The Real Estate Porn Channel

The Real Estate Porn Channel

The Real Estate Porn Channel

Our family's search for a house
Feb. 11 2009 7:43 AM

The Real Estate Porn Channel

Hey Nora: I found us a new house ! It’s perfect: nice big yard, wraparound porch, clapboards suitable for painting yellow. ... Even comes with its own car.


OK, so it’s in California. But you’re always saying how you miss California. And it’s bigger than we may need—I lost count of the number of rooms. But that means Joe can have more sleepovers. And we can’t actually buy it. But that’s only because they’re giving it away.


Yes, this "dream house" is a production of HGTV , aka in our living room as the (real estate) porn channel. As with the other kind of porn, these HGTV shows have low production values, the acting is bad, there are no real plots, and the soundtracks are cheesy. (And why are so many of them set in Canada ?) Still, I have to say, they draw me in. Who among us is able to resist the incantations of Suzanne Whang as she describes a 3BR, 2BA colonial with a kitchen that needs updating?

What I am waiting for, however, is a truly good real estate reality show. All of the great American subjects— food , fashion , Donald Trump —have their own reality shows. But reality estate shows are all so happy. No one is ever thrown off the island. No one is ever dressed down in public. (Well, they are on one show , but that’s just because the boss is a yeller. It has nothing to do with real estate.) There is no intrigue. If there are tears, they are tears of joy.

Why is this? Surely real estate as a subject is the equal of, say, chocolate cake , which seems to generate enough drama for three or four shows a week over on the Food Network. I think it’s because the real-estate-industrial complex is so powerful that it has blocked the production of any program that does not celebrate the purchase of property. (Insert favorite quote from Marx here.)

I want a real estate reality show that’s petty and spiteful and ridiculous and maybe a little mean. I want to see agents, brokers, buyers, sellers, neighbors, and speculators plotting against another and being eliminated each week. In short, I want to see a real estate show with good villains. I know they exist in real life.

Maybe there is such a show on already and I’ve just missed it. If someone out there knows of one—or if someone out there is making one—please let us know.