Bravo's 'Million Dollar Listing' -- Guilty pleasure alert!

Let me start by saying that I don’t really believe in the whole idea of “guilty pleasures”. If you like Hall & Oates, there’s no shame in that. If it’s re-runs of 21 Jump Street that float your boat, more power to you. Addicted to Val Kilmer-Mira Sorvino vision-impaired romantic comedies? I say, live and let live.

That said, lately, I’ve become totally hooked on a show that I know in my bones is dreadful and indefensible,  but I can’t stop watching. I’m talking about Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing — the greedy, status-obsessed, brain-dead stepchild to the network’s classier Flipping Out and higher-rated Real Housewives franchises.

I actually started watching this hour-long bit of real-estate porn last season, when the housing bubble hadn’t quite cratered yet, and I was first introduced to the show’s three young and bratty Los Angeles real estate sharks. There was Madison, a Malibu-based pretty boy who’s still trying to figure out his “polyamorous” sexuality while flirting with cougar clients trying to unload their $10 million beachfront pads. There was Josh, a whiny, spoiled, Beverly Hills rich kid with a permanent five o’clock shadow and a bratty knack for badmouthing other realtors. And finally, there was Chad  – maybe the weirdest, least self-aware dude on television right now (if you don’t count Charlie Sheen). Chad can spend hours standing in front of the mirror obsessing over his bangs. That is, when he’s not cooing to his disinterested girlfriend in baby talk and toting his twitchy little teacup dog in his messenger bag to real estate closings.

Honestly, I haven’t seen three bigger stooges since Moe whacked Larry and Shemp on the melon with a ball-peen hammer. Then again, maybe I’m just jealous. Because these guys make bank! They somehow manage to pull in $70,000 commissions for, as far as I can tell, laying out a few finger sandwiches and bottles of Evian at open houses. Nice work if you can get it.

Each episode of Million Dollar Listing cuts back and forth between this trio as they hustle and try to land new listings, badmouth one another, and impart their hard-earned pearls of real estate wisdom to the camera. And then there’s the requisite fetishistic montages of 37-room Bel Air mansions. Watching all of this, you can’t help but feel the strange push-pull of wanting to move to L.A. and snag a piece of the dream. After all, the sun is always shining, the swimming pools are always that perfect shade of Hockney blue, and even simps with $500 haircuts manage to rake in cash hand-over-fist. Then again, you’d have to actually share your psychic space with guys like Madison, Josh, and Chad. You can see the dilemma…

For now, I’ll put off the move to L.A. and just kick back on Monday nights and let the blissful idiocy wash over me.  Because if loving Million Dollar Listing is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Now, let’s hear from you. Have you seen Million Dollar Listing? What’ your favorite TV show that you’re ashamed to love?

Comments (32 total) Add your comment
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  • Shannon

    My mother loves this show, and I won’t lie, I’ve gotten into a few episodes that she was watching… here in Canada, it airs on HGTV (I’ll give a shout-out to househunters, which airs on the same network, perfect fluff tv!)

  • Meg M

    My dilemma is that I can’t stop watching this show…but I can’t stomach these three imbeciles

  • Mandi

    Love this show! I think it’s hilarious. I think Chris is being an a** being so snotty about Josh, Madison and Chad. There are elements of the ridiculous in all of them, but his descriptions are a little harsh. I like all three, Josh and Chad being my favorite. Also all three seem to work pretty hard now that the market is down…

  • Taylor

    I can’t help myself either. And everytime I watch, I think why am I watching this?

  • LG

    Came across the show for the first time last night, and I couldn’t turn it off! It is strangely compelling.

  • Luis

    My favorite guilty pleasure hands down is Top Model. It is flat-out trashy and stupid. Yet I can’t stop watching. Besides, where else am I going to learn how to smize, or “smiling with my eyes.”

  • Arden

    Chad’s blowcut deserves its own show. It’s epic(ally bad).

  • Celeste

    I do watch the show and agree completely with the comment about Chad’s girlfriend seeming so disinterested. She has the personality of a doorknob and seriously needs to eat something soon. Other than that they do seem to know what they are talking about when it comes to real estate however I don’t think they are even close to being top producers.

  • Sarah T.

    I agree, though I’m definitely not crazy about these guys personalities they do seem to work really hard to make the sale. And I too am addicted to this show (though not as much as Flipping Out which I FLIPPING LOVE!).

  • Via

    I haven’t seen MDL but I am a bit ashamed to admit I’ve started watching General Hospital(again). I stopped when the original Lucky left, so now that he’s back I’ve been tuning in. Idk, I’m kinda diggin it.

  • coco

    i LOVE this show. i think these guys, especially chad, are so freaking funny. and when it gets down to the wire, they really do know what they are talking about.

    but do you really believe that the real housewives franchise is more classy then this??!

  • cb

    my boyf actually started watching this before I did and now we watch it together! seriously, some of the best laughs come from this show…mainly from Chad! He is a character for sure! Madison is the most “normal” of the bunch – he’s always professional and he knows his work. I love Flipping Out as well as this show.

  • Heath

    I am absolutely addicted to Million Dollar Listing! It’s got everything…the sexy polyamorous Madison, stuck going through puberty Josh and, well, Chad (ugh!), amazing real estate, over the top crazy beautiful clients and fun fast cars! Doesn’t get better than this! I hope there is a Season 4!

  • arthur

    this show proves my theory that real estate agents are the stupidest professionals

    • David

      Wow! That’s ignorant statement. If it weren’t for real estate agents, you would not have the mls,know the legal loop holes or even spend money up front for attorney’s fee instead of having one do it for free. You may spend gas money and extra time driving around for a house, and have to negotiate all by yourself.

  • Steven

    I enjoy my “real estate porn” and MDL gives it pretty good! The guys are quirky, but the clients are totally insane! I do think Chris is being a bit unfair with Madison, though — I’ve never heard him “badmouth” the other guys — he just seems focused on working hard and doing his thing.

    • Leona

      I agree! Mad has the most class & professionalism! falling into a pool was more fun to watch AND it truly seemed like the host Camillo was lauging & just happpy and having a very FUN time… How could he not???? I’d want a sexy blonde girl (which btw who was Madsons date?) and sexy seeexxxy madsion to drop, get wet & sllippering & fall in my pool!!! ANYTIME Madison H. LOVE YOUR SHOW!!! LOVE YOU Madison

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