Peak TV IS Dead. R.I.P.
There's a particular demographic that watches HGTV with full sincerity. There's another demographic that watches HGTV with full irony. But what those two wildly different groups have in common is yelling at the idiots on House Hunters making stupid decisions on where to live and their inability to compromise on anything successfully. This brings us to House Hunters: LOL, premiering in June.
As the goofy name implies, it's effectively going to be episodes of House Hunters, but with commentary from famous comedians layered over it. It's going to be MST3K for the suburban dad who'd otherwise be spending his Saturday at Home Depot. None of the participating comedians have been confirmed, but if we might make a suggestion ...
This is but a harbinger of things to come for the next year or so of television. Let's just be honest here, movie and TV sets can be pretty gross. It's probably for the best (at least as far as the spread of this coronavirus is concerned) that big sets were shut down before yet another sticky, boiling summer of filming in hotbeds such as Los Angeles, New York, or Atlanta.
Things that can be filmed from home probably should, at least for a while. And that's not necessarily a bad thing! Depending on which comedians they get, this House Hunters thing could be pretty funny.
That said, there's definitely going to be loads of hot trash coming from this whole "eh, we'll just narrate some shit" approach. Fox, for example, just greenlit 10 episodes of something called Celebrity Watch Party that will mainly be celebrities just talking about things they've watched. The lineup they have for the first episode looks like they used a randomizer tool to pick names out of a spreadsheet filled by a coked-out social media intern. Has Joe Buck ever met JoJo Siwa? Does he even know she exists? What other situation could possibly have landed them at the same party together?
There are a thousand different ways to crank out a decent TV show or movie with low production values and limited set options, just ask Chuck Lorre or Tyler Perry. And a whole lot of it is going to require voiceover work to compensate for the inability to do certain things behind the scenes. We can live with that for a while, but the structure and cast and everything has to make sense. The Parks & Recreation special did a solid job with it last night, but there's something to be said for what on-set chemistry does for a production. The era of peak television may have just fell off a cliff.
Top Image: HGTV