I have recently disconnected Foxtel because clearly, I hate myself. I did the sums and Jeff agreed that he would show me how to watch Netflix for one tenth the cost of my usual Foxtel bill and I would teach him how to sew. Jokes. He already knows how to sew.
Due to that rare display of fiscal restraint, I stumbled across something called 9Life on free to air TV. I never knew this channel existed or I was so used to watching things I’d pre-recorded on Foxtel that I never channel surfed. Plus, I am a woman so I rarely do that anyway. Oh, and regular readers will know how I feel about any form of exercise.
So here I am on 9Life and suddenly I realise why people watch porn. You have not truly known vicarious pleasure until you have sat in your unairconditioned rental property clumsily duct taping a ring binder to your portable air conditioner to better direct the air flow while simultaneously watching someone drop $200,000 on a renovation complete with split systems in every room. Mind blown. And unlike the saga of real life renovating or even a quasi-realistic version that stretches over a few months on say The Block, these people buy, renovate, restore, build a pool, source a rare ceramic tile, have an open house and sell a joint for a $300k profit in less than an hour of total viewing time.
There’s Fixer Upper, Flip or Flop (seriously, I can’t make this up), First Time Flippers, Zombie House Flipping (I promise you I’m not this clever!) and they all seem to follow a satisfying formula. There are no fights in IKEA, no dodgy builder you end up having to take to VCAT, no going over budget, no problems that can’t be swiftly overcome by employing a team of Mexican tradesmen at a moment’s notice. It is an amazing fantasy world full of happy, hard working couples and their well-behaved plaid wearing children. There are more before and after shots than my local Weight Watchers meeting and everything is neatly tied up with a last-minute room reveal sequence that has so many ‘Wows’ and ‘Oh my gods’ you might start to see my earlier point about the porn.
While 9Life is so far removed from real life as to be comical, it is so watchable. I eagerly forgive its factual inaccuracies just for the chance to watch white toothed Americans beaming as they install granite bench tops in to their Hamptons style kitchen. That, my friends, is a perverse but very real pleasure.