HGTV shows graded and ranked, from ‘Fixer Upper’ to ‘House Hunters International’ – For The Win

Posted: March 22, 2020 at 4:44 am


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Theres no sports on right now, which means you can devote much of your TV watching time to the home renovating splendors of HGTV. While HGTV shows all pretty much have the same premise someone renovates a home or someone buys a home they are not all created equal. Some are far, far superior and others force you to actually turn off the TV and pick up a damn book.

Before we really get into which ones are good and which ones will fill you with rage for the entire human race, a few notes on the rankings. One, yes, Im aware none of these shows are totally truthful, but that doesnt really factor into the rankings. What matters is the semblance of veracity, not what is actually real. Two, the rankings are a mixed bag of home improvement shows and home buying shows, even though theyre totally different viewing experiences. Lastly, shows are judged on a mix of how engaging the hosts are, the quality of the design work (where applicable) and the likeability of the home owners/buyers.

With that in mind, heres a ranking of HGTVs most popular shows, from Fixer Upper to House Hunters International.

Premise: Tarek and Christina flip homes in southern California Grade: F + Theres something gross about watching people pick apart foreclosed homes in Southern California and then flip them to make a personal monetary killing. Flip or Flop has always been too stressful for me to enjoy and focuses too much on the real estate market to be a real escape. Plus, the chemistry between Christina and Tarek always felt forced, even before their divorce. Now its just a grating experience in watching two people who barely tolerate each other try to salvage their business.

Premise: People look for tiny homes Grade: D+ This is the HGTV version of having a friend suddenly announce, Oh, by the way, Im vegan now.

One of the worst, most aggravating HGTV shows to air, only because of how unlikable the home buyers are. Most of these tiny homes are little marvels of design, but every single episode has at least one person saying, Umm, it feels a little tight in here, which immediately leads to me wanting to throw something at the TV.

The real issue with the Tiny House shows is not just that the buyers come off as insufferably smug, as if giving up square footage makes them morally superior, but that the show lacks enough self-awareness to realize that low-income families all over America have lived in tiny houses forever, simply by necessity.

Premise: Chip and Joanna Gains renovate homes in Waco, Texas Grade: D+ It pains me to give Fixer Upper an F, but Ive turned on the show and turned badly. I, like everyone else, used to love Chip and Jo. But theyve hit peak fame, and nothing makes people more insufferable than seeing their faces all over your local Target. The homes that Chip and Jo have done are undeniably beautiful, everything shiplapped to rustic, farmhouse perfection, but, now, the ubiquity of that perfection is suffocating.

When it first aired, Fixer Upper was a bit of fresh air in the HGTV landscape. Chip and Jo were undeniably charming on camera, and their obvious chemistry is what launched them to Martha Stewart levels of stardom. The entire thing has grown far, far too big, and their cultural influence is far above what it should be.

HGTV is no longer making new episodes of Fixer Upper, but even watching the old ones leaves a sour taste in my mouth now. Everything is too perfect for Chip and Jo. Their marriage is constantly perfect, their kids are always adorable, the farm house is always bathed in a golden glow, their neighbors are always friendly and never racist! It is pure artifice, from top to bottom, but trussed up to look working class and real.

Premise: Fixing up rundown historic buildings in Michigan and Minnesota Grade: C+ Sometimes I think Nicole Curtis cares too much about saving old windows. Just let it go, girl.

Premise: Mother and daughter rehab old houses Grade: C Every single new HGTV show has the same formula with a few slight variations. Its always some kind of family duo, fixing up some junker that probably shouldve just been torn down. The formula has different success rates, depending on the chemistry of the family members and Good Bones is among the better ones. The hosts are charming and personable, but the premise of whether or not someone is actually going to buy the house feels incredibly stilted. Ive never once watched an episode where they didnt actually buy the house! Design wise, its better than One of a Kind, but nowhere near as good as Property Brothers or Home Town.

Premise: Finding the perfect beach home Grade: B Dreaming about living at the beach is a favorite hobby of mine, until I remember that most ocean front properties will be underwater in a couple of decades because climate change is real. Also, the bargain portion of this title is misleading. Most of these people are paying over $300K for spaces without an ocean front view. The appeal of this show, of course, is mentally tallying up for your income and seeing if you, too, could afford to just ditch your home and job and live in a cramped condo that overlooks a parking lot.

Premise: Jonathan and Drew buy and fix up a home Grade: A There are a few Property Brothers shows now, and Jonathan and Drew have also become personalities in their own rights but have somehow managed to avoid falling into the overexposure trap like Chip and Joanna Gains. There are a lot of spin-offs, but Property Brothers: Forever Home seems to be the newest iteration. This is the exact right amount of charming host to flustered couple ratio for an HGTV show. Jonathan and Drew are capable, smart and, most importantly handsome and charming. Plus, the interiors that Jonathan (or is it Drew?) executes are always stunning.

Premise:Perspective home buyers search for the perfect house Grade: A The OG of HGTV shows, and it cant be beat. What other show invites you into the lives of domestic couples and practically begs you to rip apart their relationships? You can always tell how long a marriage is going to last by how a couple handles home shopping together. House Hunters isnt just a great HGTV show, it is one of the best and longest running reality TV shows ever. Every episode isnt just a peak into someones life but also a chance to pass judgement on all the life choices that lead them to this very particular moment. They have how many kinds? They want a pool? In upstate New York? Their budget is how much?! Of course theyre home schooling their kids! Plus, if you live in a big city where youve been priced out of the real estate market, its always nice to see you can get a single-family, three bedroom, two bath ranch somewhere in middle America for way less than your monthly rent.

Premise: People move overseas and shop for homes Grade: A+ House Hunters International is pinnacle TV viewing and hands-down the best HGTV show. The perfect mix of fabulous real estate agents (looking at you lady in Paris and dude in England), enough scenic beauty to indulge wanderlust, and compelling, but sometimes enraging home buyers. Not only can you get a glimpse of the rental market in foreign countries, but you can also sit back and judge every single American moving to Europe and complaining about how small everything is. Truly, its a gift.

Originally posted here:
HGTV shows graded and ranked, from 'Fixer Upper' to 'House Hunters International' - For The Win

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March 22nd, 2020 at 4:44 am

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