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Old 10-20-2019, 09:35 PM
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When did home improvement shows become blooper reels?


I used to watch shows on HGTV to get ideas and to learn how to fix up the house, but they have for a large part turned into "Here's why you shouldn't hire our hosts to build a birdhouse" fiascos. Today My Beloved and I watched three episodes of "Good Bones", in which a mother-daughter renovation team tear a house done to the bare bones, then rebuild it to look peachy keen. In the first episode we saw the Three Stoogestheir regular work crew totally demolish an entire wall they had specifically been told to save, then accidentally sawed through a roof beam.
Next episode, the same work crew are given the task of disassembling an old chimney, but they came up with a better idea: We can just topple over that big pile of bricks sticking out of the middle of the house and sweep the bricks off the roof, saving a shitload of time and energy! Needless to say, when the hosts of the show came to the worksite they were not happy to see the new skylight in the middle of the house and the chimney top on the ground floor.
Third episode: Manny and Moe(I suppose Jack was elsewhere unsuccessfully attempting to twiddle his thumbs) have been given the task of carefully removing a beautiful six foot claw bathtub from the second floor bathroom. After evaluating how to maneuver the monstrosity carefully out of the bathroom and down the stairs, one of the geniuses notices the large hole where the bathroom window used to be. Do they rig a pully system to slowly lower the tub down to an awaiting co-worker?
No, they don't.
Do they tie a rope around the tub and just attempt to lower it out the window?
No, they don't.
Do they toss it out the window because "You just can't break one of these if you try!"?
You know they did!
It looked like a 3D puzzle on the ground...and once again nobody gets fired.
I wouldn't hire this firm to carry my groceries into the house. Are shows like this actually good for their business, because they look like a gigantic "Look Elsewhere For Help!" sign to me.

Last edited by Czarcasm; 10-20-2019 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 10-20-2019, 09:59 PM
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I tell myself it's completely staged from start to finish and disguised as a HI show; it's the only thing that gets me through the tedium.

BRING BACK AL BORLAND!
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:18 PM
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I used to watch those at the gym and I stopped when the standard theme became "We could renovate this house so it would be awesome, but that would take more time and money than some totally arbitrary schedule allows, so as long as it looks pretty from the right angle, we're good!"
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Old 10-21-2019, 08:15 AM
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Yeah it's all manufactured drama these days. I've complained before about the one with the twin brothers ("Property Brothers"?) and how they always find some "unforeseen" problem once they start ripping into the house -- although if these guys were the experts they claim to be, they should have noticed on their first walkthrough.
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Old 10-21-2019, 08:39 AM
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Yeah it's all manufactured drama these days. I've complained before about the one with the twin brothers ("Property Brothers"?) and how they always find some "unforeseen" problem once they start ripping into the house -- although if these guys were the experts they claim to be, they should have noticed on their first walkthrough.
I could understand manufacturing obstacles to make it look like they could conquer any problem-that's good PR. On "Good Bones" the work crew itself is the obstacle that adds thousands of dollars to the cost of the renovation. How can this type of show make people want to go to them for anything?
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Shoeless View Post
Yeah it's all manufactured drama these days. I've complained before about the one with the twin brothers ("Property Brothers"?) and how they always find some "unforeseen" problem once they start ripping into the house -- although if these guys were the experts they claim to be, they should have noticed on their first walkthrough.
How many load bearing walls do you need to unsuspectingly start to demolish before you learn to recognize a load bearing wall (or what might be a load bearing wall that requires more investigation before you tear it out)?
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:54 AM
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When did home improvement shows become blooper reels?
Well, my hobbyist woodworker brother-in-law used to watch "This Old House" to laugh at Bob Vila "helping".
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:26 PM
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Don't get me started on Property Brothers wantonly destroying perfectly good cabinets and counter tops, just because they're last year's style or the wrong color. Paint them, or change the hardware, or at least carefully remove them and use them in the garage or mudroom or DONATE THEM TO HABITAT FOR HUMANITY! They're awfully quick to swing a sledge hammer, often to show bloopers of how weak the home owners are or to show how much of a cloud of dust kicking over a wall can produce.
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:45 PM
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Don't get me started on Property Brothers wantonly destroying perfectly good cabinets and counter tops, just because they're last year's style or the wrong color. Paint them, or change the hardware, or at least carefully remove them and use them in the garage or mudroom or DONATE THEM TO HABITAT FOR HUMANITY! They're awfully quick to swing a sledge hammer, often to show bloopers of how weak the home owners are or to show how much of a cloud of dust kicking over a wall can produce.
I refuse to watch that type of show - about 10 or so years ago I watched an episode where whomever had a pristine Pasadena craftsman, with all the wonderful woodwork ... they chainsawed a hole in the wall to install an entertainment system
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Old 10-21-2019, 01:09 PM
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I still watch This Old House, but my wife hates it when I watch any of those other shows 'cause she doesn't like to listen to me yelling at the screen.
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Old 10-21-2019, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Shoeless View Post
Yeah it's all manufactured drama these days. I've complained before about the one with the twin brothers ("Property Brothers"?) and how they always find some "unforeseen" problem once they start ripping into the house -- although if these guys were the experts they claim to be, they should have noticed on their first walkthrough.
My wife likes to watch home improvement shows, but even she acknowledges that the drama is predictable and manufactured.

