Couch Potato

(British) TV Addict

October 7, 2015 | No comments


I have lots of addictions. Music. Lists. Cheese. Cupcakes. Shoes. Planners. Pens. Highlighters. Bags. Wallets. Movies. Cheesy romance novels. Pizza. Chocolate. Tea. Spreadsheets. Colour-coded spreadsheets. Spreadsheets with statistics. You name it. Luckely, they are all fairly harmless. I’m kind of a lame junkie.

During the British period of my life (yes, this is how I frequently refer to the two years or so I spent in Bristol (it sounds much better than the Bristolian period)) I acquired a new addiction. And no, it isn’t tea with milk. I was drinking copious amounts of this even before relocating to the land of hope and glory.

It is British TV shows. I know, it is about as lame as the other ones. Maybe even worse.

To be fair, I think this addiction started even years before the move. I have been an avid fan of Midsomer Murders for as long as I can remember. That was clearly a sign of things to come. It just became a lot worse while actually being in England.

The big thing that got me hooked? The TV shows about home improvement. It very innocently started with the renovation and auction series Homes Under the Hammer. I was often working from home, with the TV on for company, and Homes Under the Hammer aired at a perfect time for brunch so it quickly became a fixed part of my day.

Homes Under the Hammer turned out to be the gateway to heavier addiction.

Before I knew it, I was a dedicated follower of everything from Cash in the Attic and Bargain Hunt to Escape to the Countryside, Grand Designs, and The Property Chain. Half way through the semester I found myself organizing my university schedule around the TV schedule.

What really pushed me over the edge was finding Channel4 on demand. So many shows to watch. Property Ladder. Property Snakes and Ladders. Help! My House is Falling Down. Beeny’s Restoration Nightmare. One Year to Pay Off Your Mortgage. Sarah Beeny’s Streets Ahead.

So many seasons.

So many archived episodes.

So little time.

As you might be able to tell, there is a theme to these shows: Sarah Beeny. She’s my hero. She is very possibly the best host ever. I want to be like her. She’s pure magic. I love her way of making the most obvious questions appear sincere and the exact right thing to say. “So your house is sinking, are you quite worried about it?” I think I would be perfectly happy watching Sarah Beeny shows for the rest of my life.

She is so pedagogical. I do feel better when I learn valuable lessons from my TV obsessions (that makes me feel like I’m doing something productive with my time). I never knew I needed to know about period properties, double sash windows, double glazing, and central heating. And there is now definitely an itch. I want to get my hands dirty and start building walls, decorating, fixing the electrics.

Who knows, maybe it will be my back-up plan. Volcanologist by day, renovating properties by night?

After moving back to Hawaii, HGTV quickly turned into my favourite tv channel. The British shows I had followed religiously were replaced by Property Brothers, Brother vs Brother, Love It or List It, and Fixer Upper. Although, no one can ever replace Sarah Beeny. I cannot wait until I move back to the UK and can start watching all her shows again.