1. The people are even more insufferable (I kid you not).
If there’s one thing HGTV teaches us, it’s that people are assholes. People are assholes to realtors, they’re assholes to contractors, they’re assholes to designers, and they’re especially assholes to their spouses and children. On Love It or List It, you get a full hour to watch a couple or family in their element. It’s like watching them being thrown into the Hunger Games. The façade of civilization falls away, and we’re left with snarling beasts battling for powder rooms, open floor plans, and “WHAT DO YOU MEAN I’M NOT GETTING A MANCAVE?”
2. Hilary Farr and David Visentin are international treasures.
Unlike House Hunters, where you get bland one-shot realtors (or the ever mysterious Suzanne Whang), Love It or List It features two permanent fixtures: Realtor David and Designer Hilary. The patience these two have is ridiculous. The aforementioned asshole homeowners that they deal with constantly find ways to tear these two down, especially Hilary. Let’s be clear: Hilary is a consummate professional. She knows what she’s doing, and she is always civil with homeowners, no matter how awful they are to her. Yet homeowners are constantly dragging her through the mud if she can’t complete everything on their million item list. They ACTUALLY get mad if she has to put off redoing the laundry room because her budget has to go to fixing the fucking asbestos in their house. David doesn’t get off much easier. Since everyone wants to live in a palace on a shack-budget, David is always “missing the mark” or “wasting their time.” I mean, how difficult is it to find a 5 bedroom house in the city, with a pool, finished basement, and luxury laundry room for $450,000? C’mon, David. Up your game.
3. There is WAY more drama.
Within watching one or two episodes of LIOLI, you’ll realize there is a pretty standard formula. On Hilary’s side, she will always run into unforeseen issues, like asbestos, plumbing problems, lead paint, mold, or a fire in the attic that no one knew about (that one is absolutely true). Despite the need to fix these very real safety issues, the homeowners proceed to bitch like 5-year-olds about how they now can’t get the upgraded kitchen or mudroom they always wanted. Hilary just kind of stares them down and says something along the lines of, “I’m trying to save your lives, you ungrateful fucks.” (She doesn’t actually say that, but you can see it in her death glare).
4. The sass. Dear God, the sass.
Much of the show revolves around the rivalry between David and Hilary, which is played just so perfectly that you can’t help but love both of them. The real sassiness, however, comes from Hilary and her team. Her contractor, Eddie, and head constructor, Fergus, are just awesome. Eddie and Fergus are always responsible for delivering the bad news (asbestos, et al) to Hilary, so sometimes they just hide from her. There’s one perfect scene where Eddie acts like the stairs to a basement are unstable so that Hilary won’t see how unfinished their work is. It’s like a throwback to 60’s sitcom hijinks.
David is not without sass either. While Hilary more often than not maintains her cool with the clients, David is a bit more inclined to eye-roll. And who the hell can blame him after clients start making up shit last minute? “Well…this house is great, but now I’m thinking that I don’t like stairs, open doorways, or trees.”
5. You learn much more about house hunting and renovations.
If you’re actually interested in home maintenance or home buying, this is a really good show to learn about the risks and rewards. On the realty side, David is good about bringing people down to reality about what their budget can accomplish and how location can make all the difference in choosing a home. For the home renovation, you learn a lot about the structure of homes, but you will also be afraid to ever buy a home (ASBESTOS! LEAD PAINT! TERMITES!) It’s kind of like being taken on a home inspection of the worst possible scenarios.
6. It’s an even better exercise in violent impulse control.
As noted, the clients are always insufferable assholes. If you love to hate-watch shows, LIOLI is the show for you. You will have never wanted to travel to Canada so much in your life, if only to hunt these people down and punch them in the face. “HILARY IS A GODDESS, YOU PLEB! HOW DARE YOU QUESTION HER DECISIONS!?”