In watching HGTV with children and studying suburbs and housing, I have several ideas of what kids learn while watching the network’s programming.
In addition to the upbeat emotions on HGTV, the network relentlessly suggests houses are worth the financial investment. Numerous shows discuss how much money is involved, whether that is in the purchase price or the profit or equity made in repairing a home or the costs to particular changes. These are often not small sums; budgets are usually in the tens of thousands or more and few characters discuss how they have such money to spend.
But, the big sums of money are worth it in the end because homes are an important investment. Sure, they are to be enjoyed – and the reveals at the end of many HGTV episodes are full of positivity – but the money may be even more important. Everyone has spent a lot of money on these homes and they are worth it because they will be worth even more in the future.
HGTV often embodies the shift in the United States from homes as important centers of family life to financial investments. The money to be gained by owning or renovating a home is never far away on HGTV.