EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community


'House Hunters International': Living out dreams, one episode at a time

Two installments of House Hunters International stood out this week. The entitled opera singers who want the world for a song in Paris and the nine-kids-and-counting family who decide to uproot from Indiana so their kids can experience the European lifestyle they fell in love with on their honeymoon.

There are varied reasons for watching House Hunters International. It’s devastating to to see what American dollars will buy for the money in a foreign locale. One of the properties featured here was built in 500 AD and the rent is $1,300 per month with a massive garden, magnificent view, four bedrooms and a design we can only dream about for the price. That’s the dream factor.

The snarky side that keeps people tuning in is met in spades as property hunters want the American dream in a foreign location making everyone wonder why they ever left the comforts of home. It’s difficult not to laugh and point fingers while at the same time wishing to swap places because perhaps they don’t see how lucky they are to have the opportunity placed before them. How many times do you shout, “I’ll take it!!” at the screen with the hope that fantasy will whoosh you into their place? Go ahead and admit it, you’re not alone!

While we’re all fantasizing, let’s dig in to some international house hunting!


On the Feb. 24 episode, Paris residents and opera singers Elisa Doughty and John Bernard decide it’s time to move out of their small, rented flat to find a bigger space that will not only provide living quarters but a quiet place the two singers can practice their craft – hopefully without bothering the neighbors. They would also like two bedrooms, inside the city of Paris, within their budget of only $350k (all prices are U.S. dollars).

Can the couple living in a small Paris studio find a larger home in the city within their budget? As realtor Laurenza Chionne notes, couples often find  “a  gap between what they’re looking for and what they can really afford.” Chionne decides to show them some spaces in a town eight miles outside the city in the suburb of Bondy.

The first house is located right across from the train station and John and Elisa immediately disagree on its charms. Disagreeing is something we discover Elisa and John do very well. To Elisa, it’s too loud, and for John, perfectly convenient. A lovely veranda making way to a beautiful garden is in view of the neighbors. Clearly something you’d never get in city life, right?

Despite any historical relevance with properties expected from with foreign locations such as France, buyers are always interested in modernization, making one wonder exactly what appeals to them about living outside of America? In this case, the bathroom sports a huge bathtub and a bidet, but not to their taste.

John loves the property; Elisa stops  looking as soon as she sees the train station.

Elisa seems genuinely concerned about going over budget with a $380k-listed house and doesn’t think they need so much space. John simply replies, “I don’t think you can ever get enough space.” Since one of their motivating factors in moving is to gain more space, it’s hard to argue with John.

The second house is nearby, smaller and in need of many cosmetic changes. It’s located on a quiet street and meets their budget of $350k.

Elisa is immediately taken with the kitchen and living room utilizing one large area while John’s first impression is that the design makes the entire unit feel smaller. It looks somewhat similar to their flat upon first glance. The terrace is short and not nearly as magnificent as the back yard of the first house and other properties loom above it

They are both concerned about there being one bathroom, downstairs, with the three bedrooms being upstairs. None of the rooms are in great shape, but John says  they’re not scared of working on the house themselves.

The third house is the most expensive at $390k but matches the aesthetics desired by Elisa and the size for John.

“It’s a bit quirky to me,” Eliza admits. “You say quirky, I say character,” John retorts, clearly trying to get her to see things his way.

John loves the space, and Elisa is not impressed. Although there are many odd aspects to the house, including interesting passageways and unique doorways, Elisa sees little worth writing home about.

The choice seems obvious – the only house either party came even close to agreeing upon was house number one. Amazingly, it was the first one they crossed off their list. Apparently love blinds you to what seems blatant to the rest of us.

John fights valiantly to maintain his dream of more space but caves in to Elise and, if we’re to believe him, he was even happy with their decision to buy a house with the living room and the kitchen in the same space.

