We don’t watch a lot of TV at our house. Oh, sure…it’s almost always on. But very seldom do we sit and watch a show all the way through. There are exceptions.

For instance, somehow I got hooked on Game of Thrones, binge-watched the first two seasons over a weekend, and set a reminder for Sunday nights until Jon Snow took out the Mother of Dragons in season 8. (I was pulling for Arya to sit on the Iron Throne).

Then there’s Moonshiners, my guilty pleasure show. I’m a hopelessly uncool teetotaling Baptist pastor in one of my lives, but the adventures of Mark, Digger, Tickle, and Tim, and the misadventures of Josh fill up my Tuesday evenings like nothing else.

And that brings me to Home Town. I discovered Ben and Erin Napier as I rode the recumbent bike at our local YMCA.

Now, most of the time, those remodeling/flipping shows don’t do a whole lot for me. I mean…he’s 26, and drives part-time for Uber, and she’s 24 and works at a local day care, and their total budget is $550,000? OK, then.

But there’s something about Ben and Erin, and their efforts to revitalize the houses in their hometown of Laurel, Mississippi. Why do I love these two and their show so much that I’ve already binged every available episode?

I like them because…

  • They could be my kids. My son and his wife are around the same age as the Napiers.
  • They seem like real people. I know everything you see on TV is not necessarily the way things are in real life. I get it. Usually “reality TV” is the furthest thing from reality itself. But Ben and Erin seem like they are genuinely good down-to-earth folks who love what they do and where they live.
  • They are immensely creative and talented. I envy them. They are really good at what they do, and it seems they are always interested in getting better. I had artistic and mechanical bypasses at birth, so when I see artists and craftsmen pour their lives into beauty and such, it does my heart a lot of good.
  • They appear to love people and have servant hearts. On top of their restoration work, they are  actively seeking to support the folks affected by this week’s storms.
  • They look to be in love with each other. Their family life is a model for others.
  • They’re local church folks.
  • They have a great sense of style.
  • They work really hard.
  • They’re cheerleaders for Mississippi and Laurel.
  • They tell bad jokes. And often their teasing and humorous interaction makes the episode.
  • They’re Southern and unashamed! The big hook for me when I first watched their show was the fact that I didn’t need subtitles to understand them. They talk like I talk. And that makes my heart smile out loud!

There’s a lot about Ben and Erin and Home Town that makes me a fan. I don’t see myself ever moving to Mississippi, but if I ever do, I’d like to meet them, buy them a cup of coffee or dinner, and get to know them in real life.

Thanks, y’all for helping many of us adopt Laurel as our hometown!