Last year really beat me up. I still haven’t recovered. The work is a huge slog. We’re writing at about half the usual pace. I’m really tired creatively and have to take frequent breaks. It’s a terrible thing, because normally my brain processes things and chews through the next scene of the book while I knit or wash dishes, going about my day, so when I sit down before the computer, I already know where I’m going. Now there are days when I don’t think about the book at all. And I seem to have lost my ability to tolerate sharp turns in my entertainment.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the beautiful sparkle of Bridgertons and no force – hehe – in this Galaxy or any other could’ve kept me from Mandalorian. The extent of my Star Wars geekery can’t be overestimated. I love Star Wars, especially the Galactic Republic/Sith Empire in post Great Hyperspace War. But aside from Mandalorian, I can’t seem to handle any stress. Yet I still want to veg out in front of TV with my knitting and I can only take so much of Gordon’s True Crime kick. Joe Kenda has a new show on Discovery+ about other American detectives. We are watching it. My, my.
Enter the renovation shows. Guaranteed to be uplifting and low stress. Below are my three current favorites.
Dream Home Makeover
Dream Home Makeover features Shea and Syd McGee of Studio McGee and is available on Netflix. Shea and Syd are located in Utah. They have two lovely children and they seem like a very nice family. They met in college and worked typical white collar jobs, until Shea decided to start a design firm from scratch in 2013. In 2014 Syd quit his marketing job and joined her. They worked very hard and now they are a well-earned success story. Now they have 80 employees.
This is a show you watch to see how the other half lives. The price tags are high. Even a minor remodel runs around 150K. The anchor points of the show are million dollar homes with basically unlimited design budgets. While the designs are pretty, it’s not that difficult to furnish a beautiful house when you have no financial limit.
From the design point of view, Shea is a California version of Joanna Gates. No matter what Joanna Gaines gets, she turns it into a white farm house with open shelving and shiplap. One time she announced at the start of the episode that she would be renovating a mid century modern. Midcentury modern is known for its use rich earth-tones like browns and oranges with pops of brighter color here and there. I was like, “Okay, let’s see it.” You can see it, here. Spoiler: it’s a white house with open shelving. Okay, she did keep some woodwork and she did put a bright blue sofa into it, so I am probably being too harsh.
Like Joanna, Shea turns everything white. It’s that gleaming I-have-money version of white: white marble, white walls, white overpriced furniture.
This house pretty much exemplifies the show. Her houses are the gold standard of the current affluent design trends. I saw a house just like this one in Austin not too long ago, and when we sold our house north of Austin, we had done exactly what she does. We painted everything white. That house gleamed from top to bottom and it sold in two hours. A lot of this is driven by the clientele. Clients want standard finishes. At some point in another episode, Shea made a brave decision to use a white tile with slightly uneven edges vs the usual white tile and had to convince her client to trust her.
To be fair, Shea is completely self aware. She says things like “A pop of color. Oh, I hate that so much.” Syd kids her about her white obsession at least once per episode. And her gleaming palaces do feel light and bright. I don’t know how they would wear long term – that much white would show a lot of dirt – but people who live in those houses probably have robust maid service. 🙂
It’s a fun show to watch, but I reccomend watching one episode of that and then something else, because houses begin to blend.
And now we are going to make a 180 turn to Texas, where Ashley and Michael Cordray are renovating ruins on Galveston Island. The show is presented by Diy and is available on Discovery+ and Amazon, although it’s not prime so on Amazon you have to pay per episode. Have I mentioned how much I love Discovery+?
Galveston is a barrier island that lies south of Houston and is a premier destination for the Texas beachgoers, despite gray water and muddy looking sand. It’s a fun place. Kid 2 went there with her boyfriend for a weekend one time, and they rode horses on the beach, and went jet skiing, and had an awesome time.
While McGees are working with million dollar homes, Cordrays are working with this.
Galveston is historic, meaning it’s full of old houses with nifty architectural details that are barely standing. I would bulldoze down 2/3 of what’s on that show. Sometimes they buy houses for 30K and then they restore them into these adorable beach places. The couple tries to replicate original features like built-ins and staircases while still making the houses livable and modern. And then they sell them on the open market.
If you ever wanted to know what Texans are like, this is the show. They love their town, they watch their budget, the go to the beach, they have dogs, and they have zero fear about crawling under a teetering two hundred year old house to fix the plumbing. Also, their foreman owns an adorable Chihuahua names Frankie.
Very fun show. You can see some short clips of it here.
If you know where the quote “My colors are blush and bashful” comes from, this is the show for you. It’s set in Laurel, Mississippi, a small Southern town, and it is as sweet tea southern as it can get. You can watch it on HGTV, also available on Discovery +. I think the first season might be on Hulu.
The show features Ben and Erin Napier, who are trying to revive the historic district of their small town. They pretty much succeeded at this point. The show is a huge hit, so they have done for Laurel what Gaines’ (Gaineses?) done for Waco. To some extent. Waco is still the armpit of Texas. Fight me.
Unlike the previous show, each of the houses on the show is owned by someone and the Napiers renovate with specific clients in mind. Ben does a lot of construction and woodworking. He has a woodworking shop with hilarious signs in it like, “Measure once, cuss twice.” Erin is the main force behind the actual design. Erin is extremely flexible. If the client wants bright colors, they get bright colors. If they want white and grey, they get white and grey. If the client wants a kitchen and they have only a little money to spend, they get butcherblock counter tops. If they have more money to spend, they might get quartz or granite.
The prices are low. Some houses are so old, that they can be bought for about $50K. Click here and look at the Feathered Friend video. Hehe. Renovation budgets rarely exceed $200,000, and most are less than that. Floors are restored. Walls are recycled. Furniture is often custom made by Ben. They are very careful with people’s money. This video pretty standard for the show.
They seem like very nice people, too. There is a lot of humor in the show. On the latest episode I watched, Ben got a cowboy hat somewhere and it became the running joke through the episode. He was making bad cowboy puns and Erin laughed at them.
This is probably my favorite renovation show right now. It’s warm and uplifting, but it doesn’t attempt to exalt their hosts or their lifestyle. The Napiers don’t try to hold their family up as a standard to imitate. They just want to help their neighbors find a good affordable place to live.
And that’s my guilty pleasure. 🙂 What’s yours?
Oh I swear, you might be convincing me I need Discovery+. I was opposed because what? Another streaming service??? But looks like a lot of good shows on it.
Husband & I are both originally from Texas & you nailed Galveston. ????
It’s currently on sale that you can gift the add-free version for $29 for 6 months or $59 for 12 months. You also can use it on up to four screens. My sister and I were on the phone setting up our lists on our profiles and kept finding shows we had forgotten about. It’s got A LOT. The profiles seem to have a glitch though because our favorites lists were merging across profiles.
I LOOOVE the “pitbulls and parolees” show !!! And Iam french so it’s very difficult for me to see it because there is no diffusion on France, but I search on internet, and I watch it in no order on YouTube, like an addict I watch everything I can find about it… aaaannnd I cry every time they save a little dog
Family (also addicted to renovation shows) recommends Escape to the Chateau.
I LOVE “ESCAPE TO THE CHATEAU” SO MUCH!!! Also, the sequel, “Escape to the Chateau: DIY”, where they help OTHER Brits who have bought French Chateaus with their renovation designs and ideas.
Definitely “Escape to the Chateau.” It’s the antidote to all the white, open plan houses with subway tiles. Unicorn taxidermy.
I also enjoy Grand Designs (Netflix). People, mostly VERY rich people, design and build unique houses in the U.K. (there is also one in Australia).
Mary Beth says
You had me at ‘Unicorn taxidermy’. LOL
I can’t stand all that white in a house. (I worked as a maid for a year while waiting word on a possible move overseas.) It’s a real pain to clean. The only thing worse is an all black bathroom. Oi!
I watched this once and I must be a horrible person because I wanted to throw things at the TV. Something about them just gets to me. I’m too pragmatic or maybe just judgey. (I own it)
My mom enjoys the program though and laughs at me when I leave the room when she puts it on. They’re on Season 6 so they must be doing something right.
I’m with you Kirsten…
Judy Schultheis says
“My colors are blush and bashful.” “It looks like an explosion in a Pepto-Bismol factory.”
Hi my name is Sonson and I am also a home makeover show addict
Currently loving anything by the Property Brothers
In the UK we have Phil and Kirsty and their show location, location, location is a home show staple.
Patsy Tisdale says
“Pink is my signature color.”
I too am addicted to these shows. Along with Hometown I watch Boise Boys, Good Bones (on HGTV in Canada)and Rehab Addict on DIY. For Canadian shows try Island of Brian or Cabin Pressure
Yep, watched those too. Did anyone else saw the resemblance of Boise Boys and Shrek? I couldn’t unsee it even their characters seemed to fit.
The Block (Au) especially the last season, Love it or list it (Uk), Grand Designs, Dream Gardens (Au), Fixer to fabulous, … those are just some more.
And I watched the british bake off as well. Loved it so much that I did a road trip sitze my mum and grandma through scotland und england afterwards. But we die just stop at one kg und bakerys. Everyone else was asking why I didn’t plan a whiskey tour instead. The thought it crazy to get so excited about baking. Anyway was one of my best months!
Sorry auto correct. We didn’t die es die stop at one.
Argh. Did I mean we did
I’ve been playing House Flipper…the game where you renovate houses…oddly addictive and relaxing.
Of course, I’ve been painting in some of the most disgusting and eye bleeding colour combo’s I could find…
Ista in Sydney says
Property Ladder (UK) is entertaining. Newbies decide to buy/renovate/flip an old house, with suggestions visits by a professional. The amount of ignoring the suggestions (learned from experience) can be a lesson in hubris.
I love the show “Good Bones” but I’m only 105ish miles up the highway from Indianapolis and have got to meet Karen and Mina. They and their primary crew are as much fun in real life as they are on the show.
Anne (Germany) says
Busted…I also love home renovation shows, and “Good Bones” is a nice one. When I was pregnant with my twins and couldn’t do much besides lying on the couch it was Good Bones, Property Brothers and Fixer Upper that got me through the pregnancy. Also, those are pretty much the only shows that I am aware of that run in german television.
Also…Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan – did I mention I don’t have a dog due to allergies? What’s up with that? Must be Cesars very soothing personality.
I forgot to list both Good Bones and Rehab Addict (when it was on, she had great tips on restoring woodwork and windows).
Susie Q. says
Pink has never been my signature color. It is too girly and flirty. However, I have ended up with pink walls in my living room at different times due to art.
I had a print with orchids and a lot of leaves. The major colors were green, white, golden yellow from the stamens and just a hint of blush pink at the center of the flowers. An accent only, not one of the primary colors. I had a large green area rug. I needed a new couch and I can’t resist a bargain, and found a super comfy, expensive couch at 75% off that was unfortunately in a very pale dusty rose and beige lattice print. I knew that it would be look good with the print so I bought the sofa despite the color. I ended up painting the walls cream with just a hint of pink. It was a very relaxing space.
Forward 40 years. I have 2 impressionist signed limited edition lithographs by a Native American artist who had trained in Japan that I bought in a Santa Fe gallery, one chieftain on a horse with with a feathered lance and a Kachina dancer. I have 3 signed limited edition lithographs (one chair, one table and a cobalt blue horse head) and a original water color of flowers in a vase by an artist in Captiva Island, Florida. The artist was influenced by French impressionists. I was at a touring exhibit of Monet paintings and recognized my chair and table in 2 of his paintings. All impressionistic, vibrant colors but totally different styles. The blues were different, more turquoise in the Native American lithographs and cobalt blue in the Florida lithographs. I couldn’t figure out what to paint the walls. I was at the paint store and ran across Ralph Lauren Racer Pink, described as a masculine, dark pink/wine which was in all of the artwork. I used it as a accent wall. It tied the art together, and changed colors depending on the light.
My neice and nephew own Beautiful Chaos in Minneapolis. Third generation..
Steve does the remodeling, Sarah the decorating. They have a website, newsletter, store and win awards. They have been featured in decorating magazines. Very neutral colors, occasional shiplap and use contrasting textures instead of color. Very proud of them, but I need color.
Susie Q. says
I just realized that this could be seen as an insult to the poster whose signature color is pink. I am sorry. I am autistic and introverted. Very direct and not comfortable with flirting and a true dating disaster. I avoided pink and hearts etc., because I didn’t want to attract intention,not based on a dislike for the color or people confident enough to wear it.
Not the poster, but I think that you did fine – I read the subtext within your post as “too girly for you”.
And I think it’s really kind of you to return and clarify what you meant to rectify any potentially hurt feelings.
I don’t even know how you make gray icing.
Sigh. I was born in the town Steel Magnolias was set (it is real, Christmas festival and all). We don’t all do pink (I even majored in chemical engineering as an undergraduate) even when we still like the traditional architecture and friendly lifestyle. My parents are retiring back to the town in a house with first and second story porches on the front and back with old live oaks in the yard. Will be nice when the finish work is done. My aunt lives in a different town in the same area in a house her husband’s great-grandparents built – it looks like the one in the video with the deep wrap around porch, single story.
I think Natchitoches and Laurel aren’t culturally all that different. Not surprised that there are similar houses!
I love seeing Laurel getting better. For years it seemed sad and decaying.
I haven’t been to Natchitoches in — gracious — decades
Mountain Monsters formerly of the Travel Channel and now available on Hulu. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3019170/
As someone who grew up, at least partially, in the Appalachians, the characters, or actors if you like, are relatable if slightly exaggerated. In my humble opinion, it’s far superior to shows like Finding Bigfoot, which never seems to, you know, find Big Foot.
A good friend of my brother’s actually had that as HIS JOB for several years. He lived in the Pacific Northwest and worked at locating Bigfoot.
I would have loved to see that job advertised somewhere – probably on Monster.com.
Mary Beth says
You could also try ‘River Monsters’ with Jeremy Wade. He’s a biologist and fisherman. Quite an interesting guy. He’s on amazon prime and youtube.
When my son was in elementary school, River Monsters was “our” show-and the one where they hunted meteorites! Meteor men. I think that it was a the sweet spot of airing between school and dinner and geeky entertainment!
LOVE River Monsters – one of my favourite shows!
I love river monsters. Until the next time we go camping..my imagination is way too vivid…
Big Mike says
I caught part of a “Finding Bigfoot” while channel surfing. Almost busted a gut with laughter. If they ever really actually found a Sasquatch they’d better hope they were wearing brown pants so it wouldn’t show.
Thank you. I might have to check this one out. My mom was from way northern rural Vermont, or as I explained to my Tennessee husband Appalachia North. The characters I met there were n our many trips to see family were interesting. I am related to most of them.
I’m afraid mine are much the same. For most of the same reasons. I do add Gold Rush bulldozers and Oak Island mystery to the mix though.
Oak Island is the best show to watch where nothing happens…
I also love Time Team (from the UK.) We watch it on youtube. And Repair Shop (also British)
COULD IT BE???
I got to go on an Oak Island tour two years ago and I think at least 2/3 of the people there were American, it’s so weird (as a local) to think of that show’s international reach! It definitely helped me orient myself better when I watch the show. For non-speculative Nova Scotia content, I’ve really enjoyed Lords of the Ocean.
Bargain mansions. Her designs are awesome. She uses colours and designs that you don’t see on most of these shows. Love to see what color, what wallpaper, even what grout color she ends up using.
Don’t mind me; I’m still trying to process the “Entry Library and Mudroom” concept.
OK, now I have actually gone to the link, and those are three separate areas. Apparently the team is trying their level best to operate with a severe shortage of commas. The mudroom is kind of OK; maybe a little too reminiscent of a locker room, and the tile will be easier to vacuum than to sweep or, God forbid, mop. I have mudroom envy in general, because ours is the foyer, so any mudroom is better than none. The shelves in the library contain less than 10% actual books, so there’s another serious literary deficiency. My principal impression of the entry is one of coldness, but I guess in California that’s not an issue.
The lack of books is pretty ridiculous for a library, isn’t it! Pretty sure the few that are there are for decor rather than for reading.
Odd factoid: When decorating/staging, it is possible to buy older hardcover books by weight. It seems a sad fate for a book, although there are worse. I’ve strapped three of my old law school textbooks together for a footrest under our dining/jigsaw puzzle assembling table.
It’s 3 separate rooms. Entry, library, and mudroom.
Thank you! You must have posted this while I was calculating the actual book content of the library.
Marcia McGinley says
That’s what I did after they wrote that the library was designed for “homework, music and their many books” and looking at the photo I calculate they have 50 maybe. At least they’re not arranged by colour. But “many books” they don’t have unless you’re comparing them to a medieval monastery library.
In fairness, it was probably staged by the decorator before they moved their books back into it. Still, if you’re calling the room a library, it ought to have more books than BS decorative objects.
