I freaking love hate-watching ‘Tiny House Hunters’
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Tiny House Hunters fills me with a rage I cannot describe, and I absolutely crave it.
The HGTV show, streaming on Hulu, is about people who are sick and tired of being able to stretch in their own home and instead choose to live in glorified mobile homes. It follows either a single person trying to move into the mountains, a couple on the verge of breaking up, or a family who doesn’t seem to get that children get bigger on their quest to find the perfect tiny house.
Frequent quotes from the show include “Wow, this is tiny,” or “There’s not a lot of storage in here,” and my personal favorite, “A king size bed won’t fit in this loft!”
These are all things you’d expect from a tiny house, but the people who end up on Tiny House Hunters seem to have deluded themselves into believing that tiny houses have some sort of TARDIS-like magic that makes an impossibly cramped 200 square foot space feel bigger on the inside.
On a typical episode, an exasperated realtor will show contestants three different, but equally hellish, tiny homes. At the end of the episode, the contestant(s) will sit down and weigh the pros and cons of each house on camera, bitching about the lack of a full-size dishwasher and reluctantly accepting a composting toilet, before settling on the worst possible choice. The final scenes of each episode shows the contestants settled into their tiny homes and resigned to constantly stepping on their partners.
And nothing brings me simultaneous hate and joy like yelling at the TV in my human-sized living room.
Others on social media feel the same anger I do when I watch an episode of Tiny House Hunters. I love how furious other people get watching it — it validates my own unbridled rage.
I am not hating on anyone who lives in a tiny house. Personally, I think they’re great, and love the idea of living somewhere with little impact on the environment. Given the chance, I would absolutely live in a tiny house. But would I live in a tiny house with three dogs, two sticky toddlers, and another fully grown human being? Absolutely fucking not. Tiny House Hunters is so rage-inducing because the contestants on the show manage to pick the worst houses and be in the worst circumstances for tiny house living.
My most vitriolic reaction to the show was during an especially cursed episode, when a couple bought a literal burned down shack surrounded by garbage for a massive $155,000. In a Slate interview, Aubree and Jordan explained that land in Los Angeles isn’t cheap, and that the fact that the patch of trash dirt was already zoned for residential living saved them thousands of dollars on permits.
To be fair, their reasoning does make sense. But in an infuriating follow-up interview published this year, the couple explained that after clearing the debris from the house and building a tiny guesthouse, they ran out of money and moved into the 18 by 18 foot guest house. Now they’re moving out of the property and into a full-size two bedroom home.
When Slate asked if they ever watch Tiny House Hunters, Aubree responded with “No, it’s triggering.”
As Roxane Gay wrote in Curbed, “When one aspires to own a tiny home, they have a corresponding tiny American dream.”
While some contestants on the show will probably thrive in a mobile tiny house, like most of the single people with pets, many seem to be trying to fix a deeper issue — whether it’s a couple desperately trying to fix their relationship by literally getting closer or a growing family that’s low on funds. Buying a tiny house like slapping on a bandaid after being mauled by a bear.
Like reading the worst posts on r/relationships or hate watching The Bachelor, I have a sick fascination with unpacking the characters of Tiny House Hunters. What makes anyone feel more alive than yelling at preventable disasters? You’ll probably love it, too.