If you don't know what I'm talking about, your remote never finds its way over to HGTV. I'm talking about a little show called Fixer Upper. Fixer Upper is to HGTV what the Law & Order franchise is to USA and TNT; at any given time, you have a 37.4% chance of turning on HGTV and being greeted by Chip and Joanna Gaines. Full disclosure: I love this show. I'm watching it on Hulu right now. But as is the case with most things I love, I have no problem making fun of it.
I had every intention of writing a post about the Magnolia Mafia and their not-so-hostile takeover of central (is it central? I don't know. I don't do maps.) Texas. However, I'm not the only person with strong feelings and a strange relationship with this show. I stumbled across a great post from Jezebel, My Tortured Relationship with the HGTV Show Fixer Upper, that already stated some of what I had been thinking. And if you haven't watched Whoa Susannah's hilarious vlog, The Only Woman to Never Have Seen Fixer Upper, what have you been doing with your life?
What makes a quality Fixer Upper episode? There are a few things you are guaranteed to see every time. And if you're like me and Amy Jo, odds are you'll love them almost every time.
Here are my top five Fixer Upper components:
- Chip acting a fool. Chip is goofy, silly, and loves attention. Whether he's eating a bug or throwing himself through the drywall on demo day, Chip will do at least one ridiculous thing every episode. He will also make a big deal about Demo Day. He treats an aspect of his career like most of us treat our birthday or Christmas. At first glance it seems silly, but the more I think about it the more I admire that enthusiasm.
- A visit to a local thrift store and/or craftsman. Whether it's custom carpentry by Clint, some unique metalwork by Jimmy Don, or a trip to the Cedar Chest Antique Mall, Team Gaines believes in buying local and I'm all about that.
- Delicious treats that no one eats. These may or may not be on display in the home during the reveal, but you can bet Joanna will have some beverages (in mason jars) out and a plate of gigantic pastries when the homeowner(s) come over to see her design plans. These items are rarely touched. I can think of one episode where a man took a cookie, after Joanna told him to. Am I alone in thinking I wouldn't be able to focus on the design if that deliciousness was anywhere in my periphery? (Oh yea, removing a wall would open up that space...I'm sorry, are those cookies?)
- The largest kitchen island you've ever seen in your life. Joanna loves a big kitchen...who doesn't? And these freaking islands are something else. They may actually qualify as literal islands, I'm not sure what the square footage requirements are for islands but these ones are huge! You know how places like the Philippines appear on a globe or map? Well that's what the greater Waco area looks like from space.
- You will hear the following terms: farmhouse, shiplap, open concept, recessed lighting, updated fireplace, corbels, french doors, demo day, baton, white-washed, reclaimed wood, antique [barn] doors, barn doors...
Speaking of shiplap. I'm fairly ambivalent on it myself, but I do love watching people get extremely excited about it. I still haven't figured out how it's different than plain ol' wood, but whatever. They lose their minds; look, it's shiplap! Joanna Gaines has single-handedly done for shiplap what De Beers did for diamonds.
The Magnolia Mafia has taken over Waco. They have the renovation and design business, the Silos shop and bakery, a bed and breakfast, and most recently a restaurant. And it's turned into a vacation destination for hundreds of people. It's kind of unbelievable, but great news for a town formerly known for the Branch Davidians.
I do wonder how many people in Waco aren't fans of the show, the design style, the whole shebang? I like to think there are some rebel citizens who've decorated their homes with a defiantly modern style or something. Keep fighting the good fight, y'all.
As previously implied, I tease because I love. I enjoy the show, the people, everything about it. If it's on, I'll watch...even if I do laugh a little.