Friday, 3 April 2020

My Two New Pastimes

Rak 6Am GIF

Every day, I watch both the local and the national news on all three major Canadian networks. (Yes, I am, and always have been, a news junkie). Social distancing, self-isolation and working from home have greatly affected broadcast news lately, same as for the rest of us. And this development has given me my first new pastime.

These days, the vast majority of "talking heads" -- politicians, pundits, experts, even journalists themselves -- now appear via video link from their places of residence. And I find it fascinating! Not because of what they're saying necessarily, but because of what I can see behind them.


Yes, I have become a shameless Looky-Loo and a major Judgy McJudgerson as I harangue the talking heads from the comfort of my couch --

  • Oooo, you clearly used a professional decorator!
  • Your taste is appalling! 
  • Your taste is non-existent!
  • Look at that clutter!
  • Why is there nothing at all on your walls -- does nobody live there?
  • OMG, who chose that hideous painting? Or that beautiful painting? I want it!
  • My gawd, get some better lighting on your face! And brush your hair!
  • For Christ's sake, put your laptop camera at eye level! Do not look downwards at it -- it makes you look like you've got three chins! 

You may well ask where I have acquired my impeccable interior decorating and personal style expertise all of a sudden. Which brings me to my second new pastime --


Yes, I'm watching endless re-runs of Colin & Justin's Home Heist, which is a Canadian home makeover show from about 10-12 years ago. I am totally smitten with its two outrageously campy, gay interior designers, Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan. Partners both in life and business, they are Scottish in origin and have the brogue to prove it. Another charming aspect of the show!

Every episode, they wail, shriek and deride some hapless Canadian couple's bad home decorating taste and then design a much improved look for the residence. Their large home reno crew usually gets the whole job done in less than a week. Notable personalities on the crew include fashion-conscious Cheryl, the long-suffering project manager in charge of purchasing, and Graeme, the cute but whiny carpenter who usually screws up something every single episode and incurs the (temporary) wrath of The Boys.

Anyway, the show is great fun (and educational, too). A number of episodes are available on YouTube by searching the series' title, if you're interested in checking it out further.

What, you've got something better to do these days?

Clearly, neither do I, LOL.

58 comments:

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

OMG YES!
it's the weirdest thing. I usually kind of veer towards what's BEHIND them, too! I watch Steven Colbert , Trevor Noah and John Stewart on YuTube and it's hysterical how they include their surroundings in their chats. Same with Seth Meyers. Colin and Justin seem like a blast.
But what's fascinating is that I try not to do the same with the people I hold meetings with. I try to keep it focused LOL. Unconsciously, though. My cam gets one of my plants and some cute artwork in the background. Maybe that was unconscious?

XOXO

anne marie in philly said...

what a cute couple. and a scottish accent (swoon)! must.look.them.up.on.youtube.

Moving with Mitchell said...

Never heard of Colin & Justin. I normally quickly tire of these canned design shows, but I do like Colin's Pantone Spanish Fan AND I trust your judgment. So will check them out. I do the same when I'm allowed to see into newscaster's homes. I wonder how many people are even listening to what they say.

Rosemary said...

I too have found it quite fascinating looking into the homes of people that under normal circumstances transmit from either an outside location or from within a studio.

mxtodis123 said...

I really had to chuckle at this one because I'm doing the same thing. Rather than listening to what they are saying I'm looking to see what I can see of their apartment.

DEZMOND said...

Good thing I threw out my TV out of the house years ago, I couldn't handle badly furbished houses of politicians. Our news here are, sadly, centralized, as our evil dictator wants to control what we know and don't.

Linda said...

Jimmy Kimmel has the most atrocious wallpaper behind him.

Judgey McJudgeface me!!!!

Parnassus said...

Hello Debra, I guess their shtick is to show a deteriorated 'before' with a finished 'after', but Canada deserves better. I promise one day to do a post on Canadian domestic architecture.
--Jim

Bob said...

It is kinda funny seeing these folks in their homes and seeing how sad the houses look.
I'm shallow like that. Sue me.

Travel said...

Thankfully Zoom offers virtual backgrounds, my space is my bedroom with an unmade bed, studio with a mess of canvas and paint, and home office. It is messy, because it is my personal space and my personal space is almost always a mess. The walls are covered with things that make me happy, an eclectic mixture of framed photos, paintings, prints, diplomas and professional licenses. A psychiatrist could spend all day in here figuring out what makes me tick.

Laurie said...

I agree, those two guys can brighten the worst day!

Bathwater said...

I say what ever makes you happy. Light material is better than watching seriously depressing material.

Busy Bee Suz said...

You are too funny!
I'm gonna go check out these guys and the show.

