I’ll be the first to admit I’ve had my fair share of Pinterest and DIY fails, but that never stops me from trying anyway. And, each fail keeps this renovation know-nothing in awe of the talents and creativity husband-and-wife host team Tarek and Christina El Moussa bring to tackling the extreme renovation projects together on HGTV’s Flip or Flop. There is a certain Cinderella aspect to watching the transformation of a disastrous dumps into high-end homes that lines up with the fascination people have for Pinterest: the idea of creating or recreating a beautiful home.
When the housing market tumbled in 2008, Orange County-based Tarek and Christina decided to get into flipping houses, which led them to scoring their own show. Flip or Flop focuses on the pair buying unappealing, sometimes disastrous homes and renovating them into beautiful dream homes in hopes to resell for a profit.
A lot of renovation shows become almost a chore to watch because they are riddled with too much unnecessary insight into the host’s personal lives. Tarek and Christina keep that kind of filler to a minimum, which preserves their likability. If the scoop on their lives is what you’re after, they do have behind-the-scene videos on the Flip or Flop page of the HGTV website.
The show hints at conflict – Gasp! Christina doesn’t think this is the right house to buy but Tarek does! What will they do?! – but is quickly solved. Some shows are guilty of padding episodes with manufactured drama, Flip or Flop does a great job of playing out these issues at the appropriate urgency level. After all, there’s 15 minutes left in the episode, I feel fairly confident a flip wouldn’t have made the cut if they failed miserably in the end.
I’m definitely a sucker for great before-and-afters and this show gives viewers plenty of them. In the same vein, I love seeing the process of renovating these houses. Upon first glance, you see the conditions some of these homes – roach-infested homes where previous tenants left all their trash behind – and you think, ‘There’s no way they can make this worth any money,’ but somehow they always pull it off. Seeing Tarek and Christina seamlessly solve the issues that inevitably arise when doing a full gutting of a home or buying a house without seeing the inside first is inspiring to the DIY-er in me.
All-in-all, this show stays focused on the projects the couple takes on and it rarely strays from its purpose. It starts with the buying setup, moves into the renovation and design process, and ends with the selling process and the profit they gained. Boom, boom, boom.
New episodes of Flip or Flop air Tuesdays at 9pm on HGTV, and recent episodes are available On Demand.