Oh, and my guilty pleasure is cheapoldhouses.com. 😀
I love Home Town. It makes me happy to watch. I really like that they reuse stuff. Maine Cabin Masters is always interesting. It’s on DIY.
I think we’re all mind numb at this point. We’re not receiving the outside stimulation from other people and sites. We haven’t been taking vacations. It’s hard to get excited about things when you see the same people and the same walls every day.
We’ll get there eventually, but in the meantime, enjoy the guilty pleasures.
We are currently binging Escape to the Chateau to make our own home renovations seem less stressful. ????????????
p.s. “fight me.” had me loling
The great pottery throw down on HBO max is my comfort show right now. It’s great British bake off except with pottery. I’ve watched the 3 seasons multiple times.
The only problem is that it makes me want to try pottery again. I don’t need more hobbies!
Donna A says
Funnily enough I am waiting to watch this tonight, I’m in the UK and it’s series 4 episode 5. If you like this style of show and can stream them there is also The Great British Sewing Bee and The Big Allotment Challenge (I will be jealous if you get this, it’s not available any more over here).
Colleen Whitley says
i really enjoy the Sewing Bee even though my skills are basic. Seeing how they can repurpose different items each episode is a highlight for me.
I’m a professional bag maker, and I’ve *never* found a way to stream sewing bee in the states!????????
Colleen C. says
Ok, this is weird but has Ashley from Restoring Galveston voice changed or something? Her pitch/tone has gotten high and I can’t unhear it now. I love them though so I just listen with the volume down. They are such a cute couple!
Have you watched The Repair Shop? It’s just a bunch of nice people repairing treasured heirlooms. 90% of the stuff they repair is probably cursed, but they don’t seem to mind.
I’m very excited that the new season of Laid Back Camping is out. It’s an anime about high school girls going camping and the worst thing that goes wrong is that the grocery store doesn’t have the kind of meat they were hoping to grill, so they have to get different meat. It turns out delicious. I like to think that Laid Back Camping is where magical girls from other animes go to retire.
*cursed* ×laughs in Supernatural×
I love The Repair Shop! It’s so amazing when people get their precious item back and they are so overcome with emotion… ????
+1 for Repair Shop!
I love the Repair Shop. It’s kept me sane through lockdown 1,2 and 3.
Jana Oliver says
My guilty pleasure for much of the last year has been surfing real estate sites for apartments and houses for sale. Since we’re in Portugal it’s 1) a language lesson and 2) a lesson is just how much the influx of folks with money have driven up the cost of these properties. Like waaaay higher than they should be, at least in the major cities and along the coast.
We love our rental apt. so this is an exercise with no real value other than letting my brain cool down between writing sessions. And it satisfies my curiosity as to how my neighbors live. Case in point — regular house that comes with a summer kitchen with laundry facilities off a large backyard terrace. Complete with built in brick grill because the folks here love to have family over for meals.
I can definitely get behind this. However… the thought of rehabbing anything makes me wheeze. Been there, done that.
I LOVE hometown! I really don’t watch much tv at all, but that’s one of the few recent shows I’ve seen many episodes of. Erin and Ben seem like such great people. And I love their accents. Watch it for a little too long and my own southern twang gets markedly more pronounced. Hubby likes it too so we watch together.
The great pottery throwdown, grayson perry’s artclub, the great British sewing bee. For eg, pottery: Everyone is super supportive and the high point of the entertainment is trying to predict which piece will delight the soul of the burly judge so much that he is brought to tears. It’s joyful.
Books and home improvement shows …Also seeing grandkids!
The puppy bowl today is going to be a special treat .
Jéssica Freitas says
Ohhh I love renovation shows, and they double as research for my day job as well. But sadly we don’t have cable tv and most cool reno shows (foreign or otherwise) are only available through cable here. I did take note of these ones though, I can watch at least the one on netflix 😀
I am absolutely taken with House Hunters International. I cant stop watching even though I end up yelling at the tv or laughing as people say we want to experience different cultures but then chose a house just like their orginal dwellings. ????????.
Its my guilty pleasure when I just want to unwind without thinking.
After I finish the episodes on Hulu, I’ll probably go back to watching something by the Property Brothers. I do the same with their shows except I yell, that house is going to have mold AND termites and you will be over budget!
Wilbur Ringo says
House Hunters International spoiler: Co-worker did an early retirement and he and the wife moved to Costa Rico. Before leaving, they contacted House Hunters International and asked them about being on the show. The show was very enthusiastic about them. However, they said go rent the house you want, and let us know. Apparently all the renters/buyers in HHI have already made their choice. The show then arranges for a local realtor to show the couple two other properties for purposes of making the show.
Kristan Paige Hall says
That’s actually very well known. For me, it doesn’t change my enjoyment of the show. I try to guess which one is their house, and I decide which house I would choose. 🙂
Home Town is also one of my favourite TV shows. For something different try “The chateau Diaries” on You Tube featuring Stephanie Jarvis as she tries to renovate an old chateau in France. I initially saw her on the UK TV series, Escape to the Chateau: DIY which is all about people buying and renovating French chateaus. When I’d binged all of those, I discovered her You Tube channel – the early ones are not the best as they were IGTV posts, but now they are really good. I also really enjoy Foxes Afloat, a You Tube channel featuring Colin and Shaun as they travel Britain by narrowboat.
shhhh (Dr. Pimple Popper)
Chris T. says
Yaaaasssss. All the pops!
OMG those last two, the Cordrays and Napiers, are MINE plus Escape to the Chateau. My husband groans but he watches (sometimes) because he knows that they make me happy.
Take a mess, clean it up, and make something beautiful, improve the neighborhood and make people happy. HEA.
Plus usually some beautiful scenery, I WILL go to the Loire Valley someday.
The housing market in Galveston is booming right now. Some properties are going above asking. It boggles the mind how much a small, 100+ yr. old house, newly renovated house, on a small lot with no garage and little yard is selling for now.
My SIL lived in a house that almost looked exactly like the one Ilona posted when she went to TAMUG. I visited lots of times and had some darn good parties down there with no air conditioning and sketchy wiring. I don’t know if I should watch the show or not – might make me depressed that our old cheap college housing is all trendy and gentrified now.
Patricia Schlorke says
White on white on white makes me go snow blind. If you’ve been in a blizzard, you know what I mean.
Shiplap is fine in moderation. I’ve watched This Old House. One of the episodes showed a house with a lot of shiplap. Even Tom Silva (he’s the main contractor) was speechless.
My guilty pleasure is watching cooking shows on Food Network. I have my favorites like Delicious Miss Brown.
Kelly B says
I hate white on white! Definitely snow blind territory and a terror to clean. 100% agree.
Shiplap is not my favorite, but I’ll take it any day over endless white.
Tiny homes, any series. My house is only slightly over 600 sq. ft. & I plan on renovating next year so I’m looking for every trick in the book and of course design ideas. Also have watched the shows you mentioned & have to agree on you assessment of all of them. Nice bit of escapism. In 1 hour they complete what I know is going to take 3 months for my house. I’m really happy I have somewhere else to stay during the remodel.
if you can get George Clarke Amazing Spaces you will see ideas for some very small spaces indeed!
George Clarke is brilliant. He is like a much nicer version of Kevin McCloud in Grand Designs. The houses that are renovated will seem tiny to American viewers but they are what people actually live in in the UK. And he comes across as such a lovely man.
Courtney Mincv says
Nature shows and reruns of The Golden Girls with my mom on Sundays.
Other Barbara says
Watching cooking and crafts for now. I get upset at nastiness, over competitive folks and those who undermine others.We have double watched at least twice..Forged in Fire. Just watched season two of Blown Away (glass makers!) A sweet/tough NJ girl who is losing her vision competed. oldest offspring said the Great Pottery Throw Down is fun. Now we’re doing food. Watched all Great British Baking show seasons, watched Nadia Hassan baking shows. Talk about kindness. Watched Sugar Rush Xmas.
We tried some detective shows. Husband loved Sherlock.
Just started two shows. Great British Menu season four, and British home cooks with Mary Berry. Mary show is slow, ok, but kindness and companionship abound. Great British Menu is local districts foods, true chefs and some nastiness. Got to see British Mansions run by Trust, and still farmed. This season the Welsh guys were not too nice to each other.
On other offspring adores RuPaul Drag Race for the activity levels, makeup, dancing and music.
I await suggestions!!! Off to check renovation shows.
Blown Away is addicting.
I’m currently obsessing with Wandavision, and like Gordon I’m on a true crime kick too.
Mary Peed says
Ooo WandaVision. I’m WAITING! And loving it.
British comedy panel shows like 8 out of 10 Cats does Countdown, My big Fat Quiz, QI, and my favourite Mock the Week and then from Japan lots of Super Sentai, Kamen Rider and Ultraman have gotten me through lockdown.
Mine is 100 day dream home and Good Bones. It’s good therapy
I saw a renovation show on HGTV yesterday called Ty Breaker. It had Small Town vibes crossed with Love It Or List It. The clients don’t know if they want to stay where they are or move. They are given design plans for both the home they are in and their potential new homes. Once the clients choose how they are going to spend their money the designers get to work and make something special for the family.
My guilty pleasure is video games though. I developed an obsession with Warframe in November and it helped me stop my lifelong nail biting habit.
I’m currently watching Bling Empire and I can’t stop! The over the top plastic surgery, the jewelry, the flights to Paris just for lunch, etc. It gives you any of the Real Housewives vibes if having a monthly budget of $400k was seen as modest spending lol
Crocheting while watching NFL football; Reading…alot. After finishing Blood Heir, I’ve gone back and started re-reading the KD series, am currently on Magic Triumphs.
Now for True Story about Waco, TX – before it was on the “national map”
My Dad’s family resides in Central IL, before the Waco disaster, his brother and sister-in-law moved to Waco. Why? Uncle K took great pains to rub it in my dad’s face that he would never spend another cold, snowy winter while my dad froze here in Illinois.
The first winter spent in Waco, Texas, the area had a massive ice storm. As in – the entire area shut down for over a week as roads were ice covered, no power, below freezing temps – you get the picture.
During this weather event, Illinois was enjoying a balmy 50 degrees. My dad had great fun calling Uncle K….”So how’s the weather in Hot, Sunny TEXAS???”
If you are willing to try fiction, I found Ted Lasso, on apple tv, surprising positive and optimistic. It has a very silly premise of an American football coach running a British professional soccer team but the writing is wonderful and the jokes are layered. But most of all people are kind and caring. It’s a lovely world view for a bit of escapism.
Ditto for Ted Lasso! It was the feel-good sanity saver of quarantine this past summer. Love it!
Kathy Buxton says
I love Hometown, too. I am also addicted to The Great British Bake-off.
My husband is obsessed with home renovation shows. His current favorite is Love It or List It. I prefer true crime or something that makes me laugh like The Good Place, Schitt’s Creek reruns of The Office (then listening to the podcast The Office Ladies)
I like Good Bones, the early ones, the mother daughter duo is so natural together. There’s some bickering, and a lot of good natured fun. Now in Season 5, Karen, the mom has taken a slightly lesser role in the renovations and the show, and it really has dialed down the charm.
But I love watching them essentially rebuild a whole house.
Chris T. says
Yes, I’ve watched every episode of Good Bones! Am tired of their design style, however, which is move kitchen to front or middle of house ( where you walk in the door and can see dirty dishes immediately), white cabinets, floating shelves that trap grease.
I’m a big fan of Good Bones too. I especially love how open and accepting they are. Definitely the most progressive family on HGTV. Don’t have to worry about whether they belong to any hateful groups.
Cindy Marlow says
HaHa! Niçoise salad with cheese balls. HomeTown is my kind of show.
I watch Forensic Files to relax, and I love How It’s Made with a sick passion. ????♀️ No stress there, although my other half says I might as well watch paint dry. (And some episodes have paint drying in them, so he may be right.)
+1 on How It’s Made!
Also, weirdly, Air Disasters – it’s the geek in me I guess.
I love Air Disasters, I find it fascinating how many things can go wrong and how a good pilot can make all the difference. I’ve watched all of the season I have access to multiple times. I also like Megadisasters, it was on the history channel 15 years ago or so, and it is still my go to for when I need a soothing narrator to nap to (forensic files works for this too, weirdly). Some of the science in Megadisasters has been disproven, but I enjoy it anyway. How the earth was made is another one I like.
This comes with a warning that the material “contains graphic material which makes you want to puke but you just can’t look away”: “Dr. Pimple Popper” and when it’s not on, “My feet are killing me.”
My husband walked in on me watching My Feet Are Killing Me the other day and literally started gagging. ???? To be fair, dudes feet were baaaad .
Cheryl M says
Oh, I love home reno shows! However, having sold our home this past summer and moving into a 5th wheel motorhome, I’ve been avoiding the shows. Why torture myself? I’ve been watching Brit police shows, the anti-home reno show. My husband has been powering through Mountain Men and Below Zero.
Have you watched The Fall, Unforgotten and Line of Fire? Best of British crime tv no doubt.
Oops – Line of Duty … not Fire
Mary Peed says
I just got Discovery+ too (6 months free from my cell phone company) and I’m bingeing Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. And American Detectives. My youngest son is a chef and he actually takes notes on some of the recipes on DDD. I hope he decides to try some of them on his mama.
I usually like the home makeover shows but they’ve all been the same lately. I live in an 1885 boarding house. It’s always in some phase of renovation or updating. I’d like to see some of those shows restore historic homes.
Also? I hate “open concept”. I want to be able to close the freaking doors and hide the dirty dishes in the kitchen. My living room is 20×25. I have plenty of room for a party. I don’t need people in my kitchen unless they’re cooking. (Grumble)
Ellen Solensky says
You might like what Brett Waterman does with Victorians on “Restored”. He works with craftspeople.
Beth Leffler says
YESSS! Brett Waterman and Restored is hard to find in our TV market, but that got me hooked on Storybook architecture.
Don’t judge…I promised myself a trip to Oak Island…a girl can dream, eh?
Anna L says
Have you seen battlebots? That is the few reasons I”m considering getting discovery+
Bosch. I just binge watched 6 seasons. My family started dancing around to the opening theme song around season 3. I finished the series last night and re-watched Kolchack on SyFy.
Chocolate. And I’m not feeling all that guilty about it. ????
Debi Majo says
I love Home Town. I have to watch this in between the episodes of Criminal Minds and Hawaii 5-0 so I don’t get bogged down in the drama…
I like 5-0 till half the cast quit. Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park were my faves.
White ha everything in the UK homes seem to be grey at the moment – just horrible.
I’m currently binge watching run BTS on you tube. It makes me laugh – it never seems like the band are mean spirited. They actually like each other and so far the episodes are about 20 mins long. I’m 20 in and there’s about 150 of them so far.
Quite frankly they give me something fun to look forward to every day.
Yes! Renovation shows have become my go-to these days. There’s something comforting about them.
Along those lines, have a look at DIY SOS: the big build Ireland
It’s communities coming together to renovate homes of those who’ve been dealt a rough hand through illness or accidents or that.
Or the original UK version, DIY SOS:
I’m here in Ireland, so I don’t know if/how you’d get them over US direction, but definitely worth a try. . . Fulfills that renovation show need, and hits you right in the marshmallow centre.
Sara Bright says
I’m addicted to Homes Under The Hammer on the BBC but I think some old shows are on Amazon Prime. The format is the same every show but I love it. You see three usually terrible houses from all over the UK sold at auction. The presenters meet the purchasers & discuss their plans for the properties. The cameras then go back for the transformations or in some cases to find disaster. Mostly it’s a revelation. My favourite presenter is the more recent Dion Dublin. He’s hilarious.
Sara W says
Home Town is one of my favorites too! We love Ben and Erin, they are such a cute couple.
Mine is Animal Planet and the vet shows. Dr K, Dr Jeff, The Vet Life, etc. Usually everything turns out good and when it doesn’t, everyone cares. Bonus of lots of cute animals and people who love them!
I’m with you on the vet and Zoo shows. We just got Discovery+ and have started at the beginning of Dr Jeff… good people trying to do good. I did have to stop watching the Incredible Dr Pol (Nat Geo I think), after consecutive episodes where a cat was shot .. first one with a crossbow bolt in the head which the cat miraculously survived, and the second one with a shot gun that shattered both front legs and the cat had to be put to sleep. All I could envision was one of my cats being shot…. I was done. We also like Oak Island… as someone else noted, the best slow where nothing happens, lol. But they are so good teasing you that something momentous is about to.
