Grand Designs


Wondering how much individual media consumption has changed post-election. Guessing I’m not alone in experiencing a significant media and TV habit-shift. Post-election, in an effort to retain sanity, I bounced on-and-off Twitter and FB and FINALLY subscribed to a printed newspaper (NYT, though the Washington Post’s coverage has been super impressive, love their new slogan).

TV-wise, I’ve deliberately slipped into a bubble. Even before the election, nerves already jumpy, I started avoiding shows with “scary” or “stressful” premises. This basically eliminated most thoughtful television. Post-election, I didn’t just want to avoid stress, I needed a distraction, total bubblegum TV to help (momentarily) forget about the concerning reality. 

And what’s the bubble-gummiest TV there is?

HGTV. 

Basically, since November, if I’m watching TV, it’s House Hunters or Fixer Upper. Consumption really picked up in the last few weeks of pregnancy, as we waited around for Diego’s arrival.

Anyway-all this to say, thanks to Netflix, there’s (FINALLY) a new show on rotation in our house: Grand Designs.


It’s SO GOOD. Like, good enough that I feel the need to document it in this little journal.

I read about it in the LA Times and was immediately intrigued: one of the most popular and longest running property shows in the UK, Grand Designs profiles: “a unique home-build or renovation from start to finish — however long that might take, whether a few months or many years…the common thread is ambition.”

As someone who loves-and surprisingly never grows bored of-House Hunters and Fixer Upper, it’s surprising how much better Grand Designs is. The determination of the homebuilders, the creativity in the design, te sheer British-ness of it. And this element:

“The show has much more genuine tension than you’d find in a comparable American series, maybe because the British aren’t so cursed with relentless optimism.”

Anyway, highly recommend it!

Photos via here and here.

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