As much as I love a good psychological thriller or high-stakes crime series, there are some nights when you just need a break from the kind of edge-of-your-seat shows that are dominating TV right now. So, when I switched on Stacey Dooley’s This Is My House last night, that’s all I was really looking for – something that wasn’t filled with endless acronyms or plot twists and would give me a break from the need to concentrate.
What happened next, dear reader, was very unexpected. Because while the show was, in some ways, just as easy-to-watch as I’d expected, I also found myself completely hooked.
The premise of the show, if you haven’t already heard of it, is relatively simple. Each week, Dooley presents a panel of comedians (Bill Bailey, Judi Love, Jamali Maddix and Emily Atack plus a special guest) with four contestants, all of whom claim to be the owner of a mystery home.
In reality, only one of the contestants is the true homeowner – and it’s up to the panel to work out which one is telling the truth by watching them explore the home and asking a series of questions. If they guess correctly, the homeowner receives a £1000 cash prize.
I know what you’re thinking – it sounds a little bit ridiculous. And yes, at times it does descend into what I can only call ‘cringe’. But despite all of this, I thoroughly enjoyed it – and by the end of the show I was seriously invested, debating the gaps in each of the contestants’ stories and laughing along to all the awkward moments. In short, I bloody loved it.
To give you a taste of what to expect from the show, let me just unpick one of the biggest dramas so far. In last week’s episode (which was also the first of the series), a man claiming to be ‘Fern’, the owner of a house in Ashford, Kent, duped the celebrities into believing he was the real homeowner (spoiler: he wasn’t).
And then, on last night’s episode, he returned again, only to claim he was the ‘Michael’ – a stay-at-home father of four who owns a home in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. In reality, he was neither of these people – but his confidence in both properties had viewers believing he was the true homeowner right up until the very end.
I wasn’t the only person who found themselves surprised by how addictive this show is. On Twitter, many were quick to share how obsessed they’d become with the sheer madness of it all – with plenty sharing memes and reactions to the utter chaos of the episode.
It may not be award-winning or gripping TV, but the chaotic and hilarious nature of This Is My House makes it seriously entertaining.
If one thing’s for sure, I’ll definitely be tuning in to get my fix next week.
As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.