Have you ever watched Nate And Jerimiah; save our house? It's currently on Hulu. They're partners in life and design and I just adore them; not campy or crazy, but super cute and they have great taste!

Mike said...

My house. Look at that clutter! Turn camera a different direction. Look at that clutter! Turn camera a different direction. Look at that clutter!
I know I know! But it drives the OCD people nuts. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Well I don't have television way out here and I'm certainly not having someone come now. What I find odd is watching the late night hosts and there is no laugh track. It quickly shows who is actually funny and who relies on the laugh tracks.

Bob Johns said...

And here I thought I was the only one lol and your right fix your laptop so your not looking down. And they are the professional ones. Have a safe day I'm off to find those YouTube videos!!!

Deedles said...

My mind zoned out on the looking down at your laptop thing. That explains a lot! I can't, however, figure out why I have three chins when I look in the mirror. There has to be some kind of physics involved!

brewella deville said...

Homes with bare walls are not welcoming, but oddly, walls crowded with nothing but family photos are even worse.

This N That said...

I too, am very aware of the homes and the decor they chose to televise...It looks as though some of them have given it no thought at all...HAve a happy weekend..

Lady M said...

Well thanks - I will definitely look for the home heist - it sounds like fun!

Hot guys said...

I giggled at this whole post, honestly. And, I know where that first GIF is from. Love that movie, Easy A. So damn good. Funny, too! ^.^

Mistress Maddie said...

OH...I do the same. On my dear Debs... Not only did I originally judge them on their attire, but now I have to critique their outfit and home. This will be tiring.

Leanna said...

OMG! NO! Not more crazy reality TV. I did get to watch them on youtube once when I got bored. I love their sexual innuendos. So funny and their Scottish accents are so cute.

^.^ said...

:) Love, cat.

Anne Johnson said...

Thanks for the tip on the show. I love home reno shows. But I must say I do have something better to do tonight. Live Action Role Play on the Discord server ... BOOM!

e said...

I'm doing the same. It's hard to even pay attention to the talking head! One of my local stations had a little segment 'introducing' each news reader's home office. One gal clearly thought about it and said, 'See Mom, this ornate room divider that I've been lugging around since college will now serve a purpose!' It's her background in every shot. Smart!

Sir Patrick Stewart has been reading a Shakespeare sonnet every day from his home but the backgrounds are very neutral. I'm actually glad because it's easier to listen to him read. (Instagram, fyi)

Jill said...

Glad you are staying safe and are well! I'm still looking for more time in the day, lol... I don't have much down time. Trying to catch up on reading blogs as I haven't been around much lately, life has been keeping me pretty busy! :-) Have a great weekend!

blessings,
Jill

Adam said...

I imagine binge watching has gone up 7000% in recent weeks.

Guillaume said...

These guys would so hate my house right now.

Barbara said...

I love it. Judging the Judgers. Great idea.

Bea said...

Yep. I try to guess from what room in the house they are broadcasting. Some folk look like they are hunkered down in a basement or some such.

Lady M said...

So I watched an episode of the home heist and I found Justin and Colin's taste "meh". I think it was season 2 episode 1. They painted lot of beautiful Victorian woodwork white, put up some yellow wallpaper, decorated the rest of the house in raspberry and cream, and gave a woman with 4 children a white sofa. Their Scottish accents were adorable and the interaction with the design team was a lot of fun. I did not like the way they humiliated the woman, however. I would have tweaked her house to make it even more dark and brooding. But no suprise there. Justin and Colin would hate my house and I dare them to bring that white paint in here as they could end up a permanent fixture in my haunt. Brahhahahaha.

RO said...

I thought I was the only one, Debra!(lol) Like you, I've been totally fascinated with everyone sounding like they're in this very vast cave with these echos.(lol) I really enjoy those who take the time to let us know what is really gong on behind the scenes as we see stuff on the floor, pets and significant others running around or trying to hide. Such fun! My favorite so far is Lara from Good Morning America and Ryan Seacrest from Kelly and Ryan LIVE. From the local news I was fascinated with this one guy who has a massive library and made me love him even more. Good for you on the binging! Sending some air hugs your way! RO

Liz Hinds said...

Ah, that's what I do too! Well, how often do you get the chance to look into a 'celebrity' home? I wonder if they have to clean up first.

G. B. Miller said...

Stopped watching t.v. around Easter of last year, so the only thing that i've been doing as of late with my down time is watching tons of YouTube on my play phone. Don't have the motivation to do any writing (that and my writing area has been converted to a disorganized/organized work area). Have almost two dozen channels to subscribe to and occasionally binge watch whatever happens to catch my fancy.

Life still goes on in small micro-steps.

Martha said...

HAHAHA! This was hilarious. And dare I say that I've done the same :)

The Captain said...

