After more than a year of staring at the walls, Americans are booking vacations again. To help them pack, home-improvement television is offering a summer lineup of shows about where to go and where to stay.
TV, it seems, wants to get out of the house as much as the rest of us.
Netflix is premiering “The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals” on June 18, showcasing quirky and unusual spots around the globe — a Mexico City apartment building shaped like a snake, an igloo in Finland, a lighthouse in Alaska. HGTV has renewed two of its vacation shows for second seasons, both airing in June — “Renovation Island,” about a couple remodeling a rundown resort in the Bahamas, and “Vacation House Rules,” about how to fix up your vacation rental to make it more profitable.
And when Magnolia Network launches digitally on July 15 as a joint venture with Discovery Inc., it will feature a lineup (available on Discovery+ and the Magnolia app) of shows aimed at rusty vacationers, giving us a refresher on what’s out there and what goes into making a vacation rental shine. Among the on-the-road offerings are “RE(Motel),” which profiles funky roadside motels; “Van Go,” a series about Brett Lewis, who turns people’s vans into tiny mobile homes; and “Inn the Works,” which follows a young innkeeper as she fixes up a retreat in Big Bear Lake, Calif.
But even as these shows whisk us to faraway places, the focus is less on the sights we can see and more on making temporary homes away from home. As we venture out as tourists again, they aim to help us experience travel through the places we book through Airbnb or other sites.
“It’s likely no accident that what resonated with us were stories of travel and possibility and wanderlust,” said Allison Page, the global president of Magnolia Network, about how so many travel shows made their way onto a network led by Chip and Joanna Gaines, the darlings of HGTV.
The timing for these shows is unexpectedly fortuitous. The network was supposed to launch last October, but was delayed by the pandemic, and its cable television debut, where it will replace the DIY Network, is still on hold until January 2022. Its lineup couldn’t be more on trend, offering viewers “this fantasy that feels attainable: that they could get in their car, shed this sedentary period of life and find something beautiful,” Ms. Page said.
In an email, Ms. Gaines, Magnolia’s chief creative officer, said, “I know for us, these shows have served as timely reminders of what makes life so beautiful: family, adventure, and possibility. When you hear these stories and watch how they unfold, you …….