BBC’s competitive reality show ‘This is MY House’ – a title which really captures the essence of its contestants – has made its return onto our tv screens for season two. The show is an unforgettable display of hostile territorialism, battles of ego, and general randomness – but for all the right reasons.
But what is the show all about, and what exactly makes it such a strange viewing experience? The answer to this is twofold.
Crucially, the concept of the show is fundamentally bizarre. The series involves four people all pretending to be the homeowner of the house featured in each episode, which means that four strangers are all pretending to be the same person. They literally call themselves Lyndsays 1-4, to take one of the episodes as an example. With the cash prize being £1,000 for whoever the celebrity panelists believe the real homeowner to be, this invites much hostility and fierce competitiveness between the contestants, one of which is the actual homeowner.
Imagine what it would be like to have three strangers around at your house, pretending they’re you and sharing your name, and having to fight to prove that you are the real homeowner? Well, you don’t have to imagine it – just watch the show.
With a cash prize at stake, the four contestants are not afraid of battling it out to convince the weekly celebrity panel – which includes a range of guests such as Judi Love, Harry Hill, and Nick Grimshaw – that they are the real homeowner. This leads to some quite absurd exchanges between the contestants, who are often eccentric people, to begin with. Below are some examples of the kind of offbeat dialogue you see on the show.
The contestants’ introductory exchanges usually go a little something like this:
Tom 1: So how far have you traveled from?
Tom 3: (*nervous laughter*) Just from downstairs.
(Season two, episode seven)
And the ultimate proof of home ownership is, of course, knowing which store your mugs are from.
Joey 1: You know where these cups are from, don’t you?
Joey 3: Yeah, they’re from The Range.
Joey 3: No they’re from Dunelm, actually. (*cue an incredibly smug look*)
(Season two, episode one)
The show is full of these little quips and false assertions that the contestants use to portray themselves as the comfortable, know-it-all homeowner.
Secondly, the show’s weirdness lies in its format. Whereas season one had hour-long episodes hosted by Stacey Dooley, in season two the contestants are left to their own devices for a half-hour-long show. Watching four people all try to lead the others around “their” home makes for some pretty hilarious TV. Without a celebrity host in the house, it feels as if these four Joeys/Lyndsays/Toms have just coincidentally stumbled into the same kitchen.
Plus, the show’s new half-hour-long runtime makes each episode easily digestible and binge-worthy, whilst retaining the segments that make it so funny.
One of these segments is when the contestants must each sit in a room with the real homeowner’s partner. The contestant must explain how they met and how much they mean to them, all while the partner remains totally silent. More often than not, however, the partner can’t resist a smile or a giggle when the contestants come out with ludicrous stories that have been plucked from thin air.
After all these exchanges and subtle clues, you’d think the celebrity panelists would have a good idea of who the real homeowner is – but you’d be surprised at how often they get it wrong. The best way to watch this interactive show is with other people in the room, so you can play along and see who guesses correctly. Judging a person’s character and authenticity turns out to be difficult when they’re all willing to say or do anything to win £1,000!
It is also worth noting that season two sees a celebrity special episode for Comic Relief, in which big names such as Deborah Meaden and Judge Rinder take part in these territorial mind games – all for a good cause. The show was also featured on Channel 4’s Gogglebox.
So whether you’re looking for some funny, lighthearted entertainment, or simply want to have a nosey around other people’s homes, this is the show for you. Both series are available in full on BBC iPlayer.