So today’s the day I admit that I, an on-the-record HGTV hater, have seen every episode of Home Town, huh? In my defense, the things I like about the show are the things that make it different from the house-flipping series that fill me with despair: First of all, the budgets for the houses married couple Ben and Erin Napier renovate in their hometown of Laurel, Mississippi are usually less than $250k. So it’s a relatively attainable dream. Second, these are vintage homes lovingly restored and designed specifically for the people who will live in them, which adds a lot of personality—and, dare I say, heart—to the process. Most of all, though, everyone’s just so sweet and earnest; even when there’s not a tearjerker storyline at play, the affection the show has for Laurel, and small towns like it, feels genuine. And coming from the similarly blighted Rust Belt, the idea of reclaiming what was once abandoned and creating the community you want to see fills me with warm and fuzzy feelings. [Katie Rife]
All 5 seasons of Home Town are available to stream on Discovery+.