In a way, looking at every TV show that needs to be reviewed is like looking for the first house you buy.
You may like some things about it and hate other parts of it before deciding if you ever want to look at it again.
That’s how I went into a preview of the 30-minute HGTV program, “House Hunters,” that has a Western New York angle at 10 tonight and repeats at 1 a.m. Thursday.
It features an unmarried local couple, Lindsey, 27, and Chris, 28, who are looking to move into their first home from a rented split house with a shared driveway and a shared thermostat.
A shared thermostat? It seems the upstairs tenant had to change the temperature by sending a text to Lindsey and Chris (the show doesn’t give their last names) in the downstairs apartment.
That was pretty funny.
The program also scores by taking a very positive view of Western New York.
There were beautiful shots of the waterfront and the Botanical Gardens. The program clearly was filmed in the summer months because everyone was wearing clothes suited to playing golf and there wasn’t any snow around.
The female narrator also emphasizes that Buffalo is one of the most affordable cities in the country for housing.
There were several amusing moments, not all of them intentional.
It is easy to laugh at how many times Lindsey uses her favorite expressions – “oh my god” or “I love it” – to express satisfaction or happiness.
Oh my god she can be enthusiastic – when she isn’t being a downer.
She and Chris aren't always on the same page as they look for houses in the $120,000-$140,000 range in Buffalo and Kenmore.
A good cook, Lindsey is more concerned than Chris about having a house that has character and a nice size kitchen. She also wants a fireplace.
“We’re in Buffalo and it’s cold,” she explained.
Chris is more concerned about having a home that includes his own room for some privacy. His determination to escape Lindsey is initially funny, but it eventually becomes a little uncomfortable to watch.
Chris also wants a house that doesn't need a lot of work because he isn’t very handy.
I could relate to that. My handiness pretty much ends with changing a light bulb – if the fixture isn’t too high because I am afraid of heights.
Lindsey has no problem with Chris’ less than handy skill set. She notes that her dad is handy and could do all the work.
Oh my god, I’m not sure that many guys would want to hear that his girlfriend’s daddy is going to be a savior. But Chris seems OK with escaping the work any way he can.
I’m also not sure that daddy would want to fix a getaway room for her daughter’s boyfriend to enjoy.
Of course, reality shows like this need conflict so it is unclear how much the couple’s differences and annoying attitudes and facial expressions were manufactured by the program’s producers.
However, the pronounced differences between Lindsey and Chris hit home before their inevitable compromise.
“I know I can compromise, but I’m worried about you,” Chris tells Lindsey.
The theory is tested.
When Lindsey likes a house, Chris finds fault with something about it. When Chris likes a house, Lindsey finds something she doesn't like.
Lindsey clearly has a sense of humor. After looking at one house, she said: “I love it and that’s all that really matters, right?”
She smiles when she says it to indicate that she is kidding. At least, I think she is kidding because it didn’t sound like it is in the spirit of compromise.
The person I felt the most for is Brian, the realtor who is dealing with a couple that has some unrealistic housing goals and seems difficult to please. Brian shows the couple three different homes to choose from in between their visits to Duff’s for chicken wings.
OMG, what a Buffalo cliché.
The program ends with Lindsey and Chris selecting the house they want to buy from the three they are shown.
There is more suspense in their choice than there is weekly during the tribal council on “Survivor” because it is hard to tell what they are really thinking and if they actually have the ability to compromise.
After the somewhat surprising choice is made, “House Hunters” illustrates how Lindsey and Chris fill their new home with furniture and what changes they made to make it their own.
“We painted, we gutted the downstairs bathroom, we added a back splash,” Lindsey noted. “By ‘we’ I mean my dad.”
I did say she is funny, didn’t I?
But oh my god, I didn’t love all the uncomfortable negativity in the episode.
I hope Lindsey and Chris live happily ever after in their chosen home.
But the chance that I will watch another episode of “House Hunters” is about equal to the chance that I can put together a grill bought from Home Depot.