Reality TV

The 6 Best Shows To Gleefully Hate-Watch On HGTV

The people on House Hunters never make the right decision.

The 6 Best HGTV Shows To Gleefully Hate-Watch

You’re not alone if you’ve spent many a Sunday morning watching interior decorators work their magic on a dilapidated shack on HGTV. The home and gardening network is like a Pinterest board for your TV screen, full of shows that provide DIY design inspiration, dream home aspirations, and cozy vibes.

But what makes HGTV truly warm and comforting is getting the chance to criticize every little choice these people make.

Whether it’s a young North Dakota couple looking for a farm-style dream home or a top designer insisting that there’s no such thing as too much shiplap, somebody on HGTV is always making the wrong decision — in the eye of the beholder, at least.

When people are in the mood to watch something for the sole purpose of trashing it, they usually turn to the much-maligned And Just Like That... or Emily in Paris. But HGTV is an underrated resource when it comes to hate-watching, as these six shows provide the perfect home for your petty judgments and unnecessary criticisms.

House Hunters

A couple looking at a home with their realtor on House Hunters.HGTV

A classic in the HGTV canon, House Hunters sees aspiring home-buyers look at three potential home options with a local Realtor, with viewers waiting to see which one they’ll choose.

Over 248 seasons (yes, really), the show has gotten way too formulaic, with buyers being so fixated on their home must-haves (is natural light that important?) or at odds with what their partners want. At times, those requirements and conflicts are downright comedic; one couple’s disagreement over living near “the gym” recently went viral online.

But House Hunters’ static formula also comes across as scripted, and the series has faced accusations of being staged, as many participants professed to selecting their home before filming.

Scripted or not, you can count on berating the buyer’s final pick because they always choose the worst house. (To be clear, House Hunters International, one of its spinoffs, is HGTV’s gem and unironically enjoyable.)

Tiny House Hunters

A couple shocked over how tiny a house is on Tiny House Hunters. HGTV / Tubi

As you can probably guess, Tiny House Hunters is the same concept as the original show, only with tiny homes.

These small dwellings are on average less than 100 square feet, have no more than one room, and are just big enough for your pets to comfortably live. At first, they’re fascinating to behold. But the show quickly becomes so repetitive that you start visualizing a place’s layout before the prospective buyers even walk through the (tiny) door.

However, few things on TV are funnier than people looking to buy a tiny house and complaining that a place is too small.

Flip or Flop

Tarek El Moussa and Christina Haack tolerate each other on Flip or Flop. HGTV

Flip or Flop started as a series about a married couple who poured their life savings into flipping homes in Southern California. Ten seasons later, it ended as a show about a divorced duo who tolerated each other while renovating houses together. That in itself is a fascinating journey to see play out.

But together or apart, Tarek El Moussa (aka Heather’s husband on Selling Sunset) and Christina Haack have single-handedly made me never want to get dark kitchen cabinets or orange tiles (think Hannah Montana’s kitchen but less fun) in any of my future homes. Most HGTV shows are handy guides for future home-building and renovating decisions, but Flip or Flop is perfect for what not to do in that process.

My Lottery Dream Home

David Bromstad showing lottery winners a possible house on My Lottery Dream Home. HGTV

My Lottery Dream Home is structured similarly to House Hunters, save for two key differences. This show has a host, David Bromstad, who’s basically HGTV’s RuPaul, and everyone who’s featured has won lottery money and is using their winnings, ranging anywhere from $200,000 to $180 million, to buy their dream home.

At times, this actually makes My Lottery Dream Home a fun and heartwarming watch. But it’s also so frustrating watching people waste so much money on underwhelming homes with the most boring design palettes.

Windy City Rehab

Alison Victoria on Windy City Rehab. HGTV

If you’re looking for a dose of good old-fashioned legal drama with your HGTV marathon, start with Windy City Rehab. The series is arguably as famous for its behind-the-scenes scandals as it is for Alison Victoria’s Chicago house-flipping.

Victoria, whose questionable taste causes Reddit debates, and contractor Donovan Eckhardt were sued by two separate pairs of homebuyers from Season 1, alleging fraud and shoddy work on the flipped homes. (Both suits reached settlements.) Eckhardt then filed a defamation lawsuit against the production company, claiming he was falsely depicted as a “villain.” (His suit was dismissed.) Some homes featured on the show also sold at a loss following their renovations.

Victoria’s on-camera reactions to the lawsuits and the deterioration of her and Eckhardt’s working relationship make for a dramatic and startling watch in Season 2. Combine that with the ability to nitpick at furniture and design choices? Bring out the popcorn.

Down Home Fab

Chelsea and Cole DeBoer on Down Home Fab. HGTV

Down Home Fab is the newest HGTV show on the list, only premiering in January. But married hosts Chelsea and Cole DeBoer’s tastes are divisive, to say the least. As eloquently asked by one Reddit user, “What is farm-industrial-rustic-glam-fab?”

The show follows the 30-something couple as they run a home renovation business in South Dakota. There, they make said divisive style choices... like installing a hot pink fireplace or putting velvet upholstery on the walls. You’ll find something to gawk at with awe and horror in every episode.

That said, with a second season set to premiere in 2024, there’s time for the show to grow from its shaky beginnings — only if they choose one design aesthetic and stick to it.