HGTV’s Flip or Flop is getting a big makeover. The original Flip or Flop starred Tarek and Christina El Moussa as they renovated houses in California neighborhoods. Their divorce put a major change in the show’s chemistry and after taping only five episodes of their seventh season, HGTV is offering another Flip or Flop option. Flip or Flop Vegas is now the newly renovated version of Flip or Flop, the original. Flip or Flop 2.0 has all the same notes, but with Aubrey Marunde playing the part of Christina and Bristol as the new wide-shouldered handy man. Translation: It is literally the same, one top-heavy blonde and one slightly too aggressive man.
There’s not much difference between the OG Flip or Flop and Flip or Flop Vegas. As it turns out, the same things that are frustrating on the west coast are still frustrating in the desert. Bristol, the burly Mr. Fixit, also enjoys demo day. (He’s stealing Chip’s Fixer Upper catchphrase and that’s not OK.) As a MMA fighter, Bristol gets lots of screen time as he kicks through doors, windows and walls. Bristol makes me uncomfortable. He’s just too jacked up all the time. At one point, he explains, “Since Aubrey is a realtor, we can legally enter as long as it doesn’t have a condemned sign posted.” Bristol is constantly ready to enter homes and demolish them immediately.
Bristol Marunde is the HGTV version of the Kool-aid man.
Also, the HGTV-ness of the whole show is painful. Aubrey and Bristol are extremely guilty of generating random estimates for the price of renovations. More than any other show, their guesstimations seems more flippant and uninformed. Oh a new garage door, that’s $1,000. A new kitchen is $8,500. I’m not sure where they are getting these prices. It’s like me guessing how many jellybeans are in a jar. I don’t know, but I’m pretty confident in my estimation.
Another trope is the way hosts describe the houses. I can’t roll my eyes hard enough when they describe rooms as having a “cottage glam” feel or trying to achieve a “woodsy elegance” look. Although I speak fluent HGTV, I’m aware of how obnoxious it sounds. I’m convinced that there is no rhyme or reason to how they create their design inspiration catchphrases. I think they use the buyer’s birthdays and plug them into the chart below to generate their design aesthetic.
Flip or Flop Vegas has it’s own little hook. Bristol and Aubrey are wild. As they walk through the house to make random cost estimates, they mark walls with a can of spray paint. This seems pretty reckless. Instead of a modern, glass board like Joanna Gaines or a computer generated image of the space (complete with couches spinning into place) like the Property Brothers, the Marundes tag the place like a bunch of vagrants. The pink aerosol cans are excessive. Hopefully, the future season’s budget will allow for them to have more than $3.99 (I made that amount up!) for their “design plan segment.” Their walls are starting to look like the sides of a passing train.
Graffiti wall aside, their finished product is a solid B-. Shiplap doesn’t belong on houses in Vegas, but I’ll let it slide just this one time. Viewers watch to see the transformation. Viewers don’t watch for the tips. And thankfully so, here are some of the gems that Bristol and Aubrey share:
-Tip: Have an expert look at broken items in your home
-Tip: Purchase items on clearance to keep your budget low
-Tip: When staging a home spend most of your time fluffing the pillows
Overall, Flip or Flop Vegas achieves what it sets out to do: provide mindless entertainment for people who enjoy looking at houses. Regardless of Aubrey’s shifty eyes or Bristol’s Maserati, there’s still a lot to enjoy. There’s nothing like watching someone shop via face time or create a “Vegas Farmhouse” feel that makes you feel content with your own shabby chic ranch on the corner.