Decor & Renovation

Top 5 worst things about home makeover TV shows

By: Canadian Living
Canadian Living
Decor & Renovation

Top 5 worst things about home makeover TV shows

By: Canadian Living

[caption id="attachment_3695" align="aligncenter" width="575"] Smashed TV I got angry with my TV last night. Not quite *this* angry, but angry enough to launch into the rant which follows.
Photography by Imbecillsallad.[/caption]   They certainly aren't producing home makeover TV shows like they used to. Don't get me wrong—there is still some quality programming being made. I'll always make room in my life for the likes of Sarah, Tommy and Mike, for instance. Not only do they come across as sincere and genuinely talented, but they're also people I'd actually like to have a drink with. What's more, I learn things from them while I'm watching work their design magic; valuable things that I can put into practice in my own home. But I was watching one of those other shows while making dinner last night, and got so enraged by the banality of what was unfolding on-screen that I actually had to switch-off, flinging the remote against the wall with the spaghetti. It got me thinking of my ever-increasing ennui with makeover TV, and it basically boils down to these five key contributing factors.   5. "Nice granite countertops." Okay, so... Are the would-be homeowners on HGTV's "House Hunters" contractually obligated to utter this line in every episode? I refuse to believe the entire population of the United States actually believes that granite— GRANITE!— is the ultimate countertop material. Ever heard of quartz, folks? 4. The lack of Suzanne Whang. Back in the day, the host of "House Hunters" ruled not only Thursday nights, but HGTV itself. Whang was warm, charming, and somehow, incredibly... Comfortable. Never interacting directly with the house hunters or realtors themselves, it was as though was watching the show with us, providing commentary as the events unfolded on the television. I've never come to grips with her departure from the show, and the increasingly irritating house hunters (see above) have made it unlikely I'll ever watch it again. (PS: According to the Google machine, Suzanne is now a regular on—wait for it— General Hospital. If anyone can confirm this, their next drink is on me.) 3. The not-so-insightful insight. Alright, we get it: If you want to sell your house, paint it in boring neutrals and remove all traces of personality. Next! 2. "Will they finish the makeover on time?!?" Not only is the "beat the clock" angle done-to-death, it's also conned an entire generation into believing that a proper kitchen reno can be completed in under 48 hours. *eye-roll* 1. Scripted conflict. And by "scripted conflict" I'm referring to this bizarre notion that people won't want design TV unless people are fighting. As a result, a fair chunk of today's programming hinges on manufactured drama that pits designers against homeowners, contractors, other designers, organized religion, etc. In the most common formula, a snobby "expert" rips the home's existing decor to shreds, a slew of catty barbs are exchanged, an insurmountable obstacle arises (except that it isn't unsurmountable at all; it just happens to be accompanied by dramatic crash-zooms and pregnant pauses), and everyone lives happily ever after behind the rolling credits. It just makes me long for the days of Sarah's House, and those shows that offered real, valuable insight into the design process, exploring the "why's" and "how's" of design, instead of using it as a backdrop for sub-soap opera antics. I know I'm not on my own on this one. Feel free to pick up the rant in the Comments section below.   Follow me on Twitter!
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Decor & Renovation

Top 5 worst things about home makeover TV shows

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