Escapism is the go-to Jail Break card for the makers, clients, and hosts of glossy real estate shows.
These are programs that offer outrageously expensive homes, some of which are the size of airport hangars. If you question the wisdom of producing these kinds of programs when we’re in the midst of an acute housing crisis, it’s often fobbed off.
We hear it’s a harmless relief from the post-pandemic delay/housing crisis/dark winter nights. It’s TV escape. The real estate crisis is the responsibility of the government. And how can anyone be offended by the amiable Dermot Bannon or a smiling Hugh Wallace?
“It’s like we’re all watching ozarkwe don’t become money launderers, for some it’s an escape,” said Dermot Bannon Extra.ie in this week. There is one key difference: series like ozark are fictions – real estate series should be based on reality.
These shows have proven to be ratings hits, which explains why RTÉ invests so heavily in them and why more offerings appear on the schedule each season. This week saw the return of Bannon’s incredible homes.
Before the program he spoke to the Sunday independent about the need for Irish people and city planners to change their attitudes towards home ownership and city life. He said we need to densify, build houses closer together and give up the desire for a spacious garden. These are valid points, but they’re also a little hard to take from a man who did a two-part RTÉ special about renovating his own home and installing a bathtub in his backyard.
Bannon spoke about the inability of the Irish to shake the ‘the field’ mentality. “You just don’t have that attitude anywhere else,” he said. “The most expensive places to live in London are Belgravia and Notting Hill and there are no gardens there, but in Ireland there has always been an attitude that more ‘success’ means your plot is bigger, your garden is bigger, your house is bigger is . Europe is about the facilities and parks that you live near.”
Wait a minute, isn’t that a little about-face? Because if there’s a cohort of people who always glamorize the space and the need for more of it, it’s the real estate show hosts.
Case and Point is the first episode of Incredible houses which opened with an incredible high-end apartment that costs €800 a night. Basically an upscale Airbnb. Dermot attended Solo House II, which sits on 250 acres of rolling hills and forestry high up in the Catalan hills, and everything about the way the program was set up focused on scale. The drone footage, the sprawling footage, the on-camera bits where Dermot said he had trouble figuring out where the property began and ended.
In fairness, they featured another house in this program that Bannon claimed took the place of a typical Dublin one-bedroom flat. The only difference is that it was equipped with a large garden, its own swimming pool and a large cellar.
In a recent iteration of home of the yearslated to go into production in its ninth season, the three judges wandered through a gigantic house and practically drooled while discussing the height of the ceilings and the size of the master bedroom.
RTÉ makes commission programs that focus on smaller houses: such as Super Small Spaces by Dermot Bannon. But the heart of its most successful franchises remains in sprawling and expensive buildings that seem to reinforce the idea that volume equates to success, style, and good taste. One cannot help but wonder what long-term impact this message will have on viewers. Especially to renters, who often pay upwards of two grand a month for a cramped studio apartment in Dublin where the bed is practically in the kitchen.
These programs obviously didn’t cause the housing crisis — thanks to successive governments — but they do fuel the sense of shame and inadequacy about owning property. They may be ratings hits, but as the prospect of homeownership slips out of reach, it becomes harder to accept these shows as nothing more than “escapism.” Something will have to give.
Shirley takes revenge on another level
You think you’ve heard it all when it comes to celebs and their offbeat breakup stories.
Cars smashed with golf clubs, brawls outside clubs, beating up her 3am ex on social media, and waving burning sage around their car to ward off evil spirits.
But I don’t think anything could ever have prepared me for Shirley Manson’s reaction from Garbage when she found out her boyfriend had cheated on her.
In a fit of rage, did she throw her former lover’s clothes out the window? no Pour gasoline on his PlayStation and set it on fire? no
Call his mom and boss and tell them what a rat he was and then dedicate an entire album of angry songs to him? No, again.
“I took a cr*p [his] Breakfast cereal,” she said The guard. At this point I, too, spat out my tea and rubbed my eyes in disbelief.
“I’m not ashamed; I’m quite proud of it,” she continued. “I recommend it as an act of revenge. It leaves a feeling of strength and joy.”
It’s difficult to know how to process this information or how to scrub it out of your head forever. But I really hope for everyone, especially their ex, that this was an elaborate joke or made up story.
However, I don’t think a letter from Dear John has ever sounded so appealing.
A tasty contribution to fashion?
There are many bold decisions in the fashion world. This month, Balenciaga introduced its most coveted product – a handy clutch bag shaped like a giant packet of chips. The bag made its debut during the Balenciaga show in Paris, which saw models stomping through puddles of mud as if it were day three of the EP.
If you’re in the market for such an item, you’ll be happy to know it’s going on sale next spring and will sell for $1,500. Of course, you could just buy a regular packet of chips and together make a makeshift bag and eat a handy snack. Before you ask, yes I have done my investigative journalistic due diligence and unfortunately no there are no plans to release an equivalent to Mr. Tayto.
https://www.independent.ie/life/the-problem-with-rtes-glossy-property-shows-have-we-finally-reached-peak-dermot-bannon-42073908.html The problem with RTE’s glossy property shows – have we finally reached Dermot Bannon’s peak?