While it's always been true that we tend to go back to some of our favorite shows when we need some comfort or simply to relax and let our brains unwind, that has been even more correct for many of us in 2020. Several of our returning faves are beginning to come back to the small screen with new episodes, and many of these series will bear the hallmarks of our national health crisis. This will be especially obvious in shows such as those on HGTV, but, with Love It or List It back with new shows filmed during the COVID era, I have to admit that the series is just as satisfying as ever.
Generally, home renovation and / or real estate shows rely on the personalities on those shows interacting with each other and those they help to figure out their living situations. So, there was no way that a series like Love It or List It could film in the normal way after our pesky pandemic hit. What we usually get is an hour of Realtor David Visentin house hunting with potential home buyers as designer Hilary Farr attempts to update their current home to their satisfaction, but the new episodes are a bit different.
Our first socially distanced episode of Love It or List It aired on Monday, November 2, and featured a couple in need of more space for them both to work from home, entertain, and raise their canine children within. The action started off the way it always does, with the duo telling the audience their issues, establishing who wants to stay and who wants to move, David and Hilary touring the home, and then sitting down with the homeowners to talk about what they need and set budgets for renovation and a new dwelling.
As David was showing the twosome through some new houses, though, we got a big change. Instead of watching David drive them around (or at least meet them in person) to each potential property, we saw the pair suddenly begin to film themselves with a phone attached to a selfie stick as David spoke with them from quarantine via video chat. Was the abruptness of the switch a little bit weird? Sure. But, I, for one, did not think it at all ruined the very basic joy that the show gives every time I tune in.
Is it fun to watch David and Hilary mix it up with each new couple live and in person on a weekly basis? Absolutely, but the real point of the show isn't how Hilary tells the homeowner that she can no longer give them a soaker tub because their foundation is rotten and they had to pay for those repairs instead. It's also not about David getting static from the homeowners because he's shown them someplace that's over budget and still doesn't have a four car garage. It's not even about how Hilary and David come up with final solutions for the harried couple.
For me (and probably tons of other fans), it's all about the final design and getting to peek inside some expensive homes.
I bought my house on an almost literal shoestring, and while it is a bit of a fixer upper (I have a working bathroom and complete floors and walls, I swear), the idea of spending $100,000 on a renovation or carrying the debt required to pay off a house which cost $700,000 or even more, is simply baffling to me. But, also, I'd like to see what it's like to have a dream reno done or shell out for a completely new, hopefully totally perfect pad.
All I really need to see on Love It or List It to feel like all is right in the world, is to look at what a space was like before, and see how much better it looks after. I want to see how good your brand new, navy blue kitchen cabinets with gold hardware look, especially now that that tiny dumb island has been obliterated. Show me, please, the new freestanding, claw-footed, vintage tub and 22-foot long doorless, lipless shower which somehow doesn't spill water out all over the damn bathroom.
Give me the potential new home which has been fully renovated to include a mini movie theater and backs up onto a park with excellent bird-watching opportunities. And, yes, do show off the brand new build in a growing subdivision with a full wraparound, screened-in porch and built-in wet bars on every level.
You guys? All I really want is some real estate porn, and even with the details which prove that new episodes of Love It or List It had to film under pandemic restrictions, I'm getting exactly what I need to help me sleep at night.
If you need your home renovation shows to work as total escapism from reality, you'll likely be unsatisfied with any visible proof that the pandemic is also occurring in Love It or List It land. But, if all you want is shots of gleaming tile, glossy hardwood floors, built-in bookcases, and custom front doors, this is still your show!
Love It or List It airs on HGTV, Mondays at 9 p.m. EST, but for more to watch in the coming weeks, check out our guide to fall TV! If you've seen the new episodes of Love It or List It and want to weigh in, take our handy poll, below!