A few months ago, she was watching one of those shows (I can't remember which one, but it wasn't one of the big ones, like "Property Brothers") -- their big "drama" in the episode was an "accident" -- a big window which had just been installed in the house fell out, and nearly hit the host.

They showed the incident several times, to emphasize the drama -- and when they slowed down the footage on one of the replays, you could clearly see a person's hand, pushing the window out of the wall.
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Old 10-21-2019, 01:36 PM
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Are there any hosts on HGTV you would buy a house from or hire to renovate your current abode?
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Old 10-21-2019, 02:28 PM
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Are there any hosts on HGTV you would buy a house from or hire to renovate your current abode?
Mike Holmes.

Anyone else? Oh hell no!
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Old 10-21-2019, 03:39 PM
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I miss the old days of HGTV when you could learn stuff. It's been years since I turned it on myself. I happened to catch an episode last week when I was in a waiting room with a TV - it was obvious I haven't been missing anything.

Stupid pseudo-reality TV...
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Old 10-21-2019, 04:57 PM
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In a similar vein, the formulaic “show a couple three houses and then they choose one” shows are all staged.

Someone once pointed out to me that the wife’s hair will usually look the same in two segments and different in one. The different-hair house is always the one they will choose. And I’ve noticed that seems to hold true nearly every time.

That’s because they film them looking through a house they’ve already bought. Then weeks or months later they’ll pretend to consider two other houses. Nothing about these shows is real.
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Old 10-21-2019, 05:25 PM
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Once upon a time there was Norm Abrams, but then viewers realized they could never hope to be like him and they turned to Bozo Home Improvement shows.
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Old 10-21-2019, 06:04 PM
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In a similar vein, the formulaic “show a couple three houses and then they choose one” shows are all staged.

Someone once pointed out to me that the wife’s hair will usually look the same in two segments and different in one. The different-hair house is always the one they will choose. And I’ve noticed that seems to hold true nearly every time.

That’s because they film them looking through a house they’ve already bought. Then weeks or months later they’ll pretend to consider two other houses. Nothing about these shows is real.
And they're in cities where the houses are up to 10 times as expensive, for the style, space, neighborhood, etc. than they are where I live. What do these people do for a living, anyway?
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:32 PM
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In a similar vein, the formulaic “show a couple three houses and then they choose one” shows are all staged.

Someone once pointed out to me that the wife’s hair will usually look the same in two segments and different in one. The different-hair house is always the one they will choose. And I’ve noticed that seems to hold true nearly every time.