Anna L says
Since you have discovery, i have been watching battlebots. I cant fence right now but watching robots with cool designs destroy each other is fun. No consequences to humans and builders are very quirky nerds. My favorite show is wynonna earp a supernatural campy western simular to buffy but with better writing and better characters
Ellen Solensky says
Why am I not surprised that my favorite author likes my favorite “reality” shows? I enjoy both the Galveston and Home Town. Both couples are so genuine and do great things. I also like Restored where Brett Waterman brings architecturally classic houses back from over 100 year old “fixes’ and makes them beautiful again. I don’t have Netflix so I haven’t seen the the Dream Home Makeover, sounds fun. I can imagine when people have lots of money to spend. All these shows are very relaxing.
My husband and I love Home Town. There’s none of the formula we’ve seen in other home reno shows like the ‘unexpected’ broken sewer line or faulty foundation. Erin and hubs showcase their craft with respect to their clients. I also love that they don’t play to the camera. (Chip Gaines monkeying around annoyed me, even though I understood he was trying to be funny.)
We also enjoy Good Bones yet cringe at the exterior color choices. Flip or Flop is also a guilty pleasure. We switched it up last night and were gripped by the Amazon Prime documentary about Ted Bundy. Normally, my husband doesn’t like this documentary, preferring Ken Burns Baseball series, but it was fascinating. It’s amazing how the internet and modern technology has advanced.
Okay. I’m curious about the Galveston reno show. My hubs and I always think it would be cheaper to level some old houses to the ground. After seeing ‘historical’ homes restored we can appreciate the effort.
Don’t feel guilty about your ‘guilty’ pleasure. The world is not in a great place right now and we’re all entitled to enjoy whatever shows we want or do whatever else we need to do to get through it. Actually, people who spend all their time consuming the expensive High End Drama for Discerning Viewers and then going on and on and on about it are the WORST. Listen, I find chess very boring, OK, I don’t care how groundbreaking the Queen’s Gambit is, stop telling me I have to watch it! I don’t have to watch it!
This! So much this!
Another vote for “Home Town”! It’s my current favorite Reno showand I can watch reruns of entire seasons on all of a rainy Sunday afternoon, while knitting and just feel the stress melt away. I also like “Good Bones” because it’s a mother/daughter pair that do the home town restoration bit in Detroit…or maybe Cincinnatti…and the Mom makes me laugh.
“Good Bones” is set in Indiana’s capital of Indianapolis. I’ve got to meet Mina and Karen and their primary crew and they are as crazy in real life as they are on TV.
Count me as another one who likes “Hometown”, “Restoring Galveston”, and the show”Fixer to Fabulous”.
My current guilty pleasure is Once Upon a Time – yes there’s a bit of drama, but the good guys win & the villains (mostly) get redeemed. The biggest plus though is that there’s no reality in it whatsoever & that’s a good thing right now!
Anna L says
I love it especially the musical episode!
Orlana Curry says
I have watched them all. My favorites are Restoring Galveston, Main Cabin Masters, and I miss the Snow Sisters.
I love Home Town! I’m basically into any renovation shoe where the drama doesn’t feel too manufactured for tv and there is actual variety in the end product of each episode. I loved Fixer Upper at first until everything just felt the sane over and over. Joanna is gonna do white, gray, maybe a light green. There will be a giant click and the kitchen will have a giant word like “gather” on the wall.
Show, not shoe ????
Ugh, autocorrect really got me. Knew I should have checked before clicking the post button. The Gaines’ shows always had a giant clock, not click.
I recommend you watch Escape to the Chateau. Probably others have posted about it as well. A a British couple buys a derelict French chateau with a moat, seven out buildings, and 12 acres for 280,000 pounds. They do a lot of the work themselves. They try to come up with every way they can think of to make money using their chateau and grounds. I enjoy watching it.
All the fun sitcoms from old school ABC, ABC Family or Freeform: Baby Daddy (hilarity is thy name), Melissa and Joey, Modern Family, BIg Bang Theory, and of course Hallmark movies. Formulaic they may be, but sometimes you just want a guaranteed 1.5 hours of minimal angst feel good TV.
Karen O. says
If you want to watch an enjoyable, entertaining train wreck…watch Battlebots! My dad was watching this show years ago, and I just found it again. Teams design and then fight their robots in an enclosed box until the last bot is standing or three minutes is up. The destruction is fun as the different weapons they design destroy or damage their opponent. I must confess to recording them and then fast forwarding to just the bouts. Mindless television at its best!
Anna L says
I grew up on battlebots so I was glad for the reboot. The commentary can be great though especially when they describe things in the pits
I drink tea, eat pretty good chocolate while I surf wildly expensive homes and sneer at their interior , “Yes, let’s live in a refrigerator” all white decor, master baths that take up a quarter of that pricey space, and kitchens where you have to hike between fridge, stove and sink.Others are more interesting. I love my own ordinary house, neighborhood and town, so I can look and laugh. While I can’t wait to get out and do my own shopping, even take trips and visit friends, it helps a lot to be where you want to be.
Back when I briefly had cable (there was a deal where I actually saved money by having six months of cable plus internet, vs just internet; I don’t watch enough TV to justify paying for cable) I really enjoyed this house hunter-esque show about people searching for ridiculous vacation homes in Hawaii. My favorite moment was this woman walking into a “closet” which, no joke, was nearly as big as my house, looked around, and went, “oh no, this closet is too small! I couldn’t even fit my shoes in here!” And the master bedroom only came with ONE closet, which was absolute blasphemy.
Colleen Thorsen says
Just started watching the Lost Kitchen on discovery plus, and I’m totally hooked.
My guilty pleasure is reading knit / crochet pattern books.
I don’t necessarily want to make the items, I just want to read about how they happen.
Sometimes, I’ll look at a pattern that’s neat, but makes something I don’t have any use for, and mentally re-use some part of it. I often “make” a shawl out of an afghan or blanket pattern or fingerless mitts out of glove or mitten patterns.
My biggest challenge is finding a replacement yarn for all those gorgeous wool or wool blend skeins. (It isn’t done until I *could* make it, even if I won’t. Unfortunately, wool makes me sneeze and itch.)
I waste a lot of time on Yarnspirations, too.
I used to critique the house plans that the developers advertised, but they keep them private now. (Some of them were pretty clumsy.)
Again, it was how things worked, not what they looked like, that interested me.
Maria Schneider says
Over the last year I’ve noticed that I read a lot more cozy fantasy, light UF…yours is the limit of what I can handle for tension and then a lot of that is because I pretty much know what to expect with an Ilona Andrews book. For a new author I might not be so generous in continuing if the book starts to get too…tense. Or if certain plot devices are used. Some I just cannot handle. And I crave a happily ever after ending or very near it. I mean, I always loved HEA but this last year I will not read anything that isn’t going to give me a pretty good fix because I don’t seem to be able to handle it.
As for the writing and scenes, gotta go with where you are at. I know there is discipline and you’ll always have to apply that. But creativity is a strange, uncontrollable beast. It also comes in spurts and has to be catered to. Whiny brat sometimes.
Don’t worry too much about it. Watch your shows, keep a smile on your face and stay healthy. Store up on the XL hugs too.
Gaëlle from France says
We have some of the american renovation shows on french tv. The one with Joanna and Chip, the one with Tarek and Christina, the one with the twin brothers, and others like tiny house and things like that. I find it relaxing. I often read a book while listening it on background sound. I can watch it an entire afternoon (they’re diffused by 6 or 7 episodes nonstop ????) , but they’re repetitive, and the renovations often look the same…
I’ll take a look at Restoring Galveston, your resume intrigues me. Thank you !
Danielle Tobin says
If you like Home Town I think you’ll like Good Bones. This mother daughter duo renovate homes in Indianapolis. They also buy homes for as little as 50k.
I do rewatches when I can’t handle changes; I have some standards that I go through pretty regularly. Hart of Dixie is one of my candy comfort shows, as well as a ton of cooking shows. I love Worst Cooks, it always makes me laugh and groan, and seeing people progress with kitchen skills is always nice. Chopped is always good background. I also just finished the latest season of Blown Away on Netflix, I love watching glass art being made!
Guilty TV Pleasures – depending on the time of day…
If I’m lesson planning I need something in the background I know so well I can complete the sentences/predict what will happen next – so anything from Star Trek/Babylon 5/Stargate SG-1 or Atlantis (Universe isn’t into that category right now I haven’t watched it enough).
When I want a break from work for half an hour or so…
BBC David Croft/Jimmy Perry Sitcoms – Dad’s Army, Are you being Served, It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, You Rang MiLord, etc.
If I want a longer break – Midsomer Murders, Joan Hickson Miss Marple, David Suchet Poirot, Ian Carmicheal/Edward Petheridge Peter Wimseys, BBC’s New Tricks,
And when I’ve had enough of the screen – right now I’ve been intrigued by all the posts on Audiobooks (I used to love these as a kid – I had all the Redwall’s on almost constant repeat, but not so much as an adult) – so I have either Ian Carmichael’s Peter Wimsey BBC Radio 4 Dramatised versions or Elizabeth Moon’s Hunting Party (Dramatised version) in the car, and Blood Heir on the phone when indoors!
I watched all of Kim’s Convenience on Netflix. It’s about a Korean immigrant family living in Canada abs how the parents and their adult children navigate life the universe and everything… it’s light and funny and the stress never gets too high!
I also just really, really enjoyed “Yin Yang Master” on Netflix. It was just gorgeous to watch visually… fun fight scenes, murder mystery (though it’s pretty obvious who did it, the why abs wherefore are not as…) my only wish is that I could hear it it original Chinese language.. the English dubbing was kind of flat. Again it’s fun, the drama is there, and there is lost love, but it’s not too much…. considering the recovery process from 2020. (I have low tolerance compared to many… lol… whenever a show turns out surprisingly terrifying or stressful my daughter and I put on “Molang” about a little rabbit and his bird friend to cleanse the pallet… ????)
+100 for Kim’s Convenience!
My current guilty pleasure is Terraforming Mars (a board game). It’s long and complicated, and there are a million paths to victory. It’s one of my favorite games right now because I don’t have to care what anyone else is doing; I can just focus on building my own empire, tailoring all skills and resources to becoming more and more powerful as all the players cooperate to terraform Mars (and sometimes Venus).
In quarantimes, some delightful soul has created a free online version of the game that is really well done. You can tell it’s a labor of love, I can watch them making updates and changes even as I’m playing. There is even a solo version, which is fairly different in play style but is my current anxiety relief. Playing in person is still my preferred style, but this game has made the last months infinitely more bearable.
Doris Martindale says
I have to say, any medical show about animals. I can watch Dr Pol all day! Love the Dr Jeff show from Colorado, the Vet Life in Houston, I can go on. But being a medic in real life, I’ll watch any medical show.
luv luv luv Home Town, Restoring Galveston, also luv, Good Bones, the Mother/daughter team from Indianapolis, Boise Boys, Luke and Clint, also like Restored with Brett Waterman, and of course the Canadian twins Property Brothers, Jonathan and Drew.
Magdalen Braden says
I still watch Flip or Flop despite the divorces and implausible hair weaves. I’m also low-grade obsessed with the legal shenanigans going on behind the scenes in Windy City Rehab. Love Good Bones. And whatever happened to Desert Flippers, which the Wisconsin couple flipping houses in Palm Springs? I miss them. So, yeah, I like the flipping houses shows. Cooking shows, too: Cook’s Country and America’s Test Kitchen. (Warning about Chris Kimball’s new show, Milk Street TV: the savory recipes are WAY too salty, and I love salt.)
I’ve rewatched Brokenwood Mysteries and 800 words about 10 times each over the past year. *comfort tv ftw* (both available on AcornTV, for folks who love Brit TV)
Also…for reno shows, my favorite is Rehab Addict.
The Brokenwood Mysteries are from New Zealand not Britain, I love them too 🙂
I’m aware of that. AcornTV markets itself as a British television streaming service.
Robin De Tota says
My sister and I binged on Lonestar Law, Selling New Orleans and Flea Market Flip so now whenever we see sleds, wheelbarrows and barrels we take pictures and send them to each other. Enjoy your guilty pleasures, you need your mind to find its happy place ????
Linda L Page says
We switch between-
Longfellow, an honest sherrif of a small town close to an indian reservation
Criminal Minds – only so many episodes I can watch before checking the bed at night
Lucifer – the devil has retired to Los Angles
Lucifer +1, especially the first season
Barbara Erwin says
I must take issue with Waco being the armpit of Texas. I’m not a Waco fan but at least there’s water! Have you seen Odessa Texas??? It’s much more unpleasant.
Odessa is drenched compared to El Paso. Odessa is still a boom town, money is flowing one day and the next day they’re lining up at the food pantry. The Permian lifers live in Midland. Phoenix has so many water features they need dehumidifiers. In Yuma, they are still watering the Bermuda in January.
Mary Bowles says
DIY channel is my favorite thing to watch too.
Also, something I’ve noticed amongst my creative people, is a creativity slump. Don’t worry it comes back. I’d advise taking frequent breaks in writing. creativity is not unending unless you feed the beast with something new. Travel or Dictionary words do it for me, but that doesn’t mean it will do it for you. Getting burnt out happens and it needs something in between to fire it back up. Stay safe and DIY addicted, that may be your creativity fuel. 🙂
Cooking/baking shows! Which is really funny, as I cook, but not often and not particularly well.
It may be related to the fact that I’m doing a lot of rereading these days. It’s like my brain doesn’t want to process anything new or challenging.
I love Home Town. For all the reasons you mentioned but especially because for Ben and Erin it is all about their customers.
I’m late to the game of the Korean dramas. So. Much. Betrayal. I have watched enough of them that Mr. Queen is absolutely hysterical, even with just subtitles.
I’m midway so don’t know if it’s a happy (ish) ending or not but if it is, it will go on rewatch list.
Those last 2 shows are on the are on the hgtv app. The app is free.
Wendy S. Delmater says
Nothing to feel guilty about. My guilty pleasure is playing Matchington Mansion on my phone: I get to be the designer, within limits. Also reading favorite series before bed, since a new book might keep me up wondering how it ends! Your series are in my rotation.
Judy B Taylor says
I recommend Worst cooks on America, Chopped, and all of the different secrets of the zoo type shows. When we need a 30 minute filler we watch Nailed it !, a hilarious baking competition by people who can’t bake.
Ships Cat says
I love renovation shows as well. I share your addiction. However, I like the British ones better, as they often do low or even no budget (lets see what we can find in the garage or attic). I watched one episode of Dream Home Renovation, and found it too rich for my blood. And people with all white houses obviously have a) no kids, b) no pets c)have a live in maid and cleaner. One of my favorites is Love it or List It, which actually is Canadian. Though there is a Brit version as well.
The last year has been difficult for most of us. Give yourself a break. I’m just thankful you are writing.
All the reasons you list is why I couldn’t get into the Dream home design show. So much money spent for a white box.
I prefer a lot of the British home shows instead.
If I’m gonna see that much money wasted, give me Grand Designs. There is like 20 seasons with some sunset usually on Netflix. While some people don’t finish, most do and create amazing one of kind homes.
Also for lazy happy stories, Repair Shop. People bring in antiques for restoration. Netflix.
Big Dreams, Small Spaces is garden renovation in small backyards and is pretty cute. Very low budgets.
And for just touring great architecture, The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes. Also Netflix via UK. Very focused on architectural elements and design.
My mom liked Boise Boys. Two dudes have business flipping homes in Boise Idaho. They debate which ones to buy then remodel. The couple episodes I saw were good. She had direct TV so I’m not sure where to find it.
Not home renovation but I am loving the British Repair Shop on Netflix!
I do love watching renovation shows and The Mandelorian. Watching Joanna Gaines new show Welcome home, she seems to have expanded her design repertory a bit more. I also enjoy the property brothers Forever Home, 100 Day Dream Home, and Star Wars Rebels. Home Town is also one of my favorites.
Escape from tarkov would be that guilty pleasure.
I don’t stream much at all (although I did tag on to my brother’s Netflix account so I could watch Bridgerton – loved the books) and have pretty much given up on “prime time” network channels. So I have basically been watching HGTV, DIY, and Animal Planet for several years now and occasionally NatGeoWild and Smithsonian. I was hooked on several of the home renovation shows for a while but they are all in re-runs now I think. The Zoo was a favorite as well as The Aquarium and most of the vet shows; Maine Cabin Masters and Northwoods Law. I’ll even put one of the Hallmark channels on for background noise while I stitch or read.
I hear you. I’m nose deep in a book most nights because I can’t handle the noise or adrenaline of visual mediums right now. I love Kate and the neoPack dearly, but I wouldn’t be able to watch them without the fast forward button nearby. I sis manage to get through Bridgerton, but I knew the story so well it was fine. Wimp, that’s me.
I like baking and cooking shows, myself. GBBO, obv, and Sugar Rush. And The Repair Shop, which has the most soothing narrator and pacing *ever.*
It’s so weird to me how my go to genre is urban fantasy/paranormal romance, with heavy duty swords and big toothed shifters, and I’m just fine with it, but put it on a screen and I nope right out.
