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Diatribe: What’s Happened To HGTV?
When I first discovered Home & Garden Television, know now only as HGTV, it was a basic cable and satellite television channel broadcasting a variety of low-budget how-to shows with a focus on home improvement, gardening, crafts and redecorating.
It used to be that you could tune in to shows like Design On A Dime and Decorating Cents to learn how to redecorate a room with little to no cash out-of-pocket using things from the garage and sticks and twigs from the woods. In thirty minutes we could learn how to turn a flea market find into a beautiful piece of furniture with nothing more than a can of spray paint and a potato cut to use as a stencil.
The programs in the early days of HGTV were relatable to everyone, young and old, apartment dwellers and homeowners alike. Those who lived in modest homes and apartments could find something useful or interesting in a majority of the station’s programming. From developing simple landscape plans to growing vegetables in pots on patios, HGTV presented potentially useful ideas for everyone.
Sadly, it appears that the stations target demographic has changed. At our house we rarely, if ever, watch the station any more since programs like House Hunters have become House Hunters International or House Hunters Vacation Homes. The programs have changed from simple redecorating tutorials to beefcake remodeling documentaries where the contractors and designers have sometimes become characters in a season-long storyline involving their families, their sidekicks and their own product lines.
Brother vs. Brother, Love It Or List It, and it’s spin-off Love It Or List It Too are all cut from the same mold and follow the same basic format … hate your home, budget money to change it, encounter unexpected problems, go over budget and love the results anyway. Sometimes it feels like one long Lowe’s, Home Depot, paint or faucet commercial after another.
There are two design shows that we still enjoy, Sarah’s House and Candace Tells All, but we record them and watch them without commercials since most of the commercials are advertisements for other HGTV programs and they broadcast the same ones over and over.
Are you a long-time fan of HGTV? If so, are you also disappointed with the direction that its programming has taken?
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