Cable channel HGTV goes big and goes Home, Strange Home with the new show about odd domiciles and the people who dwell in them. Premiering at 8 p.m., Friday, the weekly series starts with a visit to Carlos Cardoza's "Mod House," a mid-century gem in North Dallas decorated retro style, including vintage appliances, 1950s clothes in the closets, a statue of Big Boy (the burger house symbol) by the pool and a pink Cadillac in the driveway.
Comedian Chuck Nice hosts the program, which is produced by Dallas' AMS Pictures Original Programming. Already renewed for another round of episodes, the series satisfies curiosity about "Who lives there?"
"There" being the famous "Fish House" in San Francisco, an artist's tree house in New Orleans, a place decorated like Pee Wee Herman's Playhouse and other homes shaped like shoes, castles and spaceships. A future episode drops in on Dallas-based actress and playwright Ronnie Claire Edwards, who lives in a converted Catholic church on Swiss Avenue that she's filled with her collection of circus posters, stuffed lizards and disco balls.
"We get to go into houses people always wonder about. Who lives there? What is that about? We talk to homeowners about perceptions people have about them and their homes. Most are just very normal people who have incredible properties," says the show's assistant producer, SMU grad Sean Whitley.
The production crew spent six months prepping this first round of episodes. And after a look inside so many examples of Home, Strange Home, what's it like to come back to one's own little pile of bricks? "A lot of homes, I do think, `I wish I could live there,'" says Whitley, who lives here in a not-so-strange place with wife Cindy and their 14-year-old dog. "But I'm pretty happy at my own house."