I’m starting week 19 of a major house reno, living in my basement and just can’t process anything new. I’m rewatching Top Gear with Jeremy, Richard and James as well as Top Gear USA with Rutledge, Adam and Tanner. I have almost all of these on DVR.
I also have found reruns of Sell This House and some of Sarah Richardson’s programs on a random little channel called Dabl.
Angela Do says
My guilty pleasure is Chopped. Part of it is probably a nod to my mom who loved the show but passed this last November. She and I would sit together, watch the show and try to figure out what the heck we would do with the ingredients in the baskets.
I share your addiction to renovation shows and Hometown and Restoring Galveston are favorites of mine. AND, as I’m getting more and more stir-crazy I’ve found myself browsing floorplans for barndominiums to build on some land I’ve owned for decades near Round Rock, TX. Since I live in a townhouse in the Chicago area this is quite a departure. AND, I can’t seem to get anything down on my jewelry work. It sits there on my worktable and I move it around but ….creativity can’t you F-O-C-U-S on the right things (whine).
Love it or list it!
Hosted by Kirsty and Phil. They visit families where one person wants to move and one wants to stay. Kirsty does a remodel to try and make the current house work and Phil takes them around houses that they could move to. At the end of the episode they have to decide if they’ll love it or list it. I just love it so much.
Leigh Ann Parente says
I’m with you.
This entire pandemic, I’ve mostly re-listened to your audiobooks (no surprise there) or rewatched low-stress TV.
My favorite is “Death in Paradise” because I can knit straight through, listening to the sounds of the fictional island of San Marie. I’ve seen them all before, so I’m vaguely aware of the murderer, but even if I don’t remember – it’s such a low anxiety show, that it’s all fine.
I love remodel shows. My preferred one has been Rehab Addict, also available on Discovery+. It was originally on DIY. She remodels old homes back to their original, so not as flexible. At the same time, it isn’t all about the white. I hate the “do everything in white” trend.
Jo O says
I love watching people look for new houses, I’m in the UK so Location, Location, Location, Escape to the Country and A place in the Sun. The episodes that amuse me or irritate me, depending on my mood, are the ones when the potential new homes are nothing like the buyers asked for. The ones I really enjoy are the ones with bigger budgets so I can see what I would buy if I won the lottery.
My other favourites are The Great Pottery Throwdown, The Great British Sewing Bee, Mary Berry cooking shows and Pioneer Woman with an occasional true crime/forensics programme.
If my husband beats me to the remote it’s Salvage Hunters, Police Interceptors and Sea Rescue shows and anything on Quest! (I generally take my Kindle elsewhere at this point.)
A Bean says
I was waiting for someone to mention Escape to the Country.
I’ve been watching true crime, and for the life of me I don’t know why. Give me a John Sanford novel, with some truly sick puppy going around killing people, and I’m all in. But true crime novels scare the bejeezus out of me. I mean, these are real things that real sick monsters did. But for some reason right now, I’m hooked on the TV Shows.
Actually, I’ve veered off into Leah Remini’s expose on Scientology. Which is equally scary. And sad.
I love Home Town! My mom’s side of the family is from Mississippi so I’ve spent quite a bit of time there. I’ve looked up listings in Laurel just to see if I can spot houses from the show.
I also love My Lottery Dream home. It’s what you think House Hunters should be. Everyone is always so nice and it’s usually people in more rural areas who are ecstatic to be buying a $300,000 home.
Judith Goldstein says
I also love home renovation shows, and “Home Town” and “Restoring Galveston” are some of my favorites as well. I also really Like “Restored” which works with old California houses, all styles. Check it out, one of the great features in each show is that you are shown a fancy fully restored version of whatever style house the homeowner has, and the host takes design cues from what the home owner likes.
Rosie C says
Home show should def give you at the very least a shout out as it is now my next show I plan to watch.
I too am having trouble ‘dealing’ in general. So I read to escape and play Everquest (old school WoW like multi player) with hubster. We are about to do a basement renovation and I use these kinds of show to motivate me to actually go through all of our crap.
Next week we are going to start watching our diet and exercising. So there is a fun adventure I hope works out. Life is trying to really mess with me tho. Hubster just finished his last chemo treatment last Monday then found our kid 1 has COVID on Thursday (mild case thank the stars). Everyone is quarantining and I’m trying like hell to take keep everyone healthy and isolated. Kid 1 is banished to his room and bathroom in the basement. My work from office is just outside his bedroom so I’m working with a mask on most of the day and am considering wearing while I sleep since I’m terrified I’ll somehow get/give to Kevin.
Kid 2 is trying to keep conditioning for baseball so treadmill is going a lot. The animals are unhappy they can’t go see kid 1 whenever they want and we are FaceTime-ing with him way more than I ever see him in normal life. (Which is actually a plus to all this)
But I just downloaded blood heir and will be rereading/ listening tomorrow. And watching some home town diy after I complete some quests and maybe the chiefs will win while I watch the supa bowl commercials.
Thanks for being you. Love ya in a non creepy but totally obsessed way. ????
I also love renovation shows. I love Home Town and Chip and Joanna, while fun to watch turn out house after house that looks the same.
I have been enjoying Escape to the Chateau. A British couple purchase a centuries old French chateau. Their first efforts are hot water and electricity. Watch from the beginning to get the full feel of what they have done. So fun.
Susan Ravan says
I’m with Gordon on true crime and love Kenda. You left off one ‘my’.
Dixie Miner McIlwraith says
I live in Costa Rica so am lucky to get the English language version of HGTV but I too have become addicted to home improvement shows. I love Home Town but have a soft spot for the Gaines, and confess I have become fond of the Property Brothers and the couple on Love It or Leave It. Problem is, I am now obsessed with redoing my kitchen and spend hours pouring over color charts. I have a small house but every blemish is magnified and I would love to import Erin and Ben to find space that does not exist to fix my bathroom, expand my kitchen and paint my bedroom. I moved here to get away from the US demand for open concepts, flow through energy, and ensuites. And yet I would give a lot for a big island with a pantry and lots of storage. FYI, I live alone and cook for one human and two dogs plus a feral cat. I need a life!
Long-time fan of Home Town! I watched so many episodes while on mar leave I got concerned my baby would develop a southern accent and we live in Canada!
Elizabeth Hamm says
I love the Home Town video 🙂
We bought a house two years ago. It has a second story veranda (a luxury I’d always wants but almost never saw) and double front doors in haint blue. The entire inside was painted white. And it DID look lovely and clean and bright.
But they painted it matte white. Matte. Basically primer. And it shows EVERY scuff. And you cannot clean it. I can’t wait to repaint.
Susan Simon says
Home Town is still my favorite as well. They feel like genuine people and I too believe in the value of restoring and appreciating the history of the home. My house was built in 1911 and I love it’s quirks.
Rebecca Thelin says
I’m totally going to check out Home Town. Sounds like my kind of show. Thanks for the recommendation! ???? (Going to go pull up Episode 1 in Hulu now…)
Crescent Wells says
Actually, Home Town is my guilty pleasure. For all the reasons you stated. My ability to absorb gratuitous stress is at an all time low.
My major entertainment venues right now include Home Town (all of which I’ve recorded), Restoring Galveston, and anything you’ve ever written. Perhaps for the same reason; I find it both fulfilling and gratifying to witness that which is rough, hidden, or hurting being brought into the light of their own nascent power and beauty. It pleases me to watch the realization of value develop and grow through the auspices of sometimes tentative but ultimately determined love and caring.
My latest guilty pleasure is watching a youtuber called The Farrier as he trims horses hooves and hot shoes them. He’s also a blacksmith so there’s some time spent pulling the horse shoe from the forge and hammering it. Sometimes I watch them before going to bed. There’s something very calm and methodical about his work that is very relaxing. I feel sooo bad about his back though!
I totally get it because I find myself watching people get cool haircuts on FB!
Open shelving always makes me think of having to dust – no thanks.
I sometimes watch Home Town, but my guilty pleasures are Top Chef and Project Runway. I love these shows and always get so happy when they’re on. And for some reason, I’ve watched the Debbie Allen Hot Chocolate Nutcracker documentary on Netflix several times, instead of a one and done. I just love her.
Jude C says
I love shows about buying new homes abroad. I like that someone here suggested that the items The Repair Shop are cursed! But my guilty pleasure is ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ – I have no idea why….
Property Brothers, Buying and Selling is my favourite. The twins are funny, and versatile and I mostly love the designs. (Except for barn doors. I hate them.) My husband is a carpenter/contractor and has built, renovated and maintained houses for about 45 years. Often, while I’m watching one of those shows, he scoffs and says, “That’s not the best way to do that,” among other things. Still, I get good ideas for renovating our house and cottage and often, it’s cost effective.
I gave up TV several years ago so I have nothing to add for the TV shoes, except for Wandavision. My guilty pleasure is and has always been stealing a bit of time for reading. I say a bit of time, but usually 5+ hours a day in addition to my 10+ hours as a nurse.
I read all genres, including fanfiction.
Liesa Estrada says
Baking competition shows! Ditto in the level of stress in entertainment. Try them. Creative and yummy. No one dies.
Lynn Thompson says
Thank you, Ilona Andrews, for the post. I don’t watch TV so I appreciate your assessment of shows. (Because i am rural rural and refuse to pay the extortion price for cable tv or land line phone service and have to talk with someone who can only read from a script in American English when I need help. When I say I need a technician, I need a technician not a 10 to 30 minute waste of time that ends with a pronouncement of “you need a service technician to come. “. That will be at least a week wait. Sigh sigh Satellite has fascinating / entertaining glitches too. Microsoft at least quickly escalates call to competent computer people.)
As far as your mental health goes… the more you worry about it, the more unimaginative you become. Eat healthy, exercise, work set hours, sleep, take naps, read, play, enjoy Gordon and the kids both human and non human, enjoy being alive. World building takes time and positive energy. Stress is unproductive. Learn a new skill like eating with non dominant hand or writing or painting or… Makes you think differently thus stimulating brain….. good luck.
I love Grand Designs, people on a self build discovery tour. The houses are fabulous even the ones you wouldn’t personally want to live in. There are also Australian and New Zealand versions. I think you can get it on Netflix and 4 on demand in the uk. There are also many of the shows on YouTube.
Easy watching and the payoff with the grand reveal at the end is fab.
Also GB anything, bake-off, pottery throw down, sewing bee etc. Or Landscape/ portrait artist of the year.
Life is so stressful at the moment I want kind, gentle tv, no fighting, contrived conflict or meanness. Can’t be doing with that.
Grand Designs UK. It’s currently on Netflix. My friend and I have been watching on episode per week since last March. We text each other things like “uh oh, they didn’t retain an architect ????” and “they spent HOW much on a staircase?!” It’s a therapeutic hour of sassy texting.
My guilty pleasure is sugar rush in Netflix! I love how creative and skilled the contestants are and I love the Bert balanced feedback the judges give them, always respectful, always pointing out both the good and not so great. Also zumbos just dessert , so great and exiting and fun becasue of it’s totalt crazy dessert.
Bert = both
Autocorrect is having a laugh right now, even I don’t understand what I was going for here, sorry
Jennifer Atkinson says
I love Good Bones. You can see older seasons on Hulu. It is a mother and daughter duo here in Indianapolis. They take crappy homes and turn them into liveable spaces, and they started in their own neighborhood. The mom is a lawyer-turned-DIY artist and the daughter is the driver of the whole show. I love the relationship between the two, and there is a half-brother who runs the demo team. The mom and daughter are right there with the demo team doing the hard gritty work. One time, there was a super nasty old toilet and nobody else was willing to deal with it. The mom cheerfully said, “Oh, I got this.” And took care of it. I saw them speak at a housing conference here in Indy when they were *just* renewed for the second season. The mom said, “Yeah, they sent me a bottle of tequila and said congrats, you’re on for season 2.” And the daughter was pissed because she didn’t get a bottle of tequila. Reminds me of the family relationships in the Hidden Legacy series.
Stacy McKnight says
I love Home Town -despite the excess of Southernness which usually sets my teeth on edge. They’re seem extremely real. Erin designs for her clients not just her personal aesthetic which is great! It is hilarious too! I have been coping with the stresses of the current situations and the hot mess in my work life by rereading fav books/series both fairly recent and old. I’m only reading new stuff from certain fav authors like you- honestly without the IA universes to escape to I don’t know how I’d have managed-Grace Draven and Nalini Singh oh and the Liaden Universe! I’ve also gone back to way old friends like Rosemary Sutcliff, Andre Norton and Mary Stewart. I desperately want a creative outlet but can’t seem to stick to anything so my artistic and crafty production has been practically zippo. Walks in the woods or parks help a lot! I love cooking but feeding basically myself most of this time has been an additional drag. This is not the norm for me but with the stresses of work, pandemic and the political mess I am a mess too. I am hopeful that the new norm is not going to stay the norm but if it does I will figure out how to have a real life again lol!
If you’re interested in crossing the pond Project Restoration is people buying grade 1 and 2 listed buildings in the UK some are grand housed and others are cottages. My favorite is the episode features a Welsh gentleman. There’s other shows based in the UK along the same premise. If you like the Great British Back Off and have hbo there’s the Great Pottery Throwdown, and another that’s good is The Repair Shop.
Ashley Fancher says
My husband and I had our first official date in Galveston. We played putt-putt. We’d take day trips all the time – from when I was little up until we moved (16 yrs ago) from Houston to DFW & then to MT. My first memory of the ocean is my parents each holding one of my hands and lifting me over the waves as they rolled in. I will definitely be checking out the Restoring Galveston show.
I watch The Antiques Road Trip on Youtube. There are 2 competing antiques experts, they drive a classic car and get the same budget to buy antiques and then face each other at auction. It’s a British show, so you see a lot of rural (and beautiful) England.
My new show: The home Edit on Netflix. Inspiring! And pretty!
+1! That was my “folding laundry” show, too bad there is currently only one season available, I’m hoping they’ll get a second one after CoViD…
Lisa Menery says
I also watch renovation shows. Hometown and Good Bones. I like the ones that are not million dollar homes.
Mary Ellen says
HGTV’s Fixer to Fabulous is the best home improvement show on free TV and I’ve watched all the others. Jennie and Dave Marrs are hired by the homeowners and do everything possible to make the home exactly what is wanted. Then they come up with extra ways to put it over the top. They are an adorable couple without being too sweet or trying too hard.
Mary Barton says
I love Home Town. One of my major suppliers of transformers has their manufacturing plant and main office in Laurel. A couple of people who work for the supplier have been on the show. So thats fun. I like Nicole Curtis too and the latest huge place she is doing in Detroit.
It’s snowing here again inNYC, again.then temps will drop to 19.
Had to go out and shop , needed bread and meat and olive oil. Bought hot dogs and rolls, got home got only the rolls.Hot Dogs are missing.
I don’t have cable, but I watch on TV
Sarah Richardson, she is home designer in Toronto. She does love white and neutrals , which I hate, but she goes to antique stores and fabric stores. Which I love.She pulls out rugs and bolts of fabric and I just love seeing all the fabrics and textures . She goes to places that recycled old doors, stain glass and old barns.
She liked to mix patterns and somehow it works. She shows people hand designing lamps, furniture and pottery. I miss going to fabric stores with my mom.
There were great old fabric stores in TriBeCa with old wooden
floors and really old fabric. There was a store that only sold tassels, ribbons, old buttons, different kinds of yarn.
I have been reading all my books over again. Elizabeth Peters, Patricia Briggs, Aaron Elkins ,Sarah Maclean , Nalini Singh and you. Anything cozy and light. My old Star Wars books , love Aaron Allston.
With tea and cookies.
This is what keeps me sane.
Thinking about the innkeeper, missing Dina and Sean. May need to read it again.
I think we all need to stop beating ourselves up and just do whatever keeps you going. Who cares if it’s a slower pace, just keep going.
@gailk – I’m assuming with Nalini, it’s more the Psy-Changeling series you’re reading, because Guild Hunter can be brutal.
I’ve seen all these.
HGTV and DIY Network are my jam and have been for probably around 10-15 years now. (Home Town can also be found on HGTV, and Restoring Galveston on DIY Network, sometimes episodes are available free on demand for folks that have those channels as part of their packages on their cable networks if you want to avoid having yet another streaming app). I’ve seen Dream Home, and while I watched it all (in desperation for something new to watch), I didn’t quite care for it as much. It’s not bad, it’s not great, for me it’s middling of the road. But I adore Home Town and Restoring Galveston.
I have the type of mind that doesn’t turn off, that’s always thinking about work. That makes it hard to conk out for my Zs. But most of these shows resolve within their episode, take a problem, or an ugly, and FIX it turning it pretty.
