The hauntingly elusive American Dream is a phenomenon still driving us to achieve in the land of opportunity. It was and is a driving force that lures immigrants from their countries, promising equal opportunity and success. By the time we’ve at least reached young adulthood, most of us realize that the American Dream is not as attainable as we’d once hoped. Student loans get in the way of any hope of being debt free, racism and sexism still run rampant in our country, and connections are the main way to get ahead in the work force. Despite this reality, the idea of the American Dream has not yet died, something that may have a little bit to do with HGTV.
“House Hunters” is the American Dream of reality TV. For a show about realty, it attracts a pretty diverse audience age wise and has retained its popularity since ‘99. My younger brother and I first started watching “House Hunters” in high school and after looking into all the different houses, we were hooked.To explore the show’s curious popularity, especially among the millennial generation, I asked others what made it appealing to them. One of my favorite responses was "I'm addicted to 'House Hunters' and I don't really know why." Others said they enjoyed how the show is predictable and how viewers can make a game out of guessing which house it picked. This inspires a little friendly competition among viewers, making it more interactive.
It was also pointed out to me that the couples featured searching for houses are usually quite young; they're people that millennials can see themselves in, in the not too distant future. This is where the American Dream aspect comes in. The millennial generation is struggling to establish itself in a world where debts are piling up and it's difficult to break through on your own. "House Hunters" puts the spotlight on young couples who are doing just that, simply by buying a house, something we've all come to think of as a right of passage. Every young adult dreams of the day they can finally move out of their parents' house and start a life all their own. Buying, furnishing and decorating your own house is a very literal and symbolic way of doing this. You're buying property in your name but also putting your own stamp on it, affecting the way others perceive your house and your lifestyle.
But what appeals to me most about the show, and almost universally to others as well, is merely seeing inside the different houses, looking at the varying architecture in different locations. It's an outlet for the imagination, picturing what type of furniture would go where, what kind of art would go on the walls, and just how you'd decorate that fireplace mantel. You get a feel for what type of houses you can find in different parts of the United States and the rest of the world. This part is so appealing because you get to see real numbers and images corresponding to your own dream house.
I've concluded that the reason teenagers and middle-aged alike watch "House Hunters" is because it portrays something we all want. No matter what age, people are always striving for improvement in their lives, even if that improvement just comes from a little interior design improvements. Even though there's no progressive story, no overarching plot, "House Hunters" has captured millions of viewers through the simple fact that it has what we want.