For a pop culture addict, I’m actually not a big fan of reality television — except for real estate shows. Oh lordy, do I love me some shows about buying houses and selling houses and flipping houses and making love to houses (Too far? Yeah, I thought so.). Give me a hundred hours of House Hunters over ten seconds of the Kardashians any day (especially if those ten seconds involve Kris talking about the vaginal lubrication she gets paid to hawk. Kris, Bruce, lube… that’s a visual I just don’t need). In fact, Mr. Candy and I often make a game of the show, betting on which house the couple will ultimately choose. (I’d tell you what we wager, but that’s a visual you just don’t need.)
But now? TRICKERY in the world of House Hunters! According to an interview with a former participant, Bobi Jensen, much of the popular show is — GASP! — faked. A reality show that isn’t grounded in reality?! Color me… mildly surprised. Sure, I knew things had to be edited for the purposes of the show — no way would buyers only look at three houses and no way would buyers close escrow every time and no way would buyers always move into their new house within five minutes of closing escrow — but I’m a tad perturbed to find out participants already have a new house and, oftentimes, pretend to consider houses that aren’t even for sale, such as friends’ houses.
And let’s just say the House Hunters crew isn’t exactly denying the claims, issuing this statement to Entertainment Weekly:
“We’ve learned that the pursuit of the perfect home involves big decisions that usually take place over a prolonged period of time – more time than we can capture in 30 minutes of television…. We’re making a television show, so we manage certain production and time constraints, while honoring the home buying process…. Showcasing three homes makes it easier for our audience to “play along” and guess which one the family will select. It’s part of the joy of the ‘House Hunters’ viewing experience. Through the lens of television, we can offer a uniquely satisfying and fun viewing experience that fulfills a universal need to occasionally step into someone else’s shoes.”
Say wha –?! Next they’re going to tell me that the people on Property Virgins AREN’T REALLY VIRGINS, much like Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez when they secretly ditched their purity rings.
Oh well. I think we all know I’m going to continue watching the show, despite their trickery. Once you’ve been roped into the seedy world of real estate porn, there’s no going back.