I especially like Holmes Make It Right (and his other shows), it’s a bit less about just design, and a contractor who comes in and fixes home that have (in many other cases) been butchered by previous contractors, or something traumatic happened (house fires, hurricanes, etc.). There’s just something nice about a show that you know is going to fix things that you know are agonizingly stressful for their property owners. Mike Holmes cares about his work, and about people, and it comes through. There’s several shows he’s done, now his kids are becoming involved as they’re now adults and more active in leadership roles within his business. Downside with this show is things don’t resolve usually in one episode, but take a few.
I also really like Maine Cabin Masters, they take these camps and cabins in Maine, places that I wouldn’t even want to be in, and turn them cute. Sometimes it’s just repair and design, sometimes a little light remodeling, and sometimes there’s some major rebuilding and additions. The crew is family, or long time friends, and that camaraderie and teasing comes through. I feel it’s a bit more down to earth. Not like a spokesmodel doing construction as some of the other shows feel like sometimes. “Here let me have my hair and makeup perfect, and wear my cute boots.”
I also like the Scott Brothers (aka the Property Brothers) and their wide assortment of shows, again the sibling camaraderie is magic.
I’ve recently been watching Escape to the Chateau. A british couple buys a french chateau in rough shape, and repairs and reimagines it as both their home, and as a business (weddings, events, gourmet dining weekends, growing their own food. They go get their copper pans re-lined in tin by artisans still doing it. He’s an engineer and does a lot of the work, and she used to run a tea party business, and is a crafter who designs and makes things for the place, and is the party planner. In this case we keep revisiting them over a period of time. As the renovations are done in phases as they can afford to do so. You also learn a bit about French culture. You can watch it free on the streaming service Peacock. It’s not strictly a design show, or even strictly a renovation show, it’s more a docu series with those elements baked in.
I really enjoy Restored with Brett Waterman on DIY Network, he’s a cowboy hat wearing designer that works on period, historic homes in California, restoring character that may have been lost, helping to modify homes for the residents for their needs. Part of it is like a history dive and a bit of archaeology, stripping back finishes to find original details, hitting the historical society, taking clients on inspiration homes that are exemplars of their home’s architectural style. He tackles the home from the viewpoint of what it was originally intended from colors, to architecture, flow, and landscape. I really can’t think of anyone else really doing that historical approach to the homes, and I learn a lot just by watching. You get a whole new level of appreciation for the architecture. He gets so excited when he finds old details. 🙂 His enthusiasm and appreciation is catching.
Mother and daughter duo Good Bones is also a fun watch too, their business “2 chicks and a hammer” take usually homes I’d bulldoze and save them. And they’re helping with the revitalization of a community.
There’s so many good shows out there. ^_^ That being said even I have noticed that the overwhelming majority of these shows are very heavily skewed to one racial demographic in their stars.
Take care of yourself @Ilona. This past blurs-year is taking its toll.
Kathi Moran says
Omg – I have been ‘escaping’ through HGTV for years now. I call it the ‘safe’ channel. You can lave the tv tuned in there and you won’t turn on the tv and see death and mayhem first thing…
My favorites are Home Town, I kind of love their love and joy in each other. I like the brothers… I like, when I can catch it, ‘Bargain Mansions’ and I’m a sucker for ‘Love it or List it’ it’s so corny.
Thanks for sharing your faves, it’s fun to check out new programs occasionally. You have seen the treehouse show haven’t you? For sheer joy in action, that’s my all time favorite, although it not renovation it’s new construction, I find Pete Nelson to be one of the most inspirational people on tv.
I love The Great British Baking Show or Bake Off as the Brits call it. It is on Netflix. It is fun to hear the different accents and speech patterns. They don’t get cash as a prize just the satisfaction of winning so it is a refreshing change. I watch a lot of cooking shows.
I am watching the second season of A Discovery of Witches and wish there were more. It is a little addicting.
Fixer to Fabulous is a new home renovation show based in Northwest Arkansas. It has some similarities to the Joanna Gaines show but the houses are more in a mid level range and the styles are different. It is on HGTV
@Tammy – what I like about Great British Baking Show is that even though it’s a competition, it’s not cut-throat like you’d find on American shows, they’re rooting and supporting each other.
I too watch renovation shows endlessly. My addiction started with Welcome Home and expanded to Love it or List it, Building off the Grid and Maine Cabin Masters. I agree all the white in homes bored me. Now, I watch people do crazy things to update or build their house. It makes my feeble attempts to improve my house some credibility. Life is crazy now, and so are all of us. It makes everything harder. But I just got the vaccine shots and man, I feel lighter and hopeful. There is a light on in the tunnel!
I finished my second time through the two seasons of Grand Designs that are on Netflix and have started searching YouTube for more episodes. It’s a UK show hosted by Kevin McCloud, and each episode follows an individual or family tackling an unconventional construction project, either renovating an existing property or building new. One of my favorites was a couple converting a 150-year-old London water tower into a home, and another was a twenty-something who bought a plot of land in London that looked roughly the size of a shipping container, and build a three story home on it that just barely met the minimum code size requirements for a habitable building. 🙂
I also watch a lot of The Great British Baking Show, and their new year’s episode led me to binge-watch all two seasons of Derry Girls yesterday.
The year we were flooded in Harvey was a bad year all around. My husband lost his youngest brother unexpectedly, our family dog had to be put to sleep, various other things happened and we flooded. I became a complete marshmallow when it came to books, tv and movies. I couldn’t watch anything with angst. I wanted guaranteed happy endings. I get that feeling completely where you just need something uplifting and easy.
My guilty pleasures that year were syrupy books, I could lose myself in action as long as it wasn’t too gritty and had a happy ending. I watched renovation shows since I was getting forced renovation done. I spent way too much time researching everything online that we had to buy trying to keep costs down and not make any design mistakes since we couldn’t afford a designer.
Now, I also enjoy true crime shows. I’m curious about that show you mentioned with the detectives. Do you have a name for it? I still enjoy home renovation shows. I’ve watched some shows about some really wonky court proceedings/investigations where I’m anywhere from positive to pretty sure innocent people were convicted. Netflix if full of those. I binged Lie To Me with my kids over the break before we moved on to Criminal Minds (though both can get almost silly at times they’re guilty pleasures). My whole family watched the Queen’s Gambit and I’m looking forward to the upcoming Netflix movie on Hulu called Moxie, which was written by an English teacher at my son’s former high school. I still like feel-good anything but I can finally handle things that aren’t always light and bright.
I loved renovation shows, but I’m currently in the business of furniture and they are a bit ruined for me. On the other hand my guilty pleasure are crime shows – as british as possible. Slow and with lots of scenery in them. Like Midsommer, Shatlend or Vera. I can knit or embroider and not try constantly to fallow the plot.
My guilty pleasure is binge reading your books, which I recently completed, again! (Sans the Edge; I need to do those, yet.) And now I’m binge reading the Dresden Files because Jim Butcher completed the series at the end of ‘20 and I need to refresh my brain on his world before I read the final two. Sounds like you are suffering from the depression that has beset the world w/ the onset of the sickness. I’m talking more than the co:(. Not my business, not my place, but trust in what faith you have that the world, the country, will be better in due time. It is the only way I can get through a day. I love your blog. You make my heart laugh. Thank you!
I love Home Town too, another fave for me is Good Bones and I really enjoy Restored. It’s were my headspace is too all the best
Korean and Japanese cooking videos on YouTube. And Binging with Babish (another youtube cooking show).
I really enjoy Home Town, also! Erin and Ben are really engaging and other than the resurgence of wallpaper, I enjoy them. I am enjoying Maine Cabin builders .. their budgets are 30,000-50,000 and this includes adding an indoor bathroom :). Fixer to Fabulous is fun and they have done so many different types of houses. It is my guilty pleasure too.
I’m an interior designer and the creative burnout you’re feeling plagues me every few months for about 6 weeks. I battle it by watching the Great British Baking show or shoujo anime that I’ve watched before. Alternatively, slice of life manga along the lines of “I’ve been reincarnated as a villainess in an otome game, what do I do?!” (it’s a shockingly extensive genre: I have probably 16 series on my reading list that release one chapter a month)
Skylar perry says
I always said the only reason I ever got cable was because of HGTV and DIY, I am really glad you posted this because I had not tried any of these shows yet. My guilty pleasure right now is British detective shows on Britbox from Prime- I really like Father Brown
I love Father Brown! Would love more series to it, but even so, I love it.
Laura Settle says
It’s mine too! I was so excited to learn we got a free year of Discovery+ with our Verizon service. I’ve watched all of Home Town and I might start over again because it just makes me soooo calm.
My husband and I are addicted to The Repair Shop a BBC TV Series. Amazing Master Craftsmen & women repair a wide range of cherished family heirlooms. The stories are touching and the talented people working on the show are amazing – so much heart energy!
I LOVE Hometown. Ben and Erin are absolutely adorable. I want to bee their friend.
Right now they’re actually filming in Wetumpka Alabama. We had a rash of terrible tornadoes, and Wetumpks was especially hard hit. It destroyed a 150 year old church down to kindling.
They’re working on several businesses and some private homes. I can wait to see what they do with it.
I just discovered Victorian Farm, a BBC show from 2009 on Amazon Prime Video. It is historical renovation, kind of. Three archeologists have to use historically accurate techniques to make a Victorian era farm livable and self sufficient for one calendar year. They have to wear Victorian clothes and fix up the house, barn, outbuildings, and build a pig sty. They also have to plant and harvest crops. Ruth is amazing and has so much work to do to feed everyone, keep the house clean, etc. It took four days for her to do laundry!!! It was entertaining, and I felt like I was learning stuff too. There are additional seasons with the same archeologists called Edwardian Farm, and Tudor Monastery Farm where they do the same thing in different time period farms.
These shows/channels are on 24/7 army parents’ house. I get totally sucked in! The cable channel play the same show/different episodes all day long. Don’t usually watch at home. I didn’t see anyone mention Barnwood Builder. Love the stories, the desire to save and reuse and Mark Bowe’s voice/accent. My husband loves American Pickers. We watch some of the car shows, too. Currently he’s watching Junkyard Empire.
*at my -not army
anna strait says
If you like renovation stuff, two of my favorite youtube channels may interest you. Doing it ourselves, where they are renovating a french chateau, currently doing the gardener’s cottage. And Renovation East, a German man renovating a tiny house built around WW2.
Other topics I currently watch on youtube are Bernadette Banner, a historical costumer, and Rachel Maksy, another costumer whose style is likened to hobbits.
You might like Billy Matsunaga who is a English speaking Kimono teacher
Totally different region of the world to virtually visit.
Elizabeth Katz says
I absolutely love Home Town! It’s uplifting and interesting. Unlike the Gaines’s, they work with gay and lesbian couples, interracial couples, pretty much everyone! It’s awesome!
Sara Joy says
For when I can’t handle any stress: The Repair Shop, on Netflix. It warms my heart tremendously! It’s inspired me to repair more, or at least given me confidence that I can and it’s worth the effort. Now I’ve started mending my clothing in a frenzy (after collecting items in a basket for years!).
For my current mood, inspired, in part, by WandaVision: I’ve gone through any remaining MCU movies that relate to WandaVision that I missed in the past (MCU burnout was real for me for a number of years). Now I’m going through additional episodes of Agents of Shield. Also Republic of Doyle, which I had started years ago, and out of the blue it bubbled up in my thoughts again a couple weeks ago. These are the shows I can watch and mend at the same time.
I just started watching the Brazilian show “Invisible City” also on Netflix, and it’s fantastic. My favorite mix of folklore as it might appear in day-to-day life, gritty mystery, and the world around us – particularly a community I am not familiar with. I love this mix, but needing to read the subtitles means that I can’t multitask during the show, so I save this for focused tv watching times. All of what I can say about Invisible City also applies to my love for the show “The Protector”, set in Istanbul.
I second (or third or fourth) Escape to the Chateau (set in the French country) and also Escape to the Country (set in the English country). The views!
Lizzie G says
I feel the same – news & other programs are too stressful. I like home Reno shows. My new favorite is Escape to the Chateau. I am obsessed. The show is about an English couple that re-does a château in France. It comes from UK’s Channel 4. It can be found in the US via Peacock (NBC streaming channel) or some of the episodes are available via HGTV. (FYI: The season & episode numbers are weird on HGTV).
Escape to the Chateau is the fantastic! Duck and Angel!
Also NHK World has Video on Demand on their website and they have tons of 30-min segments on everything and anything related to Japanese culture, from bamboo bento craftsmen to tea production in Shizuoka (and many other areas), to okonomiyaki and Tokyo Izakaya. It’s the best and some of them are so relaxing (like Seasoning the Seasons, based on Kyoto culture).
As a contractor, and someone remodeling a place in the French Quarter, I am a fellow addict, though I haven’t branched off into Discovery+ yet. (LOL on Joanna’s ‘mid century modern’ — you nailed that.)
Most of the time, designers on these shows choose white not just because it’s light and bright, but in the given time they have to get a whole place decorated and stay on their shooting schedule, it’s *much* easier to coordinate all of the furniture / decor if all the walls in every room are white. (So if you’re staging and bringing in a lot of stuff, what doesn’t work in one room might go in another.) I think that’s why I like Ben/Erin so much—they will dive deep into color and that takes a significant effort to find the right things to work when the color choices are bold, and the places look a lot more ‘normal’ — I could live in her homes and breathe and be happy; the all white places would drive me to drink really fast.
(Of course, I live in the Quarter where color is supreme; probably one of the reasons I was drawn here in the first place.)
Lou Corona says
I enjoy Good Bones. They really get some nasty houses. One had baby snakes in it. Also like Restored by the Fords cause it shows my hometown Pittsburgh
While I default to HGTV for self-soothing, I will endlessly watch episodes of the original Law and Order anytime, anywhere. It’s on every Sunday 12 PM-12 AM on WETV plus on a lot of the cross-owned cable stations at other random times. Honestly, I’ll watch it over and over, and recently found I had missed some of the episodes from the last years of network TV. Score.
On Sundays I’m watching The Office on the comedy channel. As many hours as you can stand, but relaxing and pleasant. For home decorating I still like the old standard, Love it or List it, but just the last 10 minutes to see the big reveal.
HOME TOWN is my favorite show on tv right now!!! I went with a friend to look at apartments she was hoping to buy and I was able to point out architectural elements thanks to Erin and Ben. When this mishegos is “over” I want to visit Laurel!
I’ve also been watching comedy specials on Netflix. John Mulaney is great for lifting the spirits!
My guilty pleasures are your books. I’m not saying that to gush; I’m being very literal. My dad died 6+ years ago, and that was an extraordinarily hard blow in a long line of hard blows that have happened since I turned 18. I’ve since ceased being capable of dealing with “hard turns,” so, I read your books. I love them; your heroines are strong, intelligent, and self-aware, and that inspires me. The characters remind me that people and life are messy, and sometimes things are difficult, but the job gets done, and life can be brilliant, if you let it. Do I have a long list of other things to read/accomplish? Yup, lmao. Am I still going to pick up an Ilona Andrews book whenever things get stressful, and I need a minute to cope, or when I have some free time and want to relax? Every time. So, thank you. For everything.
I’m with you – I love renovation shows. We only have HGTV via Spectrum and don’t pay for any others. Although I just found some more shows on the Roku free channel.
Home Town is my favorite. Ben and Erin seem like a nice down-to-earth young couple. Like you, I like how she is flexible in her design according to the client’s wants. Some of the other shows you pretty much have to like the designer’s style as that is their specialty.
I personally dislike all the white on white aesthetic – not my style – and I cringe when they paint over high quality wood and other finishes. I hate how they destroy nice oak cabinets and granite countertops. Recycle / donate them for heaven’s sake! So wasteful.
Good Bones on HGTV also takes rundown houses and fixes them up. Half of them I would say are tear downs but they make them beautiful. Restoring Galveston sounds like my kind of show.
On Roku there is Tiny House Hunting where people are looking for houses 120 to 650 sq ft depending on the buyer. Hubby and I have lived in a 900 sq ft apt for 13 years which is fine for the two of us. Before hubby I had a 300 sq ft studio apartment. If I was alone now I could do 400 or 500 sq ft but those 120 to 200 sq ft places usually involve a loft bedroom that you can’t stand in and a steep ladder to get up there. I’m too old for that stuff now ????
I too am a renovation show addict. I could not agree more about Home Town, also my current fave!!
We love Home Town so much we went to Laurel last summer on vacation! The town is truly charming and we spotted lots of the houses from the show
You might like Restored. Working on old houses and preservation. It’s on DIY Network, I had to buy the show on Amazon because I don’t have that station.
