House voyeurism in the age of austerity in the FT

The Financial Times has a little piece on how British reality TV has changed in response to the downtown.

I honestly do not know how people watch the Home Channel. I admit that I have loved This Old House for years, the original, back-in-the-day program because I like old houses and the program actually told you a lot about them, the history of the design movement the house reflected, and good methods for renovation. We all knew that the people renovating the three-story Georgetown townhouses and the Manhattan brownstones were rich, yuppy millionaires, and we secretly hated them, but we got to see inside a process and a house we were never going to get to see either as laborers or as guests. Oh, and Norm Abrams is about as cute as they come in real life.

However, the home “interior” shows, which are all decorating rather than design, are super barf-worthy. The ‘design’ always boil down to the same principle: eliminate anything that might look like people actually live there (books! toys! all clutter!) then make it look like some sterile environment from a magazine, then we’re supposed to clap and pay more for the vision that confronts us.

All these makeovers always end up making places look like therapists’ waiting rooms.

My loft is full of books and dogs and cats and people and confusion, by contrast.

The new movement, according to the FT, is based on watching people lose their homes and possession. I don’t find this any more entertaining than listening to decorators cattily criticize somebody’s wallpaper choice.

Who Mourns for Adonis*?

Students never let you get away with anything. One of my former students, Peter McFerrin, responds to my lack of fact-checking on yesterday’s post with a brisk set of corrections, as we wouldn’t want to mislead the public on anything kitschy:

Corrections: First off, it’s Hancock Park, by the “FHP” sign on the roof of “Youngwood Court” (the name the owner, Norwood Young, gave the house). Second, they’re actually Davids, I’m pretty sure. I have an incredible photo set of the 2009 version of The House of Christmas Davids. Three words: Black Power Santa.

I did try to fact-check, but I’ve never looked at the statues closely enough to see they were Davids, so my searching came up empty–I thought it was weird that I couldn’t find anything, as it was a pretty big controversy. Once you get that part of the puzzle, you can find the rest of the story from Apartment Therapy.

I love the comments: He’s made it impossible for his neighbors to sell their houses yada yada (Uh, huh. It couldn’t be that they are asking too much for their houses, either.)

Anyway, now you can see the Davids, in their full glory. What do you think?

At least Hancock Park is, in fact, millionaire-land. Got that part right.

*Peter, I know, I know, the proper reference is Who Mourns for Apollo, but I needed the link to yesterday’s post.