaign to get HGTV to pick a new city to go down on. In my opinion, if you want to make a show about Anytown, USA, maybe first try and shoot it actually in USA? That’d be great, k thanks.
Can we get a finance check on aisle 11?
None of these shows even come close, though, to House Hunters International (to answer your question: no I don’t watch the domestic version…I’m a man of the world, of course). The moment that familiar doorbell rings, you know you’re in for a whirlwind ride of bad decisions. Especially given that one of the primary casting requirements, it seems, is that you must have a highly-specific and completely-unreasonable need which will ultimately preclude you from making the sensible, smart decision (like a flat in Paris that has to be near your “friends” for all the parties you [spoiler alert] will never have or my personal favorite, a non-slip hallway so your idiot children won’t have another “major hallway accident” because apparently that’s a thing that idiot children are wont to do).
But that’s not even the worst part of the show, in my opinion. The thing that bothers me the most are the budgets. As soon as the contestants are introduced, I’ve quickly judged their net worth based on accents and appearances alone (judging, after all, is my Spidey sense). Never am I met with a budget that at all seems sensible based on my financial assessment of the couple. I’m not entirely sure why, but everytime the show comes on, suddenly I’m transformed into Suze Orman, and no they cannot afford spending three hundred thousand dollars on a risky real estate investment in Belize with Bob’s truck driving savings back home. They’ve got little Regina’s college to finance (though let’s be honest, college was never in the cards for Regina…you can see the way she’s eyeing the natives, that little slut).
This is just a sampler of some of my gripes. Fortunately for you, a marathon is coming on and you know how infrequently those happen. But before you walk away, I guess what I’m trying to say here (if you in fact walk away with only one thing from this post), it’s that I desperately need a house of my own so I can stop complaining about all of these other worthless people on TV who seem to be better at life than me because they are at least homeowners. Waa waaaah.