I’ve been playing House Flipper…the game where you renovate houses…oddly addictive and relaxing.
Of course, I’ve been painting in some of the most disgusting and eye bleeding colour combo’s I could find…
(apologies for the repost, I accidentally posted in the wrong place)
I love watching home improvement shows, it’s why I do crazy things like building a bookshelf into part of a bedroom wall (should be done soon,
you can’t have too many bookshelves!), or build storage beds. I just wish they showed a little more of the reality of projects sometimes. I think it can definitely be misleading for some people who then bite off more than they can chew.
Guilty pleasure TV: game shows – The Price is Right, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and To Tell the Truth.
How does anyone actually live in a house with that many white walls? (I would have a headache after 15 minutes….) Too sterile. Life and living space needs color.
I’ve always loved the reno shows. My current favorites are Maine Cabin Masters, Restored and Home Town or whatever British version I can find. I also love the architectural salvage shows like Barnwood Builders and Salvage Dawgs. They always throw a hefty amount of good humored ribbing each other in that makes them fun.
Escape to the Chateau on Netflix is my favorite home renovation show hands down. I can’t say how much I love it! He (Duck)is an engineer and she(Angel) is an artist. I highly recommend watching this home porn show.
I love Good Bones, with mother and daughter team Karen and Mina. They renovate Indianapolis one neighborhood at a time. They don’t consider it flip but bringing neighborhoods back to life. Never miss it.
Geneva Salisbury says
I have Discovery+ thanks to Verizon so I’ll have to checkout Hometown.
I used to watch House Hunters but got tired of yelling at the tv for realtor not listening to the buyer.
I will confess to watching Selling New York just to see how the other side lives. (Oregonian here). The one thing I couldn’t figure out is how/why all the women carried their big purses on their bent arm?
I’m addicted to Ameribags and they are so easy to carry.
My comfort show right now is Midsomer Murders on Acorn and now I see that Balthazar is returning tomorrow. Such a treat to watch.
Better times are coming.
I can’t wait for Balthazar tomorrow! Great show, love pretending I understand the French.
when carried on one shoulder the strap often slides off the shoulder and you are constantly catching / rearranging it. We walk a lot in NYC as most of us don’t have cars and constantly fussing with your purse is annoying.
Another reason is it is harder to steal. If you carry your purse by the handle down by your side or on one shoulder only it is much easier for a purse snatcher to grab. Personally I only wear cross body purses around NYC. Also never hang your purse on the back of your chair in a restaurant or place on the table top when dining outside. Also easier to steal.
There is a lot of petty theft here. If you leave a bicycle unlocked outside it will be gone in 10 minutes. Even locked bikes are often stripped of all parts (wheels, handlebars, seats, gears etc) so all that is left is the frame with the lock still on it. Really nice bikes get stolen even if locked they spray liquid nitrogen into the lock and break it with a hammer – takes mere seconds.
Debbie Strange says
I used to watch DIY shows, now I am addicted to Chateau Shows on YouTube. All because of Chateau Diaries! It combines my love for historic architecture with the do it your self mentality I like. Living in a Chateau is an odd combination of Glamorous and roughing it. Glamping but with a really old roof 😉
Sarah P says
I like Building Off Grid on discovery. It’s interesting to see who flounders and who excels at construction, and to watch ‘ordinary’ people deal with issues I see at work. I find it especially interesting to see how they get water and deal with sewage (but I am a civil eng so maybe just me…)
I’m getting excited for HL 6, and I have questions. Are Arabella and Leon in college, or did they skip/delay like Catalina? Will Runa’s little bro join the family compound? Really looking forward to seeing how it turns out 🙂
Discovery channel is my guilty pleasure. I have a free subscription through my phone service for 12 months. I cut the cable and miss the home buying, Renos and some of the cooking shows. I already know that when the freebie is up not only will I subscribe but I will be doing the premium without commercials.
Binging. Go RV (camped as a kid in an RV before it became a thing). Following Chip and Joanna’s reboot. (Cause you have to see what Chip is up to). can’t say I cared for Joanna’s cooking show but that’s because there are just so many. Looking for a go gardening program but YouTube has a great variety so I’m all over that for different subjects. What would we do without the internet?
Susan Fogarty says
I, too, am addicted to renovation shows! I love Home Town and Restoring Galveston. I also enjoy Good Bones, Rehab Addict, Home Again with the Fords, Fixer to Fabulous and Maine Cabin Masters! I never heard of the Dream Home Make Over but do enjoy My Lottery Dream Home and Bargain Mansions. ????
Kate T says
I have a deep deep affection for the BBC’s “Gardener’s World.” It’s full of pretty plants! Pretty plants, and pups that try to help the host plant out by dropping balls in instead, and visiting historic gardens and homes across Britain. So Relaxing.
That or “Escape to the Country.” Why does every British person want a country home with ‘glamping business’ potential? Just how many MORE glamping businesses does Britain need? It’s tiny! Is half the country glamping at any one point in time, to make this economically rational? Vitally important questions.
Sadly, I never have time to watch TV, or let’s say it is near the bottom of my choice list. I read a lot which doesn’t require equipment other than my e-reader – it goes almost everywhere with me. Amazon just did an update, by the way. It showed up today on my Kindle Fire and I’m not a fan. When I open my kindle app on the Fire, it shows *ads*. Not cool.
I hope you feel more rested and relaxed soon. I know the feeling of being overwhelmed. I look at it like, yeah, the house is a dumpster fire but it will still be there tomorrow. My advice to myself is to embrace the mess and accept it won’t get done today and that is okay.
I paid extra to skip ads on my Kindle, only to have to constantly deal with Amazon ads, which are apparently not ads but “notifications ” of services or products I might be interested in bases on some mysterious personal preference list. ????
A couple of years ago, I was seeing a chiropractor. I usually scheduled an early appointment, and there was usually a number of trucks representing the various building trades in the parking lot. Renovation programs were often playing on the waiting room tv. It was an absolute delight to watch the workmen giggle and guffaw at the odd choices the owners and decorators made. They would nudge each other, point at the tv, and say how it Should be done, why it wouldn’t work, etc.
I remember Ilona posting about open shelving in kitchens would be a pain to clean. Now all this white. The shiplap trend just makes me think about how many nail holes they’d need to fill when removing it in 3-5 years when trends change.
“Work to Sell” is now different than “Work to live in” in my mind. Mark this under “Things I did not expect to learn from an author blog”.
I did the same thing turned off the news, it’s was just negativity anyway and turned on 9Life here in Australia.
My favorite show is Selling houses Australia there 13 seasons I think. There are 3 main hosts: Andrew (realtor, Shaina Blaze (interior), and Charlie (landscape).
The owners of the property cough up a budget a s the team has to split it to make the house sell ASAP. In the meantime, Andrew shows the couple other places they could buy.
Each house is different from state or family requirement or budget and there’s an auction at the end. Highly recommend it!
Gardening shows , especially British gardening shows. Our winters are long and very cold so these shows are what get me through. If all my family didn’t live here I would move in a second to some place where I could grow year round!
It’s also reading lots of urban fantasy but that is a year round pleasure for me.
Tiny houses of all kinds, House Hunters International as well, (all the couples tensions and high expectations with no budget!)
For any Phryne Fisher fans, just discovered a Chinese version called Miss S, on SBS on demand in Australia and so far (3 episodes in) its an almost exact replica, with a bit more fighting action.
I love House Hunters International. Especially in Europe or Asia. I feel like I know the real estate experts in London, Paris, Germany and the Netherlands ????
The Tiny House shows drive me crazy. I belong to a re-enactment group, and about 20 year ago my allergies drove me to find a way to camp without being in canvas on grass.
I found a wonderful Tudor house Shepherd’s Hut in a Medieval miniature. Since then, I am one of a handful of us who have done many of these, so we have houses to camp in – and the Vardo re-creation group is big, too.
Tiny house shows? I take more camping than they seem to own.
Teaching online. chemistry. yeah….. everything takes 2-3 times longer and students very stressed. ????
Judy Picicco says
I feel the same way about tv! I don’t want to watch anything too serious. My friend made me watch “What We Do In The Shadows” and if you liked the humor in The Office, you’ll like this show! It’s hilarious!!
Watching baumgartner art restoration and you tubes friessian horses breeding barn in netherlands for my happy
Not a reno show, but my current favorite is Heartland, a Canadian show about a horsey/ranch family in Alberta. There are 13 long seasons on Netflix and it is the most gentle, G-rated happy ending fest you can imagine. Horses, pretty men, and low-conflict drama, and the writing is actually good too!
My husband loves to watch Restoring Galveston and Home Town along with This Old House. I, on the other hand, prefer period drama so I can admire the costuming.
Kristan Paige Hall says
Only the first season of Home Town was in the couple’s town. There are only so many homes in a town they could fix up, right? Last year, my home town applied to be on the show after the show put out a casting call of sorts. My home town wasn’t accepted, for which I am glad. I don’t live there anymore, but I still have a love/hate relationship with it.
I love Hometown! I absolutely love that they stay within the budget. If unexpected things pop up they still work within the budget. I also liked Dream Home Makeover. It’s beautiful and kind of untouchable. I couldn’t live in those houses but I like to look at them. I will have to check out the Texas one you recommended.
After hearing Ilona is besties with Ms. Frost, I keep wondering- just how many of my favorite authors know each other and are friends? Talk about a geek out! I’ve often read anthologies, and wondered if all the authors knew each other- particularly a few oldies but goodies- “My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding,” and any of Esther Friesner’s wildly hilarious Chicks n Chainmail anthologies. How awesome would that be if they knew each other?!
Erin Valentine says
Try Fixer to Fabulous. Season Two is especially good. Couple of transplants to Northwest Arkansas are taking advantage of our building boom. All the people I know who know personally them say they are genuinely nice people.
They have one episode where they discover a hidden cellar and turn the kitchen island into a secret entrance to what is now a wine cellar. Hubby has decided to copy that one. 🙂
Erin Valentine says
UGH. It never pays to post without reviewing. Sorry for the mangled sentence in my post.
Patricia Scott says
Kingsville is the armpit of Texas…Waco doesn’t stand a chance against Kingsville.
Consider giving yourself a staycation break from writing. We can just reread your existing titles while you refresh.
Great British Baking Show – everyone is kind and supportive and the competition aspect is… gentle. They are all amateur bakers who simply love baking and are very creative with it. My daughter (18) and I watch and rewatch seasons because they provide escape without tension. There is a Great Canadian Baking Show as well, also lovely.
Great British Sewing Bee is similar in flavor. Escape to the Chateau as well. I’ll get back to Prodigal Son when the pandemic is over.
Is the Canadian baking show on Netflix? I’d love to watch it. ????
It is on Canadian Netflix! I’m not sure about its availability in other countries. Probably yes? Dan Levy was one of the hosts in season 1 & 2 and then two of the women from Baroness Von Sketch Show host in season 3.
I’ve always like the Property Bros. and Flip or Flop. Last summer Vacation House Rules was on and I really liked that. It was interesting to see how the renovation and decorating focus was different when renting was the goal. And it didn’t hurt that the host Scott McGillivray is so cute ????. But my new favorite is Escape to the Chateau. Renovation and redecoration as always but on a very old 18th Century house.
I have the same issues with Joanna Gaines and also like the Napiers/Home Town.
Have to recommended Stay Here on Netflix. Unfortunately there is only one season. The premise is a designer and a marketer team up to help people across the US renovate their AirBnB-type vacation rentals to make them more profitable. The hosts are likeable with good advice, the designer is a real designer not a one-trick pony, and the style and locations change from episode to episode.
I also am loving Home Town. I love embracing the original character of homes while still having a budget. Because let’s face it, I’m never going to have a blank check to hand over for reno… plus I just appreciate that they seem like genuinely nice people. I’m currently on the hunt for more shows like this if anyone has suggestions!!!
Ps: I agree, Waco is still the armpit of Texas – as someone who lives in that region, I feel entitled to that opinion 😉
Fixer to Fabulous on hgtv. They are out of Arkansas. They have a farm, 5 kids and a bunch of animals that are pets. They fix up a house for a particular client and budget. It is quite good.
I definitely love home reno shows. I am planning to move back to the US in the middle of this year, after almost 6 years of living in Seoul, South Korea. Remembering US homes/apartments have so much space is a huge adjustment. I plan on getting rid of perhaps 95% of what I currently own (instead of shipping it back) and am making amazon wishlists for all my replacement stuff.
Yes! Hometown is my favorite, and I have come to Extremely Dislike the open it up and paint it all white. The Property Brothers have destroyed houses with gorgeous woodwork, but it has gotten so that most of them do that.
The longer a show stays on the air, the more expensive things seem to get.
Even This Old House has gone from Bob Villa working with homeowners (I’m old) to save a house, and mostly small budgets, to where I think you have to have a million before they talk to you.
I have an 1830 house with 5 additions, and have spent a lot of time stripping layers and layers of paint. I would do a lot more, but have found out that trying to strip any woodwork with curved surfaces is not something I can tackle. At least I have gotten the plaster walls repaired, and the carpet up!
As one show says “Why in the world would you cover that up?” when there is oak under there?
AND NO WALLS OF MINE are white, except the few places where there is white trim.
I like cooking shows. Especially the Great British Baking show. I used to watch H&G until they got rid of shows that appealed to normal people. I miss Design in a Dime and the other low cost shows so much
Morris Mary says
Love Discovery Plus and Hometown. I also have to plug the Arkansas version with Dave and Jenny Marrs, Fixer to Fabulous.
Fran O says
OMG, me too! We upgraded our cable a few years ago so that we could record Game of Thrones on the DVR and have GOT parties. That’s when I started getting HGTV. I got hooked on Fixer Upper and after watching all of them I quickly moved onto everything else. Now that we are in a pandemic I find that remodeling shows, including ones I’ve seen before, are very comforting. The downside is that I want to remodel every room in my house. Lol. Luckily my home hadn’t been touched in 26 years so it’s easy to justify spending time & money on repairs and upgrades. Have you gotten the remodeling bug too?
I hear you about having a low drama threshold. I missed the original Harry Potter rave, so I’ve been enjoying listening to the audiobooks while cross stitching. I highly recommend an electric lap blanket. My cats agree.
Joe Kenda has a new show? Only on Discovery +? Too bad, I’m at my subscription limit unfortunately. I love Home Town & love the fact that every house is different & tailored to the homeowner. We visited Laurel on the season finale day 2 years ago and enjoyed the heck out of ourselves. I sympathize with watching comfort tv – I’ve been watching a craft shopping channel for soothing accents with no chance of me buying anything. It’s all I can handle.
It’s past the season but I really enjoyed Holiday Home Makeover with Mr.Christmas on Netflix . I also read a romance recently that I thought was exceptional , The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. Two cash strapped people share a one bedroom flat , he works nights she works days and for 6 months they communicate through post-its without ever meeting in person .
For some reason I am having trouble reading . It has always been my escape but now I find myself reading 10-20 pages and moving on to another book in my TBR e-library . So now when I am immediately engaged it’s the exception rather than the rule. I blamed Trump and Covid for my inability to concentrate but Trump is toast and we’ve got vaccines on the horizon so… I dunno……
Ellen D says
“My colors are blush and bashful” Steel Magnolias! My guilty pleasure used to be gardening shows. HGTV is mostly renos very little gardening now. Now it’s cooking shows. Love my chest freezer all sorts of possibilities in there. Had to make room for a big batch of chili. Handed my husband a ribeye and 2 lbs of snow crab legs.
I really like Fixer to Fabulous in Arkansas. This is my favorite and has some good laughs. I just started watching 100 days to a Dream Home in Florida. It is pretty good so far. A new one started Home again with the Fords in Pittsburg. I believe all are on HGtv. I love the Property Brothers, all of them. The brothers are the best!
When I was in the hospital for most of February 2020, Home Town is what I watched constantly. I’m not a tv watcher mostly (I can’t sit still to watch tv, just read), but I will watch that show for hours. Hours. They are just so real.
I’ve seen a couple episodes of Home Town and I really like their designs. One episode I saw, the house was in ridiculously poor condition, but right next to a little pond. The final version was adorable and charming. The homeowner (a school teacher, if I recall correctly) is a lucky gal!
I don’t really have a “guilty pleasure” these days but I spend a lot of time walking as a way of resetting my brain. I put on music or listen to an audio book, and just get my steps in. Five to eight miles a day, spread out throughout he day. I’m working from home these days because of COVID, so what I typically do is step out for 10-20 minutes when I finish one work task/project before I start on the next one. It’s a nice a palate cleanser…resets my brain and it’s good for my body.
At night, my decompress is listening to audiobooks while I do jigsaw puzzles on my Kindle, usually while in a hot bath.
