M Magazine pay TV lead preview: July 17


Series return, Wednesday July 17, 8.30pm, Lifestyle

Grand Designs Australia.

Eddie and Dot have bought 40 hectares outside Euroa, in northern Victoria, and plan to build a house. But – obviously – not just any house. This is Grand Designs, after all. As the series returns for an eighth season, things are more lavish than ever. In this episode, the empty-nesters are embarking on a 700 square metre pile complete with basement, in-ground pool and not so much guest rooms as a guest wing.

The master bedroom is literally bigger than my apartment, and Dot manages to get the cost of the kitchen tiles down from $250,000 to $70,000. Giant machines, vast quantities of concrete and even 11 kilos of plastic explosive are all necessary to get this thing off (and into) the ground.

What saves it from being a grotesque indulgence, though, is not just that Eddie and Dot both seem like lovely people, but that 64-year-old Eddie is building the whole palatial edifice almost single-handedly. This show always looks glorious, too. Particularly when you consider it must be done with a skeleton crew, the cinematography and use of light is exceptional and the landscape – and, ultimately, the finished building – well and truly repay the care with which they're captured.

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