That’s because they film them looking through a house they’ve already bought. Then weeks or months later they’ll pretend to consider two other houses. Nothing about these shows is real.
I have a suspicion that "Fixer Upper" is actually a subtle campaign for Chip Gaines' run for mayor of Waco, TX, building up to his eventually being elected governor of The Lone Star State.
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:32 PM
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I have a suspicion that "Fixer Upper" is actually a subtle campaign for Chip Gaines' run for mayor of Waco, TX, building up to his eventually being elected governor of The Lone Star State.
I'd suspect Joanna, more likely.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 10-21-2019 at 11:32 PM.
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:33 PM
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In a similar vein, the formulaic “show a couple three houses and then they choose one” shows are all staged.

...[snip]...

That’s because they film them looking through a house they’ve already bought. Then weeks or months later they’ll pretend to consider two other houses. Nothing about these shows is real.
Those shows still simulate the process of looking for a home, even if it's dramatized.

There used to be educational home renovation shows. Even the flip shows gave good advice even when minimizing financial pitfalls.

Now it's either stupidly obvious bullcrap cable shows you roll your eyes at while sitting in a waiting room, or poorly made YouTube videos of dubious reliability.
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:04 AM
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Mike Holmes.

Anyone else? Oh hell no!
Nicole Curtis of Rehab Addict! Her show is sometimes on DIY, sometimes on HGTV, but if you're looking for someone who rips out old cabinets...then takes them home to her garage and puts in hand-refinished ones she pulled out of the trash...she's your gal!
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:37 AM
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And they're in cities where the houses are up to 10 times as expensive, for the style, space, neighborhood, etc. than they are where I live. What do these people do for a living, anyway?
We wonder about this ourselves when we see new developments in our area with prices several times the value of our house.

Where do they get the money to buy these places? This ain't exactly Bel Air.
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:56 AM
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I'd suspect Joanna, more likely.
Nah, Joanna is running for "Oprah."
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:28 AM
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I pretty much gave up on HGTV a couple years ago. There's so little real carpentry content anymore.

Stone House Revival with Jeff Devlin is the last show I watched regularly. It had the typical "oh my" moment before the commercial. That was instantly resolved after the commercial. I haven't watched the show in over a year.
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:43 PM
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There should be a show where Mike Holmes and his crew come in and fix all the mistake the Property Brothers and the Fixer Uppers make.
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Old 10-23-2019, 01:34 PM
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Mike Holmes.

Anyone else? Oh hell no!
Really?

I found it curious how nearly every house he renovated had a basement drainage/leak issue which required excavation and sealing the exterior. Sure, it works but most of the time it's overkill and completely unnecessary. It's much easier to install a French drain system for a fraction of the cost. But, you know, it's not as dramatic.

Also, the guy has some weird obsession about putting his fist through drywall. Ok, we get it, Mike. You're a tough guy. Now step aside and let us get to work.

Last edited by corkboard; 10-23-2019 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 10-23-2019, 02:46 PM
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I blame Ty Pennington and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. It may not of been the first one but it was the first one I noticed. I don’t know if anyone remembers but it used to be a real home-improvement show. The families were all regular people. They actually fixed up the house and showed you how they did it. Then they realized they got more ratings if the family was a walking sob story. They no longer spent time doing real renovations they just knocked down and put up a McMansion. Any real work was shown in quick cuts and no detail. All with the added bonus of making property taxes too high for the sad sack family to live there.
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Old 10-23-2019, 03:03 PM
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Can we lay any blame at "home Improvment" the sit-com? It was intended to parody this old house and yankee workshop, and went largely to an audience that had never heard of this old house and yankee workshop.

I never really watched, and I was rather young when I did, but my memory of it was of the "host" constantly messing up and breaking things.
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Old 10-23-2019, 03:32 PM
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Really?

I found it curious how nearly every house he renovated had a basement drainage/leak issue which required excavation and sealing the exterior. Sure, it works but most of the time it's overkill and completely unnecessary. It's much easier to install a French drain system for a fraction of the cost. But, you know, it's not as dramatic.