Queen Latifa is in a new remake of the old Equalizer TV show. Starts today. That’s going to be must-see TV for me. I love Queen Latifa!
Love Home Town and Good Bones. I have had to halve my bills so no longer have HGTV.
I cringe every time someone wants to paint my wonderful library panels white. I just say “oh they will come back in style.”
Laura Register says
My guilty pleasures are Home Town, all the Property Brothers shows, and Guy Fieri’s two shows on Food Network. I also like the various baking championship shows, and the Great British Bakeoff.
I enjoy watching renovation shows for ideas, used to watch HGTV and it’s variety of shows back when we had the aerial hooked up to the TV. Can watch episodes of Grand Designs and Time Team on our free broadcasters streaming service. Years ago used to watch Holmes on Homes where the team go in and fix problems people had with previous work done and bring them up to code, I believe it was a Canadian show.
The real guilty pleasure is looking at floor plans on real estate sites and working out what does and doesn’t work and taking copious notes.
Yeah, DIY/HGTV shows is about the only TV I watch. I usually read instead. I watch Hometown, Restoring Galveston, Good Bones, Rehab Addict, Salvage Dogs, Restored….. they’re all a little different (obviously I like seeing older homes being saved), but I tend to like these shows because I like the people on them…. I get really tired of the forced drama on most reality TV shows….. these shows the people on them are family, or really get along, they like each other, and they joke around, etc… guess I look for low stress in my shows too.
Oh my god, yes! This is me to a tee! With everything going on, on top of my own issues with disabilities and breast cancer history, I’ve been so stressed out that I haven’t been able to concentrate on anything with any serious plot (other than Mandalorian, of course!). Enter Discovery+ and I’m in hog heaven, binging on renovation shows left and right, on top of rewatching old episodes of Dirty Jobs and Expedition Unknown. I admit I do watch Fixer Upper but that’s mostly for the humor factor, as yes, Joanna Gaines does tend towards the same overall style time and again. I haven’t watched Home Town yet, though, so I’ll definitely have to check that one out.
I have American Detectives watchlisted but haven’t had the energy or presence of mind to actually focus enough to watch it yet. My, my….
Laurie Kimball says
Just finished “The Honey Don’t List” last night. The (fictional) inside story of a fixer upper DIY show. Hilarious!
Big Mike says
You too?!? Wife and I are both addicted to renovation shows. Our all time favorite series was “Renovation Island.” A couple — with four kids! — bought a long defunct resort on Android Island in the Bahamas and restored it. Took a lot of work and put a lot of stress on the marriage because they bet every penny that they had on bringing that resort back. Hope their resort survived the pandemic, because they they did a wonderful job.
We also like the shows featuring Mike Holmes on DIY and other networks. He doesn’t just fix things, he and his crew explain what’s wrong, why it needs to be fixed, and how they’re going to fix it, then you watch the repair take place.
We hate “Love It or List It.” Hillary is just so obnoxious on so many episodes.
Big Mike says
Andros Island. Damn autocorrect and double damn my crappy proofreading skills.
Kind of funny because most people find actual renovation on their own property to be hugely stressful. Oh to be Dina.
I enjoy Good Bones 🙂 🙂
Me too! their colorfull and gorgeous facades!
Home Town is my goto for background while I’m working. I’ll come up for air every so often and catch a great scene.
My guilty pleasures? Ilona Andrews books and blog! SO good! Also watch Blown Away on Netflix. It’s a glass blowing show that is entertaining.
I totally love Home Town. I really enjoy the design flexibility and their young family. They really seem to value each other and simply want to help the neighbors. Ben makes the most beautiful things too. He has a show that is just him plus a celebrity and they make an item for donation. It’s only a 15min episode but it’s so fun as Ben does the interview and teaches the celebrity what to do. On one episode Ben and astronaut Scott Kelly made a large chair for the town library. Ben said that he could see his daughter growing up and reading in that chair and maybe deciding to become an astronaut too. I love that POV from a dad. Scott thought it was great.
My other go to relaxation favorites are off the Food Network on Discovery + especially the competition shows like Halloween Wars. I like Josh Gates’ show that I can now watch on Discovery + . Totally love that.
I must admit that I really would love a reunion season for the Mandalorian. I miss it. The end of that is what launched me into Discovery +.
My most favorite design person on TV is Bobby from Queer Eye. That man is gifted. No one design is like another. He listens to the people involved and his or her life goals and stays within the construct of the existing home. Then wham there is a thing of beauty.
I spend way too much time on YouTube. I recently added Discovery+. Coyote Petersen of Brave Wilderness YouTube fam has an Animal Planet show, Brave the Wild. That or anime on Crunchyroll are my current guilty pleasure, if you want to call them that. Also I am loving WandaVision.
I love renovation shows. I blame my mother, who got me hooked a few years ago when I was down for Thanksgiving. I like 100 Day Dream Home (the couple is so cute), Love it or List it, Unsellable Houses (that VW! I love it!), and Property Brothers. Rehab Addict for watching old homes get restored properly. I also completely love My Lottery Dream Home. If I’m having a bad/sad/off day, David Bromstad always makes me smile.
I go months without watching any, then spend a week with them on in the background. Drives my husband nuts lol.
I love Joe Kenda. I highly recommend his book. I’ll probably break down and get discovery plus so I can watch his new show. He is such a great storyteller. I also like the Coroner and Murder Chose Me. Rod Demery’s life is both heartbreaking and uplifting. There’s a lot of bad things in the world, and I think it’s comforting to know there are people out there that care so much.
Smithsonian Chanel how they build it, and Mystic Britain (lots of good science and easy, fun delivery). History Channel Forged in Fire – little drama, lots of beautiful blades, axes, and spears. This is where I got to see lots of the swords that Kate talks about. Deep Space 9. Great British Baking Show.
Oh and the New Creatures Great and Small on PBS.
Yeah. Consuming tv has been difficult for me, I want nothing but fabulous HEAs and those are what these shows bring us after all right? My family has binged almost all of the Property Brothers content on hulu. (I’ve been avoiding the bro v bro show.)
My 7yo designed a blanket fort with “vaulted ceiling” and “two doorways” tonight. (She explained earnestly) not sure if I should be scared or proud.
Ben and Erin, their book about how they met was very sweet as well.I got the audiobook (they narrated)
The block Au
It’s a reality contest 5 couples renovate/build a home or apartment from scratch, non stop action, some drama and the happy and very nice Aussies trying to win.
Last year was specially dramatic, because of Covid, shutdowns and restrictions in Australia
Valerie in CA says
I’m currently hinge watching Lennox Hill on Netflix right now. That the guilty pleasure for this month
Go to Youtube to watch Sarah Richardson. Used to have shows on HGTV Canada. These are not remodel and toss in some decorating at the end. These are decorating shows with some remodeling. You see here talking about why or why not a color and testing out various colors and rearranging furniture till it is just right. There is Sarah Off The Grid on HGTV, where she build a beautiful off the grid house. Byes she uses white but NOT the entire house. Although she does like to use blue a Lot. Other fun decorating shows On Youtube are Alexandra Gator and Mr Kate (husband /wife team). Sorry HGTV. But I am sick and tired of watching shows where people are buying and remodeling houses. Don’t know about rest of the world but I don’t move and remodel every other year. I would rather watch how someone decorated so I can get ideas on how to I might redecorate my home. For dreaming of No Covid Time checkout Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix
Ms. Kim says
I LOVE Home Town. Its my favorite of HGTV. HGTV is all I can bear to watch these days, or else turn on the music channel to Goldie Oldies.
Susie Q. says
Rereading House Andrews, the blogs with snippets and the BDH and my 2 cats are what has kept me going thru Covid 19 and daily death counts, a mom disappearing into senile dementia, inability to see her, and my own issues have kept me hopefully semi sane. I have stopped r e ading sci-fi set in post apocalypse and military sci fi for the the softer version, cozy mysteries and a fascination with Oak Island, cooking – yay Instapot and air fryer – and the home improvement channels and most of the authors listed. I’d like to add Shelley Laurenston. Warning, graphic sex scenes which I skip over but absolutely hilarious characters, a mix of action adventure, mystery and not your usual shifters. I love the honey badgers.
I get super depressed with lack of sunshine, so the first thing I do to a new house is paint most of it bright white and take down anything that partially obscures the windows. The bedrooms get lots of bright and cheerful colors and the office right now is charcoal, because my husband really likes working in a cave 😛 The white really helps with seasonal depression and keeping everything bright and happy. The trick is buying good paint…Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore. I know they’re 3x as much as the big box store brands, but they last for years and are super washable. I have 2 small children that regularly smear spaghetti sauce randomly everywhere, including the walls. It washes right up, no big deal. Extra bonus: if one of your kids, you know, accidentally “trips” and puts a bat through the wall, the color will still match when you patch and paint the spot, even though it’s been 4 years since the room was originally painted. It’s been a super crazy, stressful year. I don’t think anyone has been as productive during the past 12 months as is “normal”. Don’t beat yourself up <3 mental health is super important!
Nice conversation on the renovation shows, thanks. Just as an aside, I utterly hate white and open shelving. Ugh, talk about dreary. There are zero white walls in my house, although I do paint ceilings white lol.
WRT work slog, it sure sounds to me like you need a few weeks off! Go somewhere with a view and some hiking! That’s my unrequested advice. Heh
Alexandra Thomas says
My mum loves renovation shows and one that she got me watching is called Escape to the Chateau. A British couple (Dock & Angel) who’ve moved to France with their two kids and are renovating a chateau. I love the episode where dick builds a floating igloo. The couple are very quirky and zaney and full of new ideas to renovate and remodel.
Also so sorry to hear that 2020 has sapped your creativity and energy. I’d suggest joining us in Australia (specifically Cairns), as Covid hasn’t really made much of an impact here, but we’ve been seeing it all over the news and can’t imagine what other countries are going through.
As much as I love your work, and would hate to see delays in new material being released, please stop and take what time you need to recharge. I think all of your fans would agree that it’s more important than ever to enjoy life and spend time with your loved ones in this crazy time we’re living in.
So sorry for rambling, my three year old refuses to nap and my eyes are bugging out of my head! 🙂
On the Star Wars geekery….my DH received twin Crimson Dawn lightsabers for Christmas. His current stress relief is to stand in the living room (or office space if work) and practice spinning them. For whatever reason this has become his new go to for reset. Maybe you need an extra hobby. 😉
Ayesha T says
My ultimate guilty pleasure that started in 2020 and helped me stay sane has been korean dramas! Have you seen them? Lots of romance, some really nice screenwriting, visually stunning, and lots of feel-good emotions. I wrote a blog on the first one I saw in case that helps give a deeper perspective! https://responsivereaction.blogspot.com/2020/02/crash-landing-on-you-netflix-k-drama.html
Linda R says
I’m currently watching Mr. Queen on viki and it’s so good, Mr. Queen have lost of fun moments and i really love it.
I really know the feeling of “no emotional stress” when entertained.
Beeing a physician i try to keep the tragic, the hopeless and the horrible confined to 8-16.
Not that my job is only that – it is also full of hope and joy and fun, but when i get home i dont need emotional upheaval.
My guilty pleasures -but authorlord/lady how Can you ask ??
Your books, of course ????
And kogin embroidery and rekreative baking and when it is not scandinivian winter, gardening. Ordering seeds is like antidepressants.
Love to you and BDH
For another take on home renovation, check out Laura Melhuish-Sprague’s channel on YouTube. It’s one of my absolute favourites right now.
She and her partner, Ollie, are a young British couple gradually renovating their first home – while living in it and earning the money to do so. They do as much of the work as they can themselves and are impressively handy. AND they are absolutely adorable!
She has a background in textile design and has a lovely sense of style. The house was in pretty bad shape when they got it so the transformations are really satisfying.
She also does some vlogging and fashion posts and I’ll watch whatever she puts out.
There’s also ‘Living Big In A Tiny House’ (YouTube) and I think it’s called ‘Extraordinary Houses’ on Netflix.
And ‘Grand Designs’ is a classic!
In addition to The Home Edit, I also really liked LEGO Masters and, if you need silliness, bad puns and musical numbers, see if Galavant is your thing 😉 No idea if that is being streamed on any platform though, I have the DVD’s… Totally hysterical, not exactly zen watching, but it always makes me laugh!
Random shows I watched this week
Winx (fairy college!?)
My stepdaughter loved this cartoon and I did not expect this to be good
Firefly Lane (can be tense)
It’s damn good though
Hyperdrive brain = Dark (Netflix)
You’ll think so hard you won’t think so hard
Robert I. Katz says
I know just what you mean about soothing shows that don’t make your adrenaline rush. My wife and I both feel the same way. I also watch the renovation shows but I’m really a sucker for the buy-a-house show in an exotic location (exotic to me, anyway). I love Beachfront Bargain Hunt, Lakefront Bargain Hunt, Buying the Beach, Hawaii Life, Bahamas Life, Buying the Yukon and Buying Alaska.
Documentaries. Something uncontroversial and interesting, like a good nature documentary. Along those lines I was watching the Mandalorian behind-the-scenes stuff on Disney+, Star Wars Gallery I think?
At one point Director Dave Filoni did a deep dive on how and why Luke won his fight with the Emperor by his refusal to fight which blew me away.
I LOVE no-stress shows (we call them filler episode shows)! Here are some of my favorites, which I cannot recommend enough; the first is live-action and the rest are anime.
The Good Witch: Available on Netflix, it’s such a calming, feel-good show about an herbalist in a small town that always knows what people need and when, and she gives them gentle nudges in the right direction.
Ascendance Of A Bookworm: My favorite feel-good show, and very possibly my #2 favorite anime. It’s about a college student who is obsessed with books. She dies in a tragic accident and gets reincarnated into a fantasy / medieval world where books are so rare only the nobles own them. So she goes about attempting to make her own books using the materials at her disposal as a 6 year old pesant girl.
That Time I Was Reincarnated As A Slime: Another reincarnation anime where someone from the modern world gets reincarnated into a fantasy world. Spoiler: he is a slime monster in his new life! It’s super cool because every time it looks like it’s going to build up into some high-stress conflict…it doesn’t.
My Next Life as a Villainess: Yet another reincarnation anime, but this time the main character was reborn as the villainess in her favorite Otome game, and every outcome for that character is either death or banishment. So she strives to save her own skin and befrend everyone who was her character’s enemy in the game. It does get a little frusterating sometimes because it’s one of those shows where the audience can see something obvious that the main character, for some reason, cannot. But otherwise it is a very fun and upbeet show.
Restaurant to Another World: a cute anime about a modern restaurant whose door appears in a fantasy world every saturday. There’s really not much to it, but it’s a nice wind-down kind of show.
Shawn S says
I love to watch Hometown with my Dad because he spent several years living in Laurel and spending summers there. It’s a riot to watch him try to figure out where the houses are and if he’s been to them. I get great Daddy growing up stories and genealogy tidbits. Win, win.
Noel Stark says
I work on Home Town and I have to say it’s a pleasure. Ben and Erin are the real deal. They believe in what they’re doing and are genuinely kind and respectful. And, of course, cute as all get out.
My guilty pleasure at the moment is Selena + Chef on HBO Max. Selena Gomez decided to learn to cook from famous chefs (a different one each episode) over video chat. I find her and the show adorable and awkward. She sets things on fire, the chefs are constantly worried she is going to cut herself, and they love her multicolored knife set in the 1st season. Every episode they donate $10,000 to a charity of the chef’s choice and it is neat to see all of the various dishes they have her cook. Probably my favorite was a seafood dish where Selena had to chop up an octopus ???? and she was fighting not to gag. The episodes make me smile (and laugh) so they are great to watch after a frustrating day at work.
I have seen the Galveston show. It is very addictive. You can consume those shows like popcorn!
Joe K. says
Being a huge Star Wars fan I’m happy you are as well. I’ve recently begun two things that I would highly recommend to you and Gordon (though I imagine you have already experienced them).
First I’m rereading the Darth Bane trilogy by Drew Karpyshyn (Path of Destruction, Rule of Two, and Dynasty of Evil). He’s one of my favorite characters. His strength, determination, and ability to overcome so much is inspiring. He’s dark side but at the same time killed more Sith than even the most powerful Jedi.
Second I am replaying some of the classes in Star Wars: The Old Republic to revisit the impressive storylines therein. If you haven’t experienced them yet it’s worth the playthrough (especially imperial agent and sith inquisitor).
You could not be more right. Waco is absolutely the armpit of Texas.
I’ve always loved DIY shows and right now I’m watching Sell This House and Find and Design. Sell this House get’s me going to declutter and then Find and Design helps me find thrifty items, shows me how to fix them up and use them. Between those and my PBS channel I’m doing ok. I was watching Mr. Christmas (netflix) decorate people’s houses for the holidays and that was fun. I might need to check out Discovery+.
