Jen and I found ourselves on the couch after a long Sunday of housework and baby-wrangling in front of a show called Holmes on Homes, which is a fascinating HGTV program about a guy who travels around Canada fixing home renovation projects gone wrong. It’s fascinating because of the absolute horror shows they uncover and the lengths they have to go to to make things right, which usually involves several weeks, multiple crews of contractors, and lots of money. On the episode we watched last night, he actually told the homeowners they’d gotten about $150K of work to fix all the problems in their house (a total basement gutting, termite infestation, construction of a new cinderblock wall, and complete plumbing overhaul), which was refreshing and surprising; usually these things are just completed, they do the reveal, homeowners smile and hug, roll credits. While the program is, by design, made to feature the Worst Case Scenario, I like it because the guy is genuinely interested in fixing the problems he finds.

But as I get older, I’m less interested in the rest of the standard HGTV lineup:

  • Shows about Manhattan/Los Angeles real estate sales, featuring breathtaking penthouse suites and modern vaulted beachfront palaces
  • Shows about “famous” stylists dressing up the houses mentioned above for rich entitled clients
  • Shows about annoying stylists with no taste redoing rooms for people with no taste on a budget of $500
  • This Old House, which has always catered to people who live in Massachusetts and have no qualms about hiring a building crane to move a 150-year-old oak tree in order to improve their view of the lake while they add a half-million carriage house to the back of their estate
  • Shows about rich, entitled real estate agents
  • Shows about asshole house flippers and their irritating wives, husbands, and assistants who treat their workers like shit
  • Shows about couples who swap renovation projects on their neighbors’ houses


What I’d like to see is a show that deals with normal people in normal houses who have a $5000 project and need some creative ideas on how to get it done. But that probably wouldn’t get any ratings. Instead, I’ll just watch another episode of Hoarders and feel superior while I sip my hot chocolate.

Date posted: March 28, 2011 | Filed under house, humor, photo | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to

  1. Linda says:

    LOVE Mike Holmes.

    You might like Income Property: The host is an actual contractor; not much going in the charm department but he seems to know his stuff.

  2. ren says:

    I hear you about This Old House, but I learned a LOT of stuff from that show and the magazine. (I’m waiting to watch the seasons of Hoarders I’ve queued up until it gets warm enough to get a U-Haul and a Dumpster and clean the gnome home out from attic to cellar.)