NEW YORK TIMES (print edition Oct. 18, 2020 and Oct. 13, 2020 digital edition)
If you need the super-strength soother, though, it is Sarah Richardson’s YouTube channel. Richardson is a Canadian HGTV host, and I’m sure her actual TV shows are fine and dandy, but the YouTube channel has all of the substance of fun home design and real estate shows with none of the tedious repetition that’s designed for commercial breaks, where half of the show is spent recapping itself. Blegh.
Instead, the videos have zero dumb filler, and I’m obsessed with them. I have watched every single video on this channel. There is ample practical advice but also ample lifestyle fantasy material — I mean, how should one design the guest bathroom in their ski chalet? I don’t even have a mudroom, but now I have a lot of information and ideas about how mudrooms ought to look and function, and should the opportunity ever present itself, I am extremely ready to design the mudroom of my dreams. My favorites are the episodes about the lake house on a private island in Lake Erie, which is off the grid but also has the biggest sectional couch humanity has ever created. Mostly, though, I like how grounded and straightforward the videos are, and at a moment when competence seems to be in short supply, watching successful collaborative problem solving feels like visiting a peaceful distant planet.
Margaret Lyons is a television critic. She previously spent five years as a writer and TV columnist for Vulture.com. She helped launch Time Out Chicago and later wrote for Entertainment Weekly, among other publications.