The Deed: Chicago season 2 is starting off in style – which is actually the problem Sean Conlon has to solve!
In “Designer Dreamhouse,” Sean returns to help Nic and Caren, whose ambition has gotten the better of them with their latest real estate project. Having had success with a few flips, and with Caren’s glittering background in high-end design, they’ve swung for the fences with a new house they’ve literally built from the ground up. Now they’re in danger of striking out.
The great thing about this episode is that it lacks the ego of other episodes or other flipping shows. Nic and Caren are aware that they’ve made mistakes and genuinely want to work with Sean at fixing them. They don’t spend half the time defending their choices or trying to argue about his valuation. When the whole point of the show is that people call Sean for help, it’s nice to see that they’re able to leave their self-importance at the door.
That’s not to say that it isn’t entertaining; just that it draws its drama from practical real estate issues. Audiences get to see what happens with a new construction project, as opposed to 90 percent of flipping shows where it’s an existing house. The duo have already gone six figures over budget while the building is still being built!
And Caren, who’s used to designing for high-end hotels and other properties, struggles to translate her skills into the residential world. The Deed: Chicago shows us a great relationship where Sean respects and encourages her talents, while also teaching her how to scale things down, and it’s wonderful to see how excited she gets when she is able to make it all work.
It’s a step up from last season, where the stories and people involved could occasionally be frustrating. Remember the flipper who went on vacation in the middle of the project? Or the episode that included a full-blown scuffle with a general contractor? Sometimes it felt like Sean deserved better. That isn’t the case this season, and the show feels more fully developed because of it.
Similar to The Profit, there’s sometimes an assumption with The Deed (amongst both people on the show and those watching it) that the host is just going to swan in with their checkbook and expertise and take care of everything. “Designer Dreamhouse” is an excellent example of how the format really works; it’s a genuine collaboration between Sean Conlon and the entrepreneurs he’s helping, and you can tell that they’ve learned things from him that they’ll carry into their next flips in the future.
It’s fantastic to have this show back, and based on the premiere, The Deed: Chicago season 2 could be even better than the first season.
The Deed: Chicago premieres Wednesday, March 4 at 10:00 p.m. ET (PT viewers should check your local listings) on CNBC.
Article content is (c)2020 Brittany Frederick and may not be excerpted or reproduced without express written permission by the author. Follow me on Twitter at @BFTVTwtr.