I would like to share something an anonymous person shared with me:
Our episode aired in April of 2012 and like you, everything was fake (we already owned the house, they thought our apartment was boring so they changed the story to say we were living with my in-laws, etc.), but the worst part about it was that my husband and I (particularly me) were portrayed as spoiled rich kids who were unrealistically picky and who were rude to our Realtor. All of the houses featured on our episode were beautiful, and I would have been happy to live in any of them, but you would never know it by watching our episode. You'd think I was some high maintenance wife where nothing was good enough.
It was our fault for being so naive and being so willing to follow the instructions of the director of the episode. He thought it would be great if I flipped out over an outdated bathroom, and convinced me to oblige him with an over-the-top performance. I was so naive about it that it actually took a while for me to realize that we had been demonized. I could tell that the director knew exactly what he had done to us, because after the show aired, he said something like "I'm glad you liked the episode and that you're not mad at me." When our episode first aired, I was amused because the way we were portrayed was so ridiculous, but then I realized that most viewers took it very seriously.
There were the comments on local message boards that we were such an "annoying couple" and that I needed to take a "chill pill." We even received anonymous hate mail (sent to my husband's workplace, which was featured on the show). How stupid of me to not realize that people would believe the whole thing was real! I was both hurt and shocked that people would react that way (and also stunned that my acting was actually believable - I've never acted in my whole life, never took a drama class, nothing. Maybe I have a career in television?).
We live in a small state, where I think only two episodes of HH (including ours) have ever been taped, and it feels like the whole state watched our show. So when we talk to people about our episode, the first words that come out our mouths are "it was all fake, and we were acting the whole time," but nothing corroborated my story more than when your account hit national headlines. So thank you so much for that!
I know it can be easy to think we signed up for it and knew what we were getting into, but until you've done something similar you may not know how you'd react.