Lynn Sanborn says
A thought about hard copy/ebook publication. As a librarian I am much more successful “selling” a new author to a patron if I have a hard copy to offer them. With your books I do have the Kate Daniels books but I would have liked to be able to offer certain people the Innkeeper series. We do “loan” ebooks but it’s a work in progress. For myself, I buy the ebooks, even when hard copy is available. It does seem a little excessive when publishers of other authors ask $15 for an ebook. Certainly not your only or even most important consideration, but one factor in reaching new readers.
I’ve been watching Guy’s Grocery Games for my stress relief. He seems so nice, even when he’s giving out difficult challenges and everyone always seems to be having fun as they’re trying to pull of the impossible. Plus, awesome looking food.
British competition cooking shows like The Great British Baking Show. The contestants are so polite and helpful to each other, unlike American cooking competitions where they seem to sabotage each other.
Otherwise, love me some Mel Brooks movies. Blazing Saddles (it’s making fun of racism and making a point), and Youg Frankenstein are always good for laughs.
I have been living a reno for the last year. Trying to find materials during Covid has been a real joy. Everything is slow, but I’ve decided that is okay, it means I can work slowly! I haven’t watched a reno show for years as there budgets ate always ridiculous. This is my 6th house to fix (and hopefully my last). It is over 150 years old on river front, an old sea captain type place. We have had to build bases for the book cases as the floors are so uneven, but it has character! Still waiting for the second floor gutters that were supposed to be done in October (when we called we were 35th on the list still), so we can repair the sills the water has rotted. My most fun reno to date!
My guilty pleasure is rereading my favorite book series. I’m just on the last of your hidden legacy, Emerald blaze. First time it’s yay the books here, second time it’s I might have missed something. Third , four… it’s just because 🙂
My daughter introduced me to your books and the books are hers! Lol. So when she sees me rereading them it bothers her for a few things. I’m breaking the spine, the books are not pristine and are starting to look used. “ these books are mine you know”
There are lots of books out there but so many are too dark, too much for the set scenes, not an interesting plot.Good books that suit me are so hard to find.
Sara B. says
Guilty (or maybe not so guilty) pleasures include: the home-buying shows (House Hunter International, Home in a Hurry) and re-runs of Death in Paradise (thank you Brit Box)
Wow. It appears that I’m the only one who doesn’t watch TV obsessively.
My guilty pleasure is books from Kindle Unlimited from authors who make me laugh. TV off, Kindle on, cat beside me trying to get me to pet her, times are tough, right? Books take me to another world without me moving myself an inch. I once watched one home renovation show and didn’t even stick with it until it was over because it ticked me off that they basically gutted the house and rebuilt it inside the old walls. I grew up in a house built in 1899, so hey, I know old houses. Most of them were built to stand for a century, then renovated to include things like electrical power and a furnace to heat radiators. Ours had a firewall between the kitchen and the rest of the house in case the wood-burning stove caused a fire. The walls were actual plaster. I hate what “decorators” do to houses. Homes grow organically, to suit those who live there.
Ilona, everybody feels the way you do about working right now. This, too, shall pass. I hope you feel better soon. Our lives are all “on hold” waiting for this pandemic to end, and it doesn’t want to end, no matter how much we wish it would. So we end up sitting around, unable to move forward, and we wait. I wish you well.
I’ve always hated fixer upper for various reasons but Hometown is wonderful! The NY version of Say Yes to the Dress is good veg out tv too if you like to see pretty clothes, and of course the Great British Bake Off. GBBO’s Nadiya has a baking show coming to netflix this month. I’ve been enjoying the documentaries on disney plus about disney, like Imagineers and Waking Sleeping Beauty too. I miss the crafting shows they used to have on hgtv.
Bigmama Battillo says
I share your addiction and your choices. I LOVE Home Town and Restoring Galveston. I am tired of the Gaineses! Chip just gets on my nerves something fierce. I just want to yell, “GROW UP!”I would add to your list Good Bones. If you haven’t watched it you would enjoy it I think. I really like the relationship between the mother and daughter. It is totally wrong how much time I spend watching remodeling shows. I even watch the same remodelings over and over! Addicted anyone? SIGH!
My guilty pleasure is your blog. I set it up at the beginning of my work day and read it as a reward when I’ve hit some goals. I’m slogging through some ghostwriting contracts right now and your blog posts are always a bright spot!
oh, my other guilty pleasure is watching Murder, She Wrote with my kids while I quilt.
I love quilting the same way I love cats–I wonder the whole time why I love it. It’s just cutting fabric apart and stitching it back together, a lot, but it’s delightful. I mean, it’s colors you can feel, it doesn’t get better.
It’s amazing how well the show has held up, especially compared to some shows from the 90’s or 00’s. Jessica is a real badass in pearls! Even my 9yo and my 13yo son love it. It’s a real departure from our usual stuff. We do all the Stars stuff. You know. Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate.
I LOVE Home Town! Looking forward to checking out your other recommendations! 🙂
For the renovation shows, I’ve been watching Home town and Property Brothers-Forever Home. The Cooking/Baking shows are The Kitchen, Supermarket Stakeout, and Chopped. I don’t have Disney+ so no Mandalorian or Wanda Vison for me.
I also like Rehab Addict, (she gave really good tips on restoration) and Good Bones. Wednesday night is KQED for Nova and Nature. I watch Good Eats and British Baking Show when I can catch them.
Online I watch Eons, Tasting History, Binging with Babish, and Jacques Pepin.
You should check out a couple families on Youtube. One is DIYfferent. A husband and wife team moved to Michigan and practically rebuilt a double wide. It is unrecognizable, and they do all the work themselves. The other is Red Poppy Ranch. This is another family, and the dad, Heath, has built the house and shop all by himself. Everything. Both of these families post videos of all the steps, so you can really get into everything they go through as they get their homes together.
I just separated from my husband and I needed to buy new furniture. Thanks designers like the McGees I was obsessed with getting a white couch. Fortunately I am a ‘pop of color’ person so I added in a lot of neutrals and shades of blue-green to the rest of the space. Looks good and everything but the couch is lifestyle friendly.
I keep it under 2 layers of blankets to keep it safe. I have 4 cats. So I really only enjoy it when I have guests over.
Still, I got it out of my system.
I’m traveling via YouTube. I watch sunsets and sunrises in Santa Monica, Alaska, Croatia and Thailand (among others). I watch a cat rescue in Defiance, Ohio and another in Turkey. Taking a tram up the Matterhorn was amazing. I’ve learned about king tides and sneaker waves in Oregon. My kitties stalk exotic birds on a feeder in South Africa.
There’s so much world to see, and I’m using the pandemic to view places I never thought of. Making a list and hoping for better days.
I love Restoring Galveston. We live just off the Island, seeing these beautiful old homes restored makes me happy. My true addiction is Dr Jeff, Colorado Veterinarian extraordinaire. Him and his wife save, neuter and love animals.
I really liked watching Stone House Revival. Maybe because I live in Australia and we don’t really have regular houses that are that old. I also love seeing the old stone houses in the snow!
You should watch The Great Pottery Throw Down (UK Show). It’s great, this week the potters made busts of musicians, I don’t know if you’ve seen The Great British Bake Off episode where they make them from cake, but the outcomes are equally hilarious.
Warning: this show will make you want to buy a pottery wheel.
Margaret R says
Renovation Nation on youtube. They restore century homes in the original style. I also love thrifting and antiquing shows and if you can combine both – oo la la c’est manufique! Curiosity Inc. is a favourite, he’s an antique dealer who sometimes buys hoards and then sells the treasures and renovates the house – The Potter’s House, The Musician’s House. I’ve really bonded with youtube since the pandemic!
Margaret R says
Oh I almost forgot! Bentley House Miniatures – She just finished building a scale model of the Adams Family House – amazing and fun -it took years and now she just started Beetlejuice! incredibly creative and funny????
Yana R says
I didn’t realise you can’t be emailed any longer, but that makes sense. Too much accessibility is never a good thing for peace of mind 🙂 I thought you might want to check out this really well written, seriously hilarious blog by a woman about renovating her Victorian house with her husband.
This is my favourite post and a good one to get a glimpse of her (affectionate) crazy – https://victoriaelizabethbarnes.com/huge-victorian-antique-mirror/
Her blog is my second favourite ever (after yours).
I hope it brings you some much needed joy 🙂
Kelly B says
I love this post so much!
I adore home reno shows and completely agree with all points made.
Thanks for the smile today!
I love any show with the following format: Something Creative (eg. Cooking, pottery, making clothes, flower compositions, make up – I’m not particular ha) + A competition element + Everyone doing something different with the same brief. Gah! I love it. I’m fully addicted
Not sure if anyone has said already, but I reckon you’d love Grand Designs! So good
Lina Christenson says
British cooking shows. Jamie Oliver, Nadiya, Great British Bake Off… ????
But I draw the line at Nigella. Tried, but can’t take that much sacharine…
I don’t mind white on white, or pink. But…I find that the Property Brothers Forever Home shows are all cookie cutter open spaces, too many neutral colors, and always white tile. Joanna Gaines has great taste, but the same, too often there is little difference in her design schemes. As much as I find the Gaines entertaining, show me something new please. That’s why Home Town is my favorite renovation show. I like Erin and Ben, and the scenes where they hang with their friends and family. I love seeing how they work within a tight budget, an go with the homeowners ideas and needs. The way they restore and reuse. I also like Escape to the Chateau for the scenery as much as the restoration. Between the renovation shows and Masked Singer I have been able to escape boredom an ennui. Oh, and NFL football. Go Broncos!!
Maria Z says
Was big Fixer Upper fan but do agree everything does turn into Texas Farmhouse.
When I had DIY really liked the restoring Galveston as they couple was trying to keep the character of the old home. Also Maine Cabin Builders very much building on a small budget.
Luv Good Bones, partly for the mother/daughter relationship, partly it is nice to see another part of the country, and partly that the team really does try to keep the character of the old home.
HGTV did show a new show with Marcia from the Brady Bunch and they were doing something similar as afar as updating the home but keeping the character.
Home Town I really appreciate the passion Erin has for Laurel and how doing the show has helped transform the town. I don’t always like her grandma millennial style but totally appreciate her color palettes and her fabric sense combining very interesting patterns. Luv the show appreciation for the history of the homes, craftsmen, and refiguring antique pieces. I do like that they listen to their customers and that they respect a budget. Some of their transformations are remarkable the Nashville music producers cabin with the vulture nesting in the attic comes to mind.
D Hart says
Sometimes I feel like you are my long lost sister which is weird because I was raised in the South (Piedmont of NC) and you were raised in Russia. Maybe its our age, pretty sure its close. But I’m in the same place as you, a lot. Struggle with weight, struggle with motivation sometimes, struggle with emotion overall (up/down). Like you, I’m also pretty successful (psst not as successful – you’ve never heard of me). But I consider myself successful. Married 25+ years, kids ok, animals I love, job at a high level but I feel a lot of your blog personally.
Right now I am struggling to care about my job as well, I just changed jobs for a promotion and removing myself from a toxic environment…and still struggling to get up in the morning. I also can only handle HGTV, Food network and DIY network because its like I can’t add on any new emotions. Don’t give me more stress, worries or death. No more death. But let’s face it… 2020 was horrible, 2021 is like a bad hangover… we just want to stay in bed (for me read, you knit). Fight it and maybe 2022 we can travel again – aka escape!
I enjoy Home Town very much and just started Escape to the Chateau . It’s very soothing . I also enjoy cooking shows too especially the Great British Baking Show(Netflix, PBS) and right now I’m watching Kid’s Baking Championship . It makes me feel slightly inadequate because the kids are between 10-13 and can bake all sorts of things without using a recipe. (macrons, pate choux, layer cake). The only thing stressful is one kid gets sent home each week. Discovery+ will probably be added once I get paid this weekend. I’m also finishing up Star Trek Discovery season 2 and going to start 3 on CBS all access.
I love Home Town for all the reasons you mentioned.
Love renovation shows, besides Hometown and Restoring Galveston I like Maine Cabin Masters, Good Bones and sometimes fixer to fabulous.
I also sometimes like Barnwood Builders not because I have any interest in log cabins but because I like how they get along on the show. I also somewhat follow Oak Island. I probably would have quit watching but my Dad watches so it gives us something to talk about at times. The show I have been really into lately is Mysteries of the Abandoned.
I am looking forward to when the Magnolia channel comes to Direct TV
I am rewatching a well dubbed Russian show on Netflix called
Better than us, about a evolving sentient robot…
I re watch( all the old episodes of Sherlock…
Ragnarok , on Netflix is great fun.
Old episodes of Grimm on Amazon Prime, more good fun
Patricia Newton says
I like those and Maine Cabin masters, love Rehab Addict. But Ben and Erin are my favorites also.
I love Hometown. It is my favorite of the reno shows. There is a new one starting on HGTV Feb 18th based in Newfoundland Canada. I have seen only the commercials, but based on those, I can recommend that show. I know a number of Newbies and they are very down to earth.
They are called Newfies not Newbies. Sigh autocorrupt
Huh. I guess I’ll be getting discovery after all. I’ve been trying to ignore it, there is just SO many, and you have to pay for Each different service! But I like a lot of the shows they’ve been advertising for the Discovery channel.
And I LOVE Hometown! I watch it every week, I must have watched the reruns 100 times! (Ok, a Lot of times)
I love all of Liziqi’s videos, she is one super woman. I’ve also recently gotten addicted to watching this Chinese home makeover show called Dream Home. There’s this one architect they call the ‘magician of space’ and he specializes in renovating small spaces. His works are mind blowing. He can turn a room that’s about the size of an average bedroom into 3 floors with 2 separate bedrooms, 1 bathroom,a kitchen and living room. All without changing the outside structure of the building.
YES! Thank you! It’s like Dream Home Makeover only knows one style. It seemed very unimaginative and single minded to me and the homes don’t really have enough chsracter to me.
Don’t get me wrong. I love renovation shows. I currently watch “Escape to the Chateau”, a british show where an english couple (designer and engineer) buys a very old dusty french chateau. Almost everything is DIY and bought at the secondhand/charity shop.
I would also suggest Grand Designs on Netflix.
Faye Forney says
Dear Ilona, I hope you are well. I just wanted to let you know how much your work means to me. I really had a hard time last year bc… 2020 but I started watching and reading media where the predominant theme was grief bc … 2020… made me grieve and somehow exploring grief through nonfiction helped me. And so I can wait for your genius. I would even read your grocery list bc I know in a time when faith and belief in ourselves is low we need time. I see you and your genius and believe in you. So take your time bc we all need it and eventually you’ll be back! And that’s what I do. I keep repeating my affirmations and one day I will believe it!
i had no idea discovery + existed, and i think i need that in my life!! thank you! i like home renovation shows that are more down to earth, and home town sounds lovely.
and i’m totally sharing ‘measure once, cuss twice’ with my dad, who helps me with my own home improvement projects.
Grace Draven says
I love reno and home decorating shows, but I confine mine to Youtube. I watch the following regularly:
Kinwoven Design – Rebecca Robeson puts together some amazing stuff that turns a bleh house into a functional dream home. Most of her clients are high-end with monster budgets but the viewer with the much more modest budget comes away with some great ideas, and it’s just fun to watch the transformation.
Trent and Allie – These two were van lifers before COVID hit. They now own property in the mountains of Utah and are building their house from the ground up. Fascinating to watch because they’re living on the property in an RV while they build, and the challenges they’re facing as they live and work through a Utah winter in the mountains is interesting. Plus, they’re just lovely people to watch, and they post every Friday and Monday.
Eamon and Bec – Canadian couple and also prior van lifers. They bought a rundown cabin near a beautiful lake and are renovating everything themselves. Young, fun-loving couple who work really hard. I first started following them while they were still traveling in their van because Eamon is a hella-good vegan cook, and I was learning from more experienced cooks how to make good plant-based dishes.
I watch two others that are similar to the two above – Wild Wonderful Off Grid and Good Simple Living. They’ve all been interesting, informative, and inspirational for tackling things in our own home.
Restoration Home https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1991691/ Historic UK building are restored into family homes
I wasn’t a big fan of Home Town when it started, but they have won me over. FixerUpper was groundbreaking when it came out, because of the price point of the homes, but as you say it quickly became the same formula over and over. I am very interested in seeing what they do with their new show. Can’t get into the white on white thing from Studio McGee. Honestly, haven’t seen any show yet that really does it for me.
I’ve been watching Escape to the Country for my feel good fix. It’s a BBC house hunting show, lots of cute cottages and realistic in that most shows end without buying one of the properties shown.
I had actually stopped watching home restoration shows and now I’m addicted again. Restoring Galveston is perfect and now I’ve added a couple more.