This show is a mashup of ‘Fixer Upper’ and ‘Hoarders’ [Unscripted column] | Entertainment

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You may have heard a primal scream from my house just as Lancaster County entered the yellow phase of the pandemic.

The daycare was closed. My toddler has just started his nap, it was time for me to put on my journalist cap and get to work.

I heard a strange noise coming from an unfinished piece from our old repairman. I pushed open the sticky door and found a bird. I spend the nap trying to get this bird out of our future master suite, now dilapidated enough to accommodate the birds.

I closed the door on this DIY project one day and came back to life.

Lately, I’ve found solace in “Hoarder House Flippers,” a mash-up of “Fixer Upper” and “Hoarders” minus the on-camera intervention of a severe mental disorder. A bird is no big deal in these garbage-filled houses. With a team of helpers including professionals, they manage to clean, decontaminate, repair and stage an entire house in one 44-minute episode. It’s as close to DIY as I can get these days and that’s OK.

Years ago, my husband and I were chasing an episode of “American Pickers” with “Hoarders.” The frenzy spotted by antique hunters was offset by the purge of a house cleaning on “Hoarders”.

It got old quickly. The people of “Hoarders” were getting help with cleaning and therapy, but were they exploited for grades?

Last year, I interviewed Matt Paxton about his role on a local episode of his new show “Legacy List.” We also talked about his work with “Hoarders,” which he had wrapped filming for a new season of two-hour episodes. The subject matter is fascinating, I told him, but it got too hard to watch, especially in the longer format.

“Try to film it for eight days,” he said. That’s why he only films one or two episodes per season.

When “Hoarder House Flippers” appeared on Hulu last month, I clicked on the pilot.

Here’s a show that starts with the house, not the hoarder. House swimmers blindly buy properties based on neighborhood and money-making potential.

The first season rotates between three hosts: a couple and two sets of siblings. The show originally aired on HGTV Canada, which might explain why these hosts are so nice. I found it amusing to spot the “huh?” or “o” long. What is more telling are the piles of snow.

Some homes need cleaning and small changes like new kitchen counters or a fresh glaze on the bathroom tile.

One is so packed that new owners can’t get in through the front door.

Another has so much damage that remediation crews have to remove mold, rot and asbestos.

As for the new design, I’m happy to share that there are no issues. Most homes are moving from multiple rooms to an open concept. Schedules are tight, but I love how most projects have special details like hidden doors and drop-down tables.

Each team comes up with a succinct way to describe the design of the house. At first, phrases like traditional English, coastal organic and modern art deco seemed commonplace. However, it helped keep the theme consistent throughout the house.

On screen there is drama, but every problem has a quick fix thanks to family, friends and hired professionals.

The bathroom is too small? Swap it with the kitchen.

Is there plumbing in the center of the bathroom? Ask the plumber to move it.

How can we use a narrow and uncomfortable space? Turn it into a magical pantry with a hidden door.

Almost every house in the six-episode season sold quickly and at a decent profit for the fins. There is one exception: the latest episode focuses on a house purchased at the height of a housing bubble. With prices falling, the couple needs to finish the house as quickly as possible. The episode ends without a sale. I couldn’t find an answer online.

This is not the end of the show. A second season is coming next year.

In the meantime, I’m reveling in the latest progress at home: a new bathroom faucet.

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