It took me some time to get into HGTV‘s hit show Home Town because I refused to believe hosts Ben and Erin Napier were for real. The Laurel, Mississippi natives speak in a sunny Southern twang and greet clients with twee watercolor paintings of what their fixer upper could look like. I thought they were too chipper, too earnest, too perfect to be real. But as Ben and Erin slowly ground my cynicism down, they opted to use their newfound fame in the most radically kind way possible. Home Town Takeover, one of the first big spin-offs of Home Town, doesn’t observe Ben and Erin as they broaden their very own empire, however as they assist whole strangers in Wetumpka, Alabama. Home Town Takeover is perhaps the most optimistic present HGTV has ever produced.
Home Town first premiered on HGTV again in January 2016. Like HGTV hits Property Brothers and Fixer Upper, the collection adopted hosts Ben and Erin Napier as they bought run down homes to consumers and renovated the homes to really feel like excellent houses. The twist in Home Town was that Ben and Erin had been ardently dedicated to revitalizing their dwelling city, Laurel, Mississippi. Each home toured got here with a backstory about previous homeowners and the hope that the new owners would keep in Laurel perpetually.
But Laurel, Mississippi is one small city. There’s solely so many homes to renovate and lives to the touch. Could Home Town dream any greater? Well, sure. Home Town Takeover is a brand new restricted collection occasion the place Ben and Erin Napier take their community-minded renovation philosophy on the street to revamp one other small city in want of some hope. After receiving a wild variety of functions from throughout the nation, HGTV and Home Town settled on the city of Wetumpka, Alabama. Like Laurel, it discovered its primary avenue flagging after highways and malls got here to the space. However, not like Laurel, Wetumpka weathered a horrific twister that just about flattened the entire city.
Over the course of 4 months, Ben and Erin Napier are renovating native homes and revamping small companies. Helping them alongside the approach — since a brand new season of Home Town is additionally in manufacturing — are a who’s who of HGTV expertise. It’s an all-hands on deck undertaking that goals to have a small neighborhood imagine in itself once more.
The factor that is so putting about Home Town Takeover is that Ben and Erin don’t have anything to revenue from it. While HGTV is filled with exhibits about the energy of getting a house, cash is all the time a part of the equation. Budgets, earnings, and surprising prices drive the stress in each episode, whereas the most profitable personalities chart their monumental monetary progress on display. The Property Brothers as soon as constructed a present about constructing their dream mansion in Vegas. Chip and Jo Gaines of Fixer Upper not solely are launching the Magnolia Network this summer time however have an entire hour particular about increasing their very own Waco wonderland. How are Ben and Erin Napier leveraging their newfound energy on HGTV? By serving to different individuals.
The work that Ben and Erin are doing on Wetumpka will assist the city’s primary avenue bounce again, however extra importantly, develop into one thing of a quaint vacationer attraction. Much like Chip and Jo have made the Magnolia silos an Instagram mecca, you may think about HGTV followers street tripping to Wetumpka to buy at Tapp18 and see the Big Fish home in individual. (No, I don’t suppose it’s a coincidence HGTV picked a city that featured closely in a Tim Burton movie.) What Ben, Erin, and the Home Town have given to Wetumpka is an enormous present. And it’s indicative of the form and beneficiant spirit that defines Home Town as a present.
Home Town is the uncommon present that truly practices what it preaches. When Ben and Erin Napier converse fondly of desirous to see small cities flourish, they aren’t saying that as a result of they see it as their schtick to promote on TV. Home Town Takeover proves that. Ben and Erin Napier are the most wildly form individuals on HGTV and it’s highly effective to see that kindness unfold round.