My Problem with HGTV

Now, I will preface this by saying I love design. I love(d) HGTV. If you put HGTV on (or DIY, its sister station) I can use that as background noise to help me do work or pass the time. I will sometimes put HGTV on when I leave my apartment so my pets are used to hearing voices, so they don’t think I’m gone for too long. I might have even slept with a designer from one of the networks. I’m usually the same way with the Food Network and the Cooking Network. However, lately I’ve started to feel like there is something wrong with the station. I think it stems from the last few episodes of “Property Brothers” and “Love it or List it” that have aired.

The basic premise goes for “Property Brothers” is that a couple wants a new house but they want so much and they don’t have the budget for what they are looking for in a home. Usually one (or both) in the couple are completely against a fixer. The Property Brothers show them a home that is what they are looking for to deflate them and then shows them a few fixers and the potential for what the house could be, which could match what they wanted originally. The show would display how to save money and essentially get what you want if you can wait a little longer and put some effort into things.

The premise for “Love it or List it” involves a couple where one wants to leave their home and one wants to stay. With a designer and real estate agent, they work with the couple to either restore the home to the best of their ability and give the homeowners what they want or find a new home. It, at its best shows what options people can have in real estate.

At its best, these shows show potential and shows people how to cope and deal.

At its best.

Rarely are these shows at their best. There’s just so much whining by the homeowners. If something doesn’t go their way, they complain and get all huffy. It breeds into the idea that people should pay the lowest amount of money for the highest quality and they should have it now. I want marble flooring, but I don’t want to pay for marble flooring. The homeowners essentially have tantrums on camera and act indignant when told “I can’t do that.” Even if it breaks building code. Even if there was no way of knowing there was a foundation issue before digging.

And if the designer/contractor decided to fix structural things first? Oh, heaven forbid. Because the homeowner would get upset that it “wasn’t in the budget.” I dunno, but I would rather own a structurally sound home than have custom crown molding, because what use is a pretty house if you can’t live in it?

Speaking of can’t live in things, the different home purchase shows are an issue as well. “Selling New York” and etc. all feature homes that the average person cannot afford, especially in this economy. At its best these shows can inspire people to recreate the styles or have people aspire to live in those places one day. As it stands now, it just feeds this consumerism and this sort of materialistic covetousness that’s unhealthy. I don’t want to live in Durham, NC. I don’t want to see people shopping for a house there. I don’t want to live in a mansion in Texas. Why should I care that you’re getting it 500K less than the asking price even though you can afford it?

This was an off the cuff and unfocused rant, but it does make clear one thing. I need to stop watching as much television and cut my cable. I think the gauntlet has been thrown down. Time for me to start looking into a life without cable television.

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