Apple TV+ Documentary Series House returns Friday for a second season of rickety architecture and human interest stories. The streamer is banking on the beauty of accessibility as spectacle and drama to bring viewers back to more enjoyable TV.

The houses featured in the series certainly look great. But stories are meant to be as much a hook as the sight of impossible corners and cozy nooks nestled in wondrous corners of the earth.

House season 2 review

House was one of the first documentary series produced by Apple TV+ in collaboration with A24, a boutique “independent” distributor also responsible for Euphoria, Men as well as All Everywhere All At Once and these are just a few of his most recent products.

Clearly House is a show designed to cash in on architecture porn HGTV is a craze that’s been around for over a decade but has been going strong for the past few years. But the series also points the way to sustainable buildings and projects, and the attainability of a dream. This is an inspiring series, in its own way.

Its message is that somewhere out there, the perfect home is waiting for you, good for your mental health. as well as good for the environment.

In the second season we will see (among other things):

  • Craft studio and home for three children in Mexico.
  • Huge barn designed for a couple in Australia.
  • A magnificent, unconventional labyrinth of a farmhouse in France, built by a Swedish architect for her family.
  • House in the traditional black area of ​​Sag Harbor, New York.

The photograph, taken by a team of filmmakers including Christopher Gill, Jurg Lesse and Josh Flavell, shows you not only the magnificent homes but also the neighborhoods they are located in. You see the neighbors and ecosystems that make a place worth living.

About being a force for good

I had problems with the first season House because so many shows are made possible just (literally in the case of the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on each episode) because of so much wealth that you couldn’t hope to count it all.

When my review of the first season House one of the people involved in the creation of the show reached out to me to say that they basically agree on the fundamental flaw that little can be done to reconcile the show’s mission of making the world a better place, and the fact that, Apparently the only answer is money. More money than most people. I don’t want to make assumptions about this man’s decision-making process, but he didn’t return for Season 2. House.

And yet, someone at the highest level of creativity for the show seemed to be aware of the issues I raised (I couldn’t be the only one to point them out), because the second season House it’s like a brand new TV program.

He is in constant search of a more moral argument for his existence. We no longer see proud, grinning architects flaunting their genius. No, now we have items that are designed to keep us from thinking about money because we are too busy thinking about how great it is that these families have their dream homes.

dream homes around the world

Apple TV+ Home Review: A documentary series that gives us great views of stunning homes in faraway places.
The documentary series gives us great views of stunning homes in faraway places.
Photo: Apple TV+

A house in Australia belongs to two men who left the house at a time when homophobia in the country was a hot topic of political debate. Even their parents admit that they had to learn to accept their sons for who they were.

The couple, who own a home in Mexico, are former counterculture figures now revered by millions, including the episode’s guest speaking head, the Oscar-winning director. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.

A family in Sag Harbor is fighting gentrification and is saying it’s a miracle that the black families that still live in the city of Long Island still have the money to afford it. And a Swedish woman has a daughter with cerebral palsy who needs an open-plan house so her wheelchair doesn’t get in the way.

Long story short: how do you say these million dollar houses are just a product of wealth when they help people?

Beautiful houses and a progressive message

The show is beautifully staged. Kudos to the directors of this series for making these stories painfully emotional and progressive. We can see how important the home is to the mission of not only survival, but living as oneself.

Where do I have problems with the full implementation of the rebrand House as a show about progressivism through architecture is that it is nonetheless still true that these specific people in need of care and comfort from a hostile world owe millions of dollars, no matter how hard they are earned. Every family with a child with cerebral palsy cannot simply pick up the phone and call a renowned European architect to build them a home more suited to their needs.

This is where my suspicion of the A24 brand is my guiding light, as it often is. I like how many of the A24 films (First cowX, come on, come onSouvenir) how can I not (After Yang, Lambgreen knight, midsommar). But it is undeniable that A24 has played into the hands of the people who create the story on their behalf.

When IndieWire critic David Ehrlich calls Trey Edward Schultz’s film WavesA24 Magnoliawhat he says is that people with money have had more of an impact on the shape of the film than the director. In the case of such an aggressive nonentity as Schultz, I would not say anything, but this is bad criticism and bad economic theory.

Why should a company dictate the direction of the art it funds? Doesn’t that get in the way Existence art?

How can you find something if you are not looking?

A24 sells things like printed script books as well as movie production hats at insane rates. It’s a sale of the idea of ​​sparse decision making that happens behind closed doors in this studio. You too can be close to the greatest art in the world! Just touching brand enough to charge $85 for sweatpants$60 for a screenplay for an already released movie, $48 per candle as well as $42 for beard oil. All this has nothing to do with movies, but it is a sickening backdrop for a show about expensive houses produced by the same company.

I think perhaps the most outrageous episode is the story of unspeakably magnificent house owned by a former South African veterinarian. In a country with a long, long history of enslavement and violence, both an apartheid veterinarian and a guy who runs an extremely shady non-profit business make enough money to afford such a beautiful home it’s like looking into the next life. ? (Yes, on the one hand it’s nice to think that people now live peacefully, but still ….)

It shouldn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter that we don’t see anything in House available to most of the thousands of people who will be watching this show. Electricity average house price in the usa recently topped $500,000. I am a TV presenter who was also a pre-COVID-19 bartender (I have asthma and don’t want to…umm…die at the bar). The most money I have ever had at some point in my life was $15,000, all spent on rent, groceries, and travel to see my family and friends.

Who has that kind of money?

It’s great that so many people have built their dream homes. Most of the world can’t afford it, and I doubt the enduring value of showing off the most stunning homes on earth. The shocking value of seeing something so amazing can be overwhelming. But in a week, we’ll still be in our little apartments, jealous of these people, and no closer to affording houses like theirs.

Nonetheless, House strikes all the social benefits of these houses hard. The house in Sag Harbor is featured at a noisy June barbecue, next to a tree on which Langston Hughes used to writing poetry. It’s pretty flawless; you can’t argue with that.

And the thing is, I don’t even think that these people should not have their own beautiful houses – people do deserve nice things. But all people deserve good things.

House may not really be desirable, because until we can all afford these houses, it’s mostly science fiction. (The son of now wealthy and self-righteous artists in Mexico actually likens their opulent abode to something out of the ordinary. 2001: Space Odyssey.) And what usually happens to people in science fiction who have nice things that the rest of us can’t afford? As one Sag Harbor teenager says of her own home, “Bad things happen in horror movies at ranges.”

Horror movies A24, in particular, such as midsommar as well as Men. This company relies on you not doing math. My curse is that I can’t stop.

Nice houses if you can afford them.


Watch House on Apple TV+

Second season House now streaming on Apple TV+

Rating: TV-14

Look at: Apple TV+

Scout Tafoya is a film and television critic, director and creator of a long-running series of video essays. Unloved per He wrote for The Village Voice, film commentary, The Los Angeles Review of Books as well as Nylon magazine. He is the author Cynophagia: about the psychedelic classical form of Tobe Hooper, in director of 25 feature films, director and editor of over 300 video essays that can be found on the site

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