On Feb. 26, Josh and Sarah Brown move from Indiana to Italy with nine kids in tow. Unlike many installments, this edition of House Hunters International makes no mention of their line of work or why on earth they have so many children. The closest we come is the discovery that their dream started on their honeymoon.

“We just kept remembering what the lifestyle in Europe was like,” Sarah shares as she remembers their dream of one day raising their children there. With nine children they realized if they didn’t move fast their older ones would miss out on the experience.

Veneto is in northern Italy with rolling hills and packed with historical relevance. Realtor Sabine De Vito rubs it in by saying, “In America you live to work, but here you work to live.”

The wish list of the Browns is relatively simple for a family of 11, including only three or four bedrooms (what?!) in a small town with a very large dining room. They’re hoping to rent instead of buy and want a furnished location. Luckily the area has a low cost of living by American standards.

The first house is located in Monfumo and is a center unit of three apartments. It’s very far from the town center and has only three bedrooms. How nine children can fit in two bedrooms continues to amaze when they’re living there permanently and not vacationing.

Sarah is not happy with the kitchen and the living space being so close together because it means she has no escape from the rest of the family. Did she miss the three bedroom house she requested? Budget wise it’s right on the mark at $1,000 per month. Expecting to rent for a family of that size for an average of $90 per person per month seems like a pipe dream, but not in Italy!

The three bedrooms are a disappointment. The master automatically goes to their six girls as their pack is the largest, leaving the smallest room featuring a built-in bed for the couple. Grimaces abound.

On camera, De Vito shares that the biggest challenge for her is finding an owner willing to rent to such a large family. All images of massive Italian families enjoying pasta dinners while engaged gregariously in conversation are dashed in an instant.

House number two has four bedrooms and two and a half baths in a convenient location. The Browns shout joyfully as each café passes them by on their drive to the property, giving De Vito indication she’s on the right track.

“This makes the plane trip across the ocean all worth it,” Sarah admits. The house is within walking distance of Montebelluna, one of the more important factors for the large family. Amazingly, the rent is only $700 per month. Does anyone else hear the rustle of passports?

Three stories of space greet the Browns, but Sarah still notices a small refrigerator, something that is quite common in foreign countries. Considering their move is to get away from the American lifestyle (including processed foods), a smaller refrigerator seems on par. Daily walks into town to replenish supplies and combat sedentary habits will keep everybody healthy and happy. It seems like there is more to their story with this move than we’ve been told.

The house turns out to be farther from town than they anticipated and the bedrooms have no closets. They’ll have to furnish their own.

The final house is over budget, but combines beauty and size in the suburb of Asolo. There’s no question it would require a car to live and the rent is $300 over budget. “Oh, we’re going to have trouble saying no to this,” John sighs and that becomes even more apparent when they learn the house was built in the 500s. “Five hundred years ago?” Nope, 1,500 years ago. Eeegads!

There is an additional living area on the second floor that the bedrooms surround and the master leads out onto a garden. “There’s a lot of things that aren’t real practical but dreams are like that. Sometimes you just gotta make it happen.” All of a sudden Sarah is putting aside reality when the possibility of living out her dreams is within her grasp.

Statements about practicality from a woman with nine children who is picking up and moving the entire bunch – without a plan – across the world seems an odd choice at this particular time in the process. After months of living in a hotel room and without employment, practicality seems like the last checkbox on their life list.

Nonetheless, John is surprised by his wife’s reaction and how easy it is for her to overlook the distance to town, as well as the price, no matter how much of a fairytale this particular location seems to be as they look around in wonder.

Did the family move across the world to live out a dream or did will they go by half on it give in to a practical life with the benefits of a European lifestyle?

House number one should be the first knocked off the list, and they fall into step like the House Hunters soldiers they are. As the choice comes down to the other two houses, cold hard reality forces their hand and as the credits roll, they’re living in Montebelluna. Kids have taken up residence all over the place, even under the stairwell. These are the things that make you go hmmm, and the things that make you watch House Hunters International.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

You May Like