I'm Addicted to Home Improvement Shows

A long time ago, I was completely addicted to HGTV, TLC, and Food Network. I delighted in ambush makeover shows like While You Were Out and the sometimes-disastrous Trading Spaces reveals (come ON, Hildi!). Ina and Giada inspired and tempted me, and let's never forget our dear friend Ty Pennington and his tight man jeans.

And then I cut cable after spending two years barely watching it and deciding I could be a Netflix-dependent cord-cutter. Part of the appeal was that I wouldn't just flip on the TV and end up accidentally zoning out in front of whatever happened to be on. With Netflix, you have to be more deliberate in picking something to watch for 20 hours straight.

Except then Netflix started really picking up their home improvement game. (I still wish they would have more straight cooking shows instead of the cooking competition shows, but that's another story for another day.) I'm talking House Hunters, House Hunters International, House Hunters Renovation! Fixer Upper! Property Brothers!

But as with all good things, there is a dark side. As inspiring and entertaining as home improvement shows can be, they sometimes bring out the worst in me... Hear me out.

Chip and Joanna are TV's best couple. Hands-down, no questions asked, don't even TRY to fight me on it. They are perfection, their love is awe-inspiring, their goats are the best. And because they are so perfect and pure, I absolutely HATE when anyone other than Chip calls her Jo Jo. It's like, BACK OFF BUDDY THAT'S WHAT HER HUSBAND CALLS HER AND YOU WERE NOT INVITED TO THIS INTIMATE FESTIVAL OF JOANNA LOVE. No, but I actually get angry and shout that at my TV.

Until the reveal on Fixer Upper, in which I invariably cry buckets because Chip and Joanna just get it and obviously open concept main floor plans are what dreams are made of. (Has Joanna ever seen a dining room wall she didn't physically need to tear down?)

I have so many gripes about the couples that appear on Property Brothers. I should not be so bothered by strangers—especially strangers who are obviously coached or edited to appear the way they do and say the things they say. But I viscerally hate every wife on PB. They are all nasty and rude and have "can I speak to a manager" face and I just get super protective of Drew and Jonathan and hate the way the wives speak to them.

So I especially love it when Drew and Jonathan snark on the wives and their doofus, man-cave needing, no-closet-space-having, whatever-you-say-honey husbands (really, HGTV? We must, with this trope?) the second the couple walks through a doorway into the other room. When they actually imitate the super bitchy ones, my life is made. Ditto when Jonathan tells them to literally GTFO and stop changing plans and acting like Jonathan is hiding a money tree from them.

The definitive ranking of House Hunters shows: House Hunters Renovation, House Hunters, House Hunters International. House Hunters International is basically trash and will not be resorted to until all other options have been exhausted. Even Flip or Flop.

I saw a typo on an early episode of Fixer Upper and I'm still thinking about it. Like, more than a week later. The guy needed to completely redo the kitchen, because of course, and in that little sidebar graphic they display listing the projects to be completed, the folks at HGTV wrote: "Kitchen Overhall." OverHALL. OVERHALL. I believe the word you're looking for is "overhaul," seeing as "overhall" isn't a damn word. I'm seriously still thinking about this and getting upset.

This might be my weirdest home improvement show-watching behavior, but I love googling for Buzzfeed articles about HGTV while I'm watching HGTV shows. I don't know why, but they're gold. See here, here, here, and here.

Linking up here, here, and here.

Whatchu got to confess?


  1. I love Fixer Upper!!!! I also like Property Virgins (is that still on??) and House Hunters and oh how I miss the old Trading Spaces. You know, before Paige left the first time and Frank was putting picket fences in the rooms and Hilda was gluing flowers to the bathroom walls. Those were the days!!!

  2. I wish I had like a half hour to respond to all the points in this post that I'd like to respond to but I don't. So in case I run out of time first let me say I love the post, I think it&/ funny and really well written and those of us who have similar HGTV problems can totally relate.

    I too enjoy the time I have back since I cut cable so I wish you had not told me this Netflix/HGTV show business but of course am secretly happy that you did.

    I am devastated since I learned that the people can't keep the stuff on Fixer Upper. C & J, demand that they can! I have actually purchased items for my own home from their pricey decor store and I don't regret a penny spent.

    Crap that's all I have time for but I could really discuss this for hours!

  3. My husband and I LOVE Fixer Upper and always comment on how sweet and loving Chip and Joanna [oh hey jojo] are with each other. They just seem so genuine and sweet and kind and I LOVE THAT! I'm so happy their businesses are taking off and they show you can be a loving and fun couple without drama.

  4. Huh. So I really didn't need to know that these shows are on Netflix. We have the very basic cable with just the national networks, so I was able to quit my addiction to HGTV. I could spend a whole day in bed watching House Hunters and Trading Space. I've only watched a few Fixer Upper episodes when we were visiting my parents, so I'm not hooked there although I do love their style.

