Dramatic news from the world of house-porn reality TV: A North Carolina couple has filed suit against Love It or List It, alleging the renovations on their house were shoddy and the theatrically bickering stars barely do anything, anyway.
Raleigh’s News and Observer has the story. The concept behind Love It or List It is this: A couple wavering between selling or simply renovating their home meets with hosts Hillary and David. Hillary oversees changes to the current house while David shows them alternate properties. At the end, the couple has to decide whether they’re gonna keep the fixed-up home or put it on the market.
After appearing on the show in 2015—they wanted something suitable for welcoming foster kids and had a maybe-fixable rental property—Deena Murphy and Timothy Sullivan have filed suit against Big Coat TV, the production company behind the show, and a local contractor who they claim actually did the renovations for their episode. They say they weren’t happy with the results:
The floor in the home was “irreparably damaged,” they contend, and duct work left holes in the floor “through which vermin could enter the house.” They complain of low-grade industrial carpeting, unpainted surfaces and windows painted shut.
“Big Coat’s purported agreement,” the lawsuit contends, “admits that it is in the business of television production, not construction. ... The homeowners’ funds essentially pay the cost of creating a stage set for this television series.”
The most interesting bits for HGTV obsessives are about how the show actually works: “The show is scripted, with ‘roles’ and reactions assigned to the various performers and participants, including the homeowners,” alleges the lawsuit. Regarding Hillary, David, and contractor Eric Eremita, the filing (via the News and Observer) adds: “These characters are actors or television personalities playing a role for the camera, and in this case none of them played more than a casual role in the actual renovation process.”
Big Coat TV, for their part, denies the charges:
“We are aware of the lawsuit,” Maria Armstrong, CEO and executive producer of Big Coat Productions/Big Coat TV, said in a statement. “Because this matter involves ongoing litigation, our attorneys have advised us and we feel that making a comment would be inappropriate at this time. However, we do intend to vigorously defend what we consider to be false allegations.”
At least we can be certain of a couple things: Their argumentative schtick is incredibly annoying, and all these shows use too much grey.