World’s Most Extraordinary Homes, s2

DATELINE: Are You Being Served?

piers & caroline Your Presenters!

They’re back, and they’re just as lovable this time around. Yes, the two presenters for the BBC series, Caroline and Piers.

The hosts are like Mrs. Slocombe and Mr. Humphreys from Are You Being Served? No American show would dare to give the reins to a middle-aged zaftig actress and a slightly epicene architect.

Together they tackle four episodes of garish homes with their usual flattering aplomb. Caroline does admit in a few instances that she is less than charmed with the accommodations.

The houses are in Miami, Portugal, Switzerland, and Japan. All the homes favour spectacular views and ostentatious shows of moneybags.

Once again, the hosts seem unbothered by endless staircases and innumerable stairs. These are not houses meant for anyone with shortness of breath or arthritis in the knees.

And the open walls are out-of-place in hot, hurricane prone areas. Are there no mosquitoes? Often out of the house before nightfall, these extraordinary homes are denied mundane appearances. In the latest season, they seem to find houses with the best picture windows in the world, no mean feat in itself.

Piers has taken on a more rakish look this season, with pop colors and shades of different hues, and Caroline is more of the same. Together they are genuine and effusive, perhaps a bit too much, like a dotty aunt and uncle.

Nevertheless, we enjoy every moment provided by the presenters of the amazing places, Even if they turn out to be a pyramid of vanity.



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.