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The Greatest Television Show Ever Conceived: 'Treehouse Masters'

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | TV | June 23, 2014 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | TV | June 23, 2014 |

When you go on a trip, it knocks your usual sensibilities out of whack. You find yourself doing things you’d never be caught doing in your normal life, like talking to a meth-toothed trucker about why all the hotel rooms in the middle of nowhere Missouri are booked for the night, or flipping blindly through basic cable. Here’s a helpful shortcut to the programming listing, that they could cut n’ paste in to save time and money on most channels:

Reality Shows: Idiots with no life prospects do dead end jobs while prancing in front of cameras. 1am-midnight.

The only exception to this are the networks that run reruns of procedurals 24 hours per day, and the news networks that present about as much truth as a lobotomized cat’s yowls. I mean, there are probably about 5% of minutes of television time not dedicated to the above, and that 5% contains some exquisite shows, but that’s not even a statistically significant proportion.

So I present to you the most surreal television show I have ever seen. It is impossible to stop watching once it’s on your screen. Treehouse Masters follows a group of guys who professionally build tree houses. And yes, they are amazingly put together creations of carpentry. But the central figure is a man who has no self consciousness, the worldview of an eight year old, and constant unironic dad humor. I don’t know if it’s uncomfortable to watch or delightful, but it’s certainly one of those.

The episode I watched included the breathless introduction of a man as “a legend among Long Island treehouse builders.” I’m done, I’m cancelling everything else in my life. Everything from here on forward will be me earning those words on my gravestone.

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.