HGTV Nostalgia: I Miss the Old Shows!

I confess: I’m a fan of HGTV. There are several shows that we watch every week.

I mean, who doesn’t want to live in a world where the carpenters and contractors look like Adonis in a tool belt?! (Yes, the women are also beautiful.) Trust me, the guys who work on our house don't look like the ones on these shows. There’s handsome cousins, adorable yard crashers, beautiful designers and even a set of gorgeous identical twin brothers. (Twins!  Seriously?) The hosts should be modeling, not getting all wet and glistened with sweat, with their skin-tight tank tops clinging to firm chests, and their biceps flexing...

Wait, where was I?

Recently, during the holiday break when all my usual TV shows were on hiatus, I was scrolling through the New Release section of Netflix and came across a couple of “vintage” HGTV shows. It made me realize how much I miss the old HGTV...and the reason I first began watching such shows.

Let me back up just a bit.
I think my introduction to these kinds of shows actually began when my Mom told me about a show she loved on the Discovery Channel. She insisted I tune in and that’s where I first discovered (pardon the pun) a do-it-yourself program. The host of the show was Christopher Lowell. The production value was low, his “special effects” were laughable and his antics could be cringe-worthy, but he was interesting, practical and educational. He would regularly talk about the seven “levels” of decorating and I still keep them in mind when doing my own home/room projects.

I began to look for other decorating shows, and found the new HGTV network.

When I first began watching, the shows had hosts who looked fairly average, but offered tips I could incorporate into my redecoration/remodel. One of my favorites was Decorating Cents, a show that concentrated on how to transform a room...for under $500. (Many of the HGTV shows these days spend that much on a vase!) Often at the end of that show, host Joan Steffend would explain how to turn “Trash to Treasures.” I also remember Sensible Chic, Design on a Dime and Room by Room, with co-hosts Matt & Shari, which I think was the first show on HGTV. There was also Small Space, Big Style (which is the show I found on Netflix), a personal favorite since we live in a small condo. All were geared toward the typical homeowner, and helping us to decorate within a reasonable budget.

I’ve watched HGTV for many years, and I’ve also watched it change.
One of the changes involves the almost exclusive use of young, fit, stunning hosts/hostesses. (I envision an unemployment line, with all these former hosts who just weren't attractive enough to make the cut in the new programming.)
Another change, the one that I most lament, has to do with the content of the shows. The majority of the shows now involve real estate (house hunting, house flipping), and high-end renovations. A few are interesting to watch, but the end result is generally way out of my budget.

So, while I still watch HGTV...and the eye-candy hosts...I miss the shows where I was also drooling over the possibilities of what I could do in my own home.