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Things I Hate About TV: Designers' Challenge on HGTV

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 22nd 2010 8:00PM
HGTVI went through a very long period when I was rather addicted to the design and makeover shows on HGTV. I loved shows like Design on a Dime and Divine Design and that show where the woman shows you how to take an old hobby horse and recondition it so it can be used as a wine rack.

I don't watch them half as much as I used to, but I still like them. They're shows that actually show us how we can redo our rooms and homes easily and without spending a ton of money. I find shows like that useful. I might not do exactly what the hosts say, but they always give me ideas for something I might want to do in my own place.

I can't say that same about Designers' Challenge though. I think this might be the worst show on HGTV, and here's why.

If you've never seen it, here's how it works. A couple wants to redo a room or maybe even a few rooms in their home and three designers battle to see who will get to do it for them. The designers interview the couple, come up with a design plan, and then each designer does a presentation for the couple. The couple then picks the winner and they start the project.

This show fails on several levels. One is the structure of the show. It's tedious, badly edited, and predictable. A lot of shows have a formula, but this one gets to me more than most. Maybe it's the rather antiseptic way the show looks or and the soulless way the host goes about his duties.

The host is Chris Harrison, who is also on The Bachelor. He's better there, because this show doesn't really give him much to do. He doesn't even interview or interact in any way with the couples or the designers. He just sits in a chair in front of the show's lame spinning logo and reads cue cards. It's probably an easy gig, but when the camera is off he must cry or grit his teeth.

Another thing that irritates me? This isn't really a show that the average person can get into. While many other shows on HGTV have something that we can all learn from, how can I identify with a couple who has $40,000 to spend on a new bathroom? It's an immediate turnoff (even if we weren't in this financial/housing mess right now).

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The thing that bothers me the most is the first lady's comment regarding my favorite show - Designer Challenge. I really think that show is one of the best, and I hope that you people at HGTV did not just take a few negative views and cancelled the show. I haven't seen it in a while, but I really think you should bring it back. Also, I agree with some people Candence Olsen is the queen of remoldeling, but that Genevieve Gorder is THE ABSOLUTE WORST designer! Half of the time I can't tell the differene between the renovation and how the house looked before. She really should not be doing this, and to think she was a judge on Design Star, making others feel bad about how they decorated. And on top of all that, she looks as if she is about to do another show - What a mistake. She is really bad at decorating - Candance is the one! But hey, that's my opinion. But you must bring Designer Challenge back - please!!!!!

April 02 2010 at 5:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I totally disagree with this article. Most of these episodes are ranging fro 2005 to 2007. This was way before the market forced housing prices down. You were expected to revamp your house, so if you sold, you could get top dollar.

I saw one episode from New Orleans last week. I wonder if they even still have a house.

January 27 2010 at 6:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thanks to my cable company I missed about three weeks of HGTV and guess what? - I didn't miss it. I found that I was no longer watching their programs even before they were taken off the air due to a dispute between the distributor and my cable company. Most programs were repeats, the renovations looked cheesy. The thought of slapping on some paint on cabinets to "sell" a house is something I would have to correct if I bought it. Same goes for the color choices. Yuck. Bring back some real design with some real designers, not some amateur winner of a reality contest. With the exception of David Bromstead they usually produce garbage.

January 27 2010 at 10:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yes, they're still on, but mostly in re-runs. I'd love to see some new ones. I know Curb Appeal is showing new ones. I think it's Curb Appeal on the Block or something like that.

January 26 2010 at 12:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I never see any garden shows anymore. The "G" in HGTV is for GARDENS but it's all about houses. I think Paul (Gardening by the yard) is the only gardender on TV anymore. And when you DO show me a garden makeover or a garden improvement, PLEASE name the plants--I have pretty good plant knowledge, but sometimes I cannot identify something I see, and I'd like to research it but don't have a clue as to the name! I love gardens--and I appreciate a beautiful, peaceful green scene. More GARDENS in hGtv please!

January 26 2010 at 2:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If you go to the link below and then click on "Shows A-Z" you can get an alphabetical listing of all the shows on HGTV. From there you can click on the show you want and get date and time listings. All these shows people are talking about being off the air are still on. Decorating Cents, Design on a Dime, Divine Design, Designer's Challenge, Curb Appeal (and a new Curb Appeal The Block)....they're all still on!


January 26 2010 at 12:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Design To Sell, but only with Lisa Laporte And Clivey. They almost sell every house they design. Designer's Challenge-BORING. Love the rental property one, but can't remember what it's called. Property Shop is ok, hate Hidden Potential-no finished product. And what happened to Trading Spaces on TLC?

January 25 2010 at 11:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Mt favoriye showdecorating cents is not anymore which is a shame it showed really affordable makeovers that the average person could do on there own

January 25 2010 at 10:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I used to watch HGTV until I finally realized that it was
mostly advertisments. The same goes for TV in general.
It is nothing but an ugly commercial box.

January 25 2010 at 10:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The shows that get me are shows like House Hunters, or Property Virgins or My First Place. The reason is coming from NJ the housing prices are so sky high here that the average person cannot afford to buy a house unless you were born with a silver spoon. These people in other parts of the country are out looking at houses and want 4 and 5 bedroom houses, and actually get them for $130k - $150k. The other thing that irks me on these shows is when the realtors take these people in to buy houses at the top of their price ranges and then they are told if they don't like something they can renovate right away. If they get the houses and spend to the top or close to the top of their price points where is the money coming from to do these instant remodels?????????????

January 25 2010 at 9:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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