HGTV Is Bullsh*t, And I Give Up
I love a good throw pillow as much as the next person. I love the shabby chic look, and an open floor plan. It’s fun to talk about shiplap, even if I’m still not entirely sure what it is. Shiplap, shiplap, SHIPLAP. And who doesn’t love a good before-after renovation?
These are just a few of the reasons HGTV is so popular. We love to watch people tear shit down and build it back up. We fantasize about owning waterfront property like the places on Beachfront Bargain Hunt. We like giving side-eye to the high-maintenance property owners and gaping at marital spats between the husband/wife hosts. And we revel in the guilty pleasure of feeling like a voyeur into the homes and lives of strangers.
But lately, I can’t help but wondering: WTF is happening on HGTV?
Is this real life? Do people actually live in tiny houses with no closets and fold-down sinks? How does a couple who sells camel milk and hemp skirts afford a million-dollar house on the beach? And what’s with all all the bitching and complaining? Seriously, someone is always pissed off and unhappy. Either it’s the homeowners who hate their 5,000-square-foot home because it feels “too cramped,” or it’s the developers who are pissed at the contractors, or a couple is pissed at each other because living amidst the home renovations like the ones on Property Brothers is literally hell on earth.
What the hell are you even talking about, HGTV? You make home renovations look easy. They are not. You use words like “bargain,” when really you mean “expensive as hell.” You make flipping a house look like a fun little “side project,” when really it means going into hock up to your eyeballs, smelling like dust for three months, and eating ramen noodles every day for a year.
And now Joanna Gaines — queen of shabby chic, upcycling, and DIY salvage projects — is selling throw pillows for $90. That’s right — it’ll cost you nearly two Benjamins just to get a couple of matching pillows your kids are just going to throw on the floor or the dog will rub his ass on. And an area rug that costs as much as $2,300? Please give me a minute to calm the maniacal, hyena-like laughter that this information induced.
My friend Annie told me about a recent episode of Beachfront Bargain Hunt where a couple was looking for a $350,000 second home in Hawaii. I’m sorry, what? If you can afford a $350,000 second home, you do not belong on a show with the word bargain in it. Let’s be honest, the word “bargain” has never passed your lips.
Go home, HGTV. You’re drunk.
Remember that show Trading Spaces, where neighbors would redecorate a room in each other’s home for a couple hundred dollars? Now that show was kickass. Sure, every once in a while, a homeowner would end up in tears, screaming at their shitty-taste neighbor, but most of the time, it was fun as hell and might even give us decorating tips we could actually put to use. Can we get more of that, please? (Actually, yes we can because it’s coming back, baby!)
Whenever I turn on HGTV, I either end up feeling confused AF (do people with children actually live in a 300-square-foot tiny house?), annoyed at the rich-ass snobs who are annoyed that their million-dollar home doesn’t have a rain shower in the fourth bathroom, or depressed as hell about the sorry state of affairs going on in my own home. Before turning on HGTV, I had never heard of something called a “drop zone,” but now I just have to have one for our shoes and coats and other miscellany.
In contrast to the carefully staged homes on Property Brothers and the shabby chic decor on Fixer Upper, my family room is outfitted in the Legos-on-the-Floor motif. The photos on our family room wall are crooked, and there is literally a picture of a jackass taped to the wall — the donkey kind, not the human kind (don’t ask). Just a few minutes watching Rafterhouse, and I hate everything about our house, doubt every one of my life choices, and I want to go to Home Depot immediately and start DIYing fire pits, bar carts, and rustic bookshelves. Give me all the chalk paint.
But the truth is, I suck at decorating and the older I get, the less I care. My house looks less like a West Elm catalog and more like the clearance racks at Target and Toys “R” Us. And you know what? IDGAF. I might love a good throw pillow, but Target sells some cute ones for $12. So does Amazon, and I don’t even need to put on pants or a bra to buy them. And let’s face it: Shiplap seems like something that’s more fun to say than it is to install.
Though I still want a drop zone. And a beachfront second home wouldn’t hurt either.