  5. Yes!! I'm right there with you! I love these shows. I once had dreams of buying a perfect cookie cutter home but now I want an old one with character that I can fix up and of course tear down a wall or two!

  6. LOL @ your Jojo comment! I got sucked into watching Tiny House Hunters earlier this week-- which then led me to Netflix to see if there was a season on there I could watch. I do need to watch more Property Brothers though- that's one I don't see too often and would probably really enjoy.

  7. I'm obsessed with property brothers, I feel like Jonathan is in the Joanna camp of MUST TEAR DOWN ALL THE WALLS EVER. But it annoys me that every. single. couple. picks the more expensive home. Always. Every time. COME ON save some money, jesus. I still watch them, but I also have AppleTV so I get the FYI channel and I've added all things tiny home and off grid living to my watch list (tiny house nation, unplugged nation, etc etc.) So many shows, so little time.

  8. ha-ha I've never got into these shows and feel like my sig-other would judge me crazy if I ever started. Especially because our home currently has no 're-do's' to do! :)

  9. Confession: I don't know ANY of those shows. I don't watch HGTV or any of the other home improvement channels. When I've tried, I've lasted like 5 minutes and then I get irritated. Except watching Tiny House Nation. I've made it through 15 minutes of that show. The documentary was cool, though.

    So, I won't fight you on any of this. I will just agree.

  10. my husband LOVES those shows - all of them! of course, he thinks he mr. fixer upper and always has something to say about the people in the show LOL

  11. I used to LOVE Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and cried nearly every episode. Oddly enough, I don't watch any of those shows anymore. My husband enjoy a British one called Grand Designs. I try to watch it, and often by the second commercial break, my nose is in my book.

  12. Oh my gosh I absolutely love Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna! They are hands down the most amazing couple, like ever. I seriously love their relationship and I love each house that they do. Joanna has the most amazing decorating sense!

  13. OMG I thought I was the only person that saw the typo!!!!! My husband thought I was nuts...

    Drew and Jonathan are my favorite. Seriously they are just adorable.

  14. When they actually imitate the super bitchy ones, my life is made. Ditto when Jonathan tells them to literally GTFO and stop changing plans and acting like Jonathan is hiding a money tree from them.
    find this

  15. I had no idea these were on Netflix and now I kind of wish I didn't, haha! I've never been big on the home improvement shows (or Home Improvement, now that I think about it) but I did always like the house hunting shows. I happened to catch a couple episodes of some Tiny House Hunters show at my parents' (which was different from Tiny House Nation because rather than building tiny houses off the grid, these people are looking for small spaces in cities, i.e. MY PEOPLE) and I was like this is amazing, but also it's probably good I don't have cable!

  16. bahahaha perhaps they overhauled the hall. hahahaha.
    i hate house hunters international! high five. i LOVE house hunters where are they now, is that lame? i am love love loving jonathan and drew right now, buying and selling is my fave, but i will always take property brothers. you know what makes me laugh? here:
    property brothers: hey here are these two people who want a pretty house for $5. property brothers say NO you are DREAMING don't be crazy, but i can get you this house for $1 and fix it up real pretty (and overhall it haha) for the total amount of $5, does that sound good, okay.
    buying and selling: hey here are these two people who want a pretty house for $5. okay look, here is a pretty house for $5. good job! but lets fix up your old house first.
    they always find that dream house easily on buying and selling, but it's 'impossible' on property brothers. i don't know why it drives me crazy but it does. also, the bitchy wife and the 'whatever you want honey' husbands are so old and annoying. like if KC and I were on any HGTV, we'd be the most laidback people like, oh we don't care about character, look at that paint colour we can change, or no worries, we can't have everything, who needs a man cave, this 80s kitchen is great because look at the counter space, whatever whatever whatever.
    they totally would not allow us on the show.
    clearly, i care about HGTV too damn much.
    (also, flip or flop, i love to hate that show. the guy is an absolute tool. once, i saw an episode where he decided to fill up a pool with garbage and then tried to cover it up. the contractor, Izzy, was like NO YOU IDIOT you can't do that. it just annoyed me like dude i wouldn't buy shit from you because you are shady as shit. also, they dress their daughter weird. it annoys me).
    okay stop me talking about HGTV already JEEEEZ.

  17. LOL!!! I haven't watched any of these and I won't, because I don't need more addictions in my life, but hearing you talk about it is hilarious. I also get very defensive of people once I decide I like them (like the one super nice coworker when I perceive the other one to be "picking on him" even though they're just having some stupid debate).

  18. This is why I adore you. I can actually see AND hear you getting worked up over all of this. Overhall? That person should be fired. Just like the people who keep promoting the "word"... no, I can't, the MISTAKE "funner". News flash: FUNNER IS NOT A WORD!!!!


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