There are times when you want to think, and there are also times when you want to do anything but that. For all those times, there is HGTV.
It is worth noting that at my actual home, I don’t have cable—a decision that has nothing to do with my very erudite lifestyle wherein all my leisure time is filled with enriching activities and never a moment is wasted, and everything to do with the fact that Comcast is evil and cable costs like $10,000 a month and we can just watch Seinfeld on Hulu so fuck you, Comcast. This just means that the only time I get to watch HGTV is when I’m visiting my parents and their extensive cable package.
So, I am really not well-versed in the universe of HGTV but I know the big names—the Property Brothers, all four people that comprise the hosts of the two different versions of Love It or List It, and Chip and Joanna who, when mentioned by anyone anywhere in the universe my mom must add, “I love them.” There is also the one where people look for their dream house, and the one where people look for their dream house but it is at the lake or beach. But the thing I love about HGTV is that it doesn’t matter; it’s all sort of the same. Blandly attractive people with mysterious sources of income buying houses and discovering annoying-but-not-insurmountable obstacles at some point in the renovation, but ultimately loving their new open kitchens where they can bake cookies with “the girls.”
There are rarely sticking points—like the guy who refused to buy a house with double sinks because he liked to brush his teeth with his wife (murderer for sure), or how Tarek is fucking cheap and will never let Christina buy the white countertops she so desires (divorced). That, too, is part of the pleasure. It is the soma of entertainment, a soothing balm for all your anxieties. Yes, the subway tile does look very modern but also classic and really brightens up the space. More, please.
But where has the cute lady with the nice arms and the too-big glasses who flipped houses in Milwaukee gone? I think she has been reborn as a slightly more grizzled version of herself, and now she is flipping houses in Chicago.