Currently Watching: Escape to the Country

Currently Watching: Escape to the Country

Watcher: Alyisha W.

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I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other day when I stumbled upon an intriguing list of resources, collected by author Stephanie Burgis. I first came to Burgis through her middle-grade fiction book, Kat, Incorrigible, which is a bit like if Pride & Prejudice and Harry Potter had a love-child. Kat (which I highly recommend) is for a tween audience but Burgis also writes regency romances for adults (mixed with magic). So, she’s pretty much perfect.

Burgis has MS (a chronic illness), a manuscript deadline fast-approaching, and is now homeschooling her children, to boot. Her post was a personal request for “the most soothing, non-fiction shows you’ve ever watched.” I took copious notes on the suggestions, tried a few (some successfully & others not so much), & landed on Escape to the Country. And thus, a new obsession was born.

Escape to the Country (available through Amazon Prime) is basically House Hunters -- set amongst the rolling green hills & heather-covered moors of bucolic England. In addition to showing the prospective buyers adorable cottages with thatched roofs, and moss-covered manors with exposed wood beams, the host also takes them to visit local sites of cultural & historical significance. So, as the viewer, you get to ogle sun-filled breakfast nooks but you also get to learn about long barrows, & leather tanning, & add quirky stops to your travel bucket list -- like the Jackfield Tile Museum in Telford.

Aside from the niggling need to convert pounds to dollars, the only potential downside of the show (other than the fact that you can only get it streaming on a paid platform -- sorry about that) is that the episodes sometimes feel incomplete. It’s not always the case that episodes end in a purchase. Sometimes, we leave the buyers as they’re still deliberating. We don’t get to see them all moved in, or peek at changes they might make to the property once they do. Even this, though, is interesting. It leads to thoughts about American reality TV as compared with similar shows, created in other countries. It’s actually more realistic for buyers not to purchase right away -- to take the time to peruse the market themselves, consider the costs & benefits, &, in some instances, sell their own homes! It’s perhaps not a downside at all, it’s just that it offends our American sensibilities, entrenched so deeply in ideologies like consumerism, instant gratification, & decisive, forward-moving action. Regardless, watching is still an utterly satisfying, and, as Stephanie Burgis puts it, “soothing” experience.

Though it’s unwise to leave your home right now, you can still...Escape to the Country.

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