I have the opposite of OCD, I don't like things too tidy, I like it to look lived in. Some celebs have a showhome standard that must be impossible to live in.

Ol'Buzzard said...

We do the same thing.]
the Ol'Buzzard

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Lady M -- I'm sorry you didn't like my boys! I can understand how they would not be everyone's cup of tea, but their humour is meant to be campy not malicious.

Miss Val's Creations said...

Colin & Justin's Home Heist sounds like one of this mindless entertainment shows I would love. We all need that escape now!

Oblio said...

Yep.. me too! I'm fascinated by the bookshelf inventory and try to see what they have in their libraries.

Polly said...

I think I need to check out your politicians etc, I love seeing other peoples homes!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I can't think of any better pastimes - entertaining and useful (in case I need to redecorate and don't want to be judged LOL)

Magaly Guerrero said...

You know, I rarely watch the news. I'm more of a radio listener when it comes to this sort of information. But your point of view has left me inspired--I shall watch my local news, and totally judge! I mean, admire the decor *cough*.

pam nash said...

Clearly I need to start watching Houston news to see how it's being handled. I've rewatched West Wing - at least it's politics don't make me scream, cry or throw things!

krayolakris said...

Of course it’s the best part of the news these days. All of the PBS reporters have classic good taste with their filled to the brim bookshelves. I also try to see titles! Why does Ryan Seacrest look better at home than in a tv studio?

Cop Car said...

I get cross-eyed and dizzy trying to read the titles on the spines of the books in the background.

Cynthia said...

You just KNOW that some of these talking heads knew the cameras were coming and quickly put together a tasteful bookcase for a background. (It says "We read and we are compassionate. Note our Buddha statue.)
The bookcases I really trust are the messy ones, with books shoved in every which way.

Sandy said...

I've been trying to reduce how much news I'm reading, seems I'm addicted and not getting other things done. I don't like watching the news, it seems so much more in your face. But, I have enjoyed the humor of Jonathan Pie as he talks about the things behind him on his walls etc. It's pretty funny. Check him out on U-tube. Hope you're doing well, stay strong.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Lovely. Sounds like a must-see, and I hope they let this American watch this show.

Thanks for giving us another way, in addition to your blog, to keep our spirits up.

Janie Junebug said...

I love your commentary on what you see in people's houses. Favorite Young Man and I are drawn to segments with people who display books behind themselves. We try so hard to read the titles that we can't pay attention to what the talking head says. I think that means we are truly devoted to books.

Love,
Janie

Ur-spo said...

I don't know whether to admire you or slap you silly for watching the news these days.
I am glad to see your wicked sense of humor is holding up.

The Happy Whisk said...

I'm still grooving on what's left of Money Morons on YouTube. Though this past weekend, we watched NetFlix because we disconnected our service and it will be gone in a few days so we're enjoying the last of NAILED IT! I love that show. LOVE IT.

Hena Tayeb said...

haha.. so true.

Magic Love Crow said...

I use to watch Justin and Colin, when they had there show in England!! I forget what it was called, but you should look it up! Early 2000's? Then, they moved to Canada! They live in Toronto. Mom and I saw them in Toronto. At one of the home shows. I have to see if I can find the picture and send it to you! We actually applied to be on the show! Almost made it! Even had one of the producers come to the house. I don't think they thought our house was bad enough! LOL! Big Hugs Debra! Hope you and your Rare One are safe and healthy!

Bohemian said...

LMAO, I thought I might be the only one being voyeuristic about the Homes of the TV Personalities now working from Home! I can't even concentrate on what they're saying so much as I am critiquing their Home's backdrop! It is always revealing at a deeper level how people's Homes are. In my Head I am thinking that some TV Favs would be Fabulous... I was clearly Wrong! I've become Judge and Jury now on Home Decorating of the Famous! *Bwahahahaha!*

baili said...

we don't see news but selective news clips to avoid political drama on channels just like there ,here our anchors and news caster are doing it from their homes and just like i admit i see more their stuff and decoration than news lol
i like picking ideas of decoration from various good designs :)

Fundy Blue said...

I'm a news junkie too, Debra, especially now. I watch CNBC and CNN, and I'm having great fun seeing inside everyone's homes. I keep trying to read the book titles in all their bookcases and peek at all their photographs. And I love it if a cat or dog crashes the scene. Some Nobel Prize winning economist professor was on last night ~ In a small bedroom with pillows and sheets on a bed ~ no bed spread, no pillow shams. There were two tiny end tables with tiny lamps, one table with a water bottle and one with several books. And a wild red-patterned fabric hung on the wall ~ maybe as a headboard? I don't know who he was or what he said. All I could think was, "Wow, being a Nobel Prize winner doesn't do much for your bottom line." I have no right to be judgmental though ~ LOL People would have a field day with me! 😱 Take care!