World’s Most Extraordinary Residences?

DATELINE:  Homeward Bound

 Piers & Caroline Your Presenters!

A house is not a home.

If you trust Netflix’s tasteful British hosts of the series The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes, you might think ostentation is often mistaken for beauty, but money is never mistaken for misspent.

This is another in a series of series about how people spend money to create their “dream home.” With two charming and informative British hosts, Caroline Quentin, billed as an actress and property enthusiast (whatever that is), and Piers Taylor, billed as an architect, you have a Netflix-produced TV show.

These unexpected and unusual hosts are called “presenters,” like award ceremony walk-on hosts. They are more like your odd-ball, gallivanting aunt and uncle.

We liked them almost as much as the outre residences they take in—or that takes them in. However, after seeing the homes, we wonder what our hosts really think. Well, it beats staying at a Motel 6.

Caroline and Piers are not cookie-cutter TV stars, but are middle-aged, dumpy, and are thoroughly intelligent and fun. They have a great job: traveling around the world together and staying in unusual, secluded, weird, and extraordinary homes people have built as getaway camps and exile retreats, which used to be called a hole in the wall by western outlaws.

Our presenters seem to like every style and every quirk. They don’t always ask pertinent questions, like where do you get the electricity in a secluded mountain house that is only accessible by cable car? They do ask, “How much was spent to build these vanity projects?” but are nice about it.

Why quibble? The settings for the houses they visit are usually breath-taking and delightful, even if the houses are giant barns of ugly eccentricity. When you have money to burn, you can build anything, even a pyramid. History has taught us that much.

They praise owners for building houses out of jet airplane wings, or for anchoring some hideous creation to a mountainside, or for making a mammoth tree-house that is garish, if not woolly.

It’s billed as a “limited” series, and indeed there are no plans for them to continue their travels, which is a shame, but how much opulence can you take when you visit a home that looks like the physical representation of insanity.

It’s entertainment via romper rooms.