House Dumb

I have watched one full episode of Jersey Shore in my life. One. Katie made me do it. I was at her house and it was her TV, so when she shrieked “OHMYGOD YOU HAVE TO WATCH THIS THEY’RE SO STUPID IT’S FUNNY,” I had no choice. The stupidity of the cast of Jersey Shore wasn’t enough to entertain me; actually, it was their total lack of any redeeming features that repulsed me the most. They weren’t funny, they weren’t sympathetic, they weren’t good people at all. Half an hour of watching those greasy troglodytes acting like a petri dish for the further evolution of the herpes simplex virus was enough for me, and I convinced her to change the channel to Boondocks.

But Jersey Shore is old news by now, and no longer the source for the worst people on television. If you ever feel like knowing who the worst people are, watch House Hunters on HGTV.

House Hunters follows potential homebuyers through the process of selecting a place. The show highlights three places from initial viewing through selection to the actual purchase, and from what I can tell, is an exercise in illustrating how idiotic a lot of people are about real estate.

For starters, nobody on this show knows anything about how much stuff costs. It’s full of just-out-of-college young professionals who want to live in the “cool” part of downtown on a budget more suited to a downtrodden inner-ring suburb. They want three bedrooms (for two people), two bathrooms (again, for two people), and a gigantic kitchen even though neither of them cooks, and they want all of this for the cost of a studio with a rat problem.

Second, nobody seems to have realistic expectations about what “historical” really means or what “character” is. These are the people who are upset when a 100-year-old rowhouse in Philadelphia doesn’t have walk-in closets, or when a Craftsmen bungalow in the Pacific Northwest doesn’t have an open floorplan complete with a family room. They think that crown moldings in a new condo development equal character, and don’t seem to understand that architectural features probably won’t be found in a suburb development outside of Dallas.

Third, the sense of entitlement in some of these people is kind of appalling. People vote against a place because of the paint color, or slightly outdated sink fixtures, or super cheap cosmetic stuff that could be fixed in a weekend. A weekend! When we found this house, our demands were fairly simple. We wanted a safer neighborhood, a fenced yard, and a semi-dry basement, and we got those things. I’m not thrilled about the living room being red or the yard being a dumping ground for a giant sweet gum tree, but you know what? Who cares. It’s perfectly acceptable and we’re not assholes. I don’t know if the show encourages this, but the laundry list of demands that some of these buyers have would be enough to drive me to mass murder if I was their realtor. I’ve yet to see an agent sit the buyer(s) down and tell them just how full of shit they are, but I keep waiting.

Fourth, these people have no comprehension of home buying being a process. You can’t find a house you like and break your lease without getting approved. You can’t start packing up your shit before you complete an inspection. You’ll end up being one of those poor bastards who have been living out of a storage unit for weeks while you trudge all over town trying to relieve the semi-homelessness you brought on yourself.

Finally, House Hunters should probably be called “Future Foreclosure Victims,” because I cannot count the number of times I’ve watched people consciously go over budget, claiming excuses from “I’ll never find anything better” to “I don’t want to get into a bidding war” to “we only live once.” Yeah. We only live once. Okay, dumbass, while that might be true, that one life seems an awful lot longer when you’re digging yourself out from a bankruptcy ruling. It’s also insane to watch some of these people walk through a perfectly livable property and go on and on about the updates they just have to do, seemingly unaware that kitchen and bathroom renovations are crazy expensive. They don’t know the difference between essential repairs like tuckpointing and non-essential bullshit like granite countertops. And some of these people have children. They’re overextending themselves by like $30,000 while their kids play in the next room. That’s crazy! That’s stupid! That’s what makes me cackle when people like this will end up praying for a short sale of their home maybe a year down the road because they’re morons who don’t know the meaning of the term “house poor.”

They’re all just assholes. They’re such unrealistic, out of control, unbelievable assholes. Half of them work in sales, so the unstable incomes combined with hubris are just the ticket for a financial shitstorm that they’re just stupid enough to release for television.

About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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3 Responses to House Dumb

  1. Robin says:

    I like Jersey Shore because I actually grew up with people like that which makes it funnier and more unbelievable that they’ve climbed to the level of fame that they have. From what I hear, most normal people can’t believe that Jersey Shore kids really exist. But Westchester and Long Island are crawling with them.

  2. starshine71 says:

    I watched about 1 minute of the Jersey Shore one day in passing and swore that time alone lowered my IQ. My teenage son is very impressionable and loves the show. For quite awhile he was interested in tanning, gold chains, etc. Then he watched “The Boondock Saints” and started emulating them. My husband was disturbed by this. I said it’s a sad state of affairs when you wonder what’s worse..your kid emulating guys going around killing mobsters or emulating idiots.

    • erineph says:

      I think that boys in general are more apt to emulate the most extreme ends of the douchebag spectrum. They’re not REALLY trying to be awful manwhores or murderous gangsters with obviously fake Irish accents; it’s just their terrifying, pubescent levels of testosterone responding to the overt hormonal triggers in whatever they’re watching. My nephew is 5 and very smart, funny, and sensitive, but his favorite toys are gigantic guns, and his preferred method of play involves throwing punches and wrestling.

      Unfortunately, it takes longer for boys to really recognize the difference between what they respond to on a base, animal level and what’s socially acceptable/not totally disgusting behavior.

      But if he ever refers to women as “bitches,” slap him so fucking hard for me.

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