Also, the guy has some weird obsession about putting his fist through drywall. Ok, we get it, Mike. You're a tough guy. Now step aside and let us get to work.
You must not be watching any recent episodes, the ones with his kids doing a bunch of the work.

Last one I saw, they completed a kitchen remodel started by a company of con-artists who had no business being anywhere near a kitchen remodel.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 10-23-2019 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 10-23-2019, 04:44 PM
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Mike Holmes.
Well, of course HE does the work with calm professionalism and a minimum of drama.



He's Canadian.
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Old 10-23-2019, 07:10 PM
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You must not be watching any recent episodes, the ones with his kids doing a bunch of the work.

Last one I saw, they completed a kitchen remodel started by a company of con-artists who had no business being anywhere near a kitchen remodel.
True, haven't seen it in several years. In fact I wasn't aware it was still on.
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Old 10-24-2019, 10:24 AM
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I believe there has to be an untapped market for non-manufactured-drama home improvement shows. So many of them suck. Thank God for Youtube.

The shows I watch to learn craftsman technique; or mostly non-scripted content (at least not scripted in the sense of creating fake drama and fake problems) are:

Youtube video subscriptions to the content providers that I trust.
Ask This Old House
Woodsmith Shop
Rehab Addict when I can find it.

Basically Public Broadcast, and trusted Youtube providers are the way to go.
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Old 10-24-2019, 12:23 PM
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To play Devil's Advocate, how many home reno projects have you ever done that went perfectly smoothly? Even the minor stuff like sanding the mud smooth before priming can take on Hellish overtones when things start to go wrong.

Having said that: I'd let Paul LaFrance build my deck in a heartbeat. I'd trust Mike Holmes, maybe Brian Baeumler, and Samantha Pinn to do the interior design. It does amuse me to watch Sarah Richardson consistently order the wrong item and overspend her budget.
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Old 10-24-2019, 06:35 PM
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I like the Maine Cabin Masters. They are respectful to each other and seem to do pretty damn good work. They did have one jackass who would tear shit up in the first season or two, but he's gone.
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Old 10-24-2019, 07:09 PM
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I like the Maine Cabin Masters. They are respectful to each other and seem to do pretty damn good work. They did have one jackass who would tear shit up in the first season or two, but he's gone.
Having spent my whole life in Maine (so far) I was prepared to dislike this show intensely if it indulged in the usual fakery. t doesn't! Any of those cabins or homes that they touch can be seen on any of a hundred lakes within driving distance. Their techniques are rock solid and the crew is a hoot.
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Old 10-24-2019, 07:36 PM
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Can we lay any blame at "home Improvment" the sit-com? It was intended to parody this old house and yankee workshop, and went largely to an audience that had never heard of this old house and yankee workshop.

I never really watched, and I was rather young when I did, but my memory of it was of the "host" constantly messing up and breaking things.
I don’t think we can. Home Improvement preceded HGTV by 4 years.
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Old 10-24-2019, 08:22 PM
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Yeah, it's all become "reality TV" rather than anything from which you can glean good examples of best practices or what to watch for or helpful hints.

For someone like me who is absolutely uninterested in "engineered stone" or stainless steel, they're largely just an incentive to make me an apartment dweller, and yes, as OP said, blooper comedy.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 10-24-2019 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 10-25-2019, 11:59 AM
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Well, of course HE does the work with calm professionalism and a minimum of drama.



He's Canadian.
So are the Property Brothers
  #39  
Old 10-25-2019, 01:20 PM
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So are the Property Brothers
'Course, the Holmes clan have always made a point of never settling for minimum code and berating those who do. Especially when previous contractors couldn't even get the minimum right.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 10-25-2019 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 10-25-2019, 07:23 PM
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Are there any hosts on HGTV you would buy a house from or hire to renovate your current abode?
Brett Waterman on Restored. I think it's actually a DIY show, but they do air it on HGTV, too. He does beautiful work.

I HATE the mandatory demo hijinks. So lame. So boring.

Oh, and the Property Brothers wanted to be actors. They're completely fake. And bad actors. Which is why they had to go with their current shtick.
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