However, this year I found the holy grail of time-wasters' TV: HGTV. I had noticed the station before but just laughed at it, as if it was the Oxygen Network. I'm not sure why I dismissed it but I did. And then one fateful evening, I turned on Property Brothers -- and was instantly hooked. HGTV is the opposite of entropy: they start with a mess and turn it into something wonderful. How can you not like something like that?
(I always enjoy shows where people create things but I detest the current tendency to turn them all into competitions. Baseball aside, competition sucks. I don't care about the people involved. I'm not interested in their personalities, their squabbles, their life stories or anything else about them. I just want to see someone make something pretty (or prettier). Sadly, this means I can't watch, for instance, Ellen's Design Challenge. It's that "challenge" word. Just show me the goods and let me see the person as he or she makes them. Why do we need arguments and drama? That's nonsense.)
Anyway, so I watch these rehab shows -- all of them. Essentially, the idea is that people buy a house in some sad state of disrepair and they (or others) turn it into a gem. What's not to like?
Well...the people. Don't get me wrong, some of them are great. But there are so many free-range pigs looking to buy a property specifically to impress others. Isn't that special? I can't tell you how amused I am by these people.
The first thing they do is show you the family in their present home, which they typically say "doesn't meet the needs of their growing family". Ha. As you tour their current house, you see that every room is in a state of total disarray. Possessions are strewn over floors, counters and tables. Nameless items are stacked, teeteringly, all the way to the ceiling. And then we hear the hapless couple say, "We thought this house would work for us, but it just doesn't." Hahaha.
I sit there in my chair and yell at the TV: "You're slobs. A day after you move into your new, perfect home, it will look exactly like the pig sty you currently occupy. You don't need a new house, you need a new life."
The next best thing is when the hapless, messy family initially tours a property. The tall, front door is flung open and the ill-dressed couple says, "Oh, we were hoping for a much grander entrance." Hahah. To suit your lifestyle, I assume.
One of the best parts is the tour of the "master" bedroom, which the couple always thinks is too tiny for them. Because they're so special, and all. I especially love when they check out the bathroom attached to the master bedroom. The woman (it's always the woman) cringes with revulsion and says, "That's not very impressive for a master en suite!" Indeed, princess. It doesn't suit you at all.
But the most enjoyable thing for me is watching how the people react to the most beautiful aspects of a property. In one episode, a couple of dude bros saw that there was a gorgeous floor-to-ceiling stained glass window in one room. Their reaction was, "Ugh. That's gotta go." I roared. When they were told that it was a heritage house and the stained glass had to remain, they said "Well, that's a deal-breaker". They just had to get rid of the gorgeous stained glass. They did buy the place and this room ended up being the most beautiful space in the rehabbed home. It was stunning.
And there's a special place in my heart for the couples that have dreadful taste and insist that they be surrounded by the kitsch, clashing colors and tacky art they so love. The great thing is that the designers, being good designers, give them exactly what they requested. It's a riot to see the finished houses. The. Worst. Houses. Ever.
So yeah, HGTV saved me. There's more to come on my HGTV joys. Stay tuned.
Now, where the hell is baseball?