“Modern Homestead”: The Best Show on TV You’ve Never Heard Of

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In an age dominated by reality TV shows that often blur the lines between genuine experience and manufactured drama, “Modern Homestead” stands out as a rare jewel of authenticity amidst a sea of scripted narratives. Set against the backdrop of a society increasingly disillusioned by the superficial gloss of celebrity culture, this show offers a refreshing return to the roots of genuine storytelling and raw human experience. Amidst the rugged landscapes of rural Tennessee, viewers are invited into the lives of Janna Breslin and Evan DeMarco, a couple who boldly swapped the familiar comforts of California’s sun-drenched beaches for the unpredictable challenges of off-grid living. “Modern Homestead” isn’t just a show; it’s a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, an intimate exploration of a couple’s journey to forge a life defined not by societal expectations, but by their own terms of sustainability, partnership, and perseverance. In doing so, it captures the essence of what reality TV was meant to be: an unfiltered glimpse into the trials and triumphs of real life, far removed from the scripted plots that saturate our screens. Hosted on CarbonTV, renowned for its outdoor content, this show draws viewers into the lives of a couple who embrace honesty and authenticity in a reality TV landscape often filled with manufactured drama.

A Journey from Glossy Covers to the Grit of Homesteading

Chances are you’ve seen Janna Breslin on the cover of magazines while waiting in line at the grocery store. For over a decade her iconic girl next door look has inspired millions to get off the couch and move. So why did this native California girl trade in beaches and sun for rural TN? 

“For years, we had been talking about having a place off the beaten path where we could create our own water, food and energy freedom. And then Covid happened, and we stopped talking about it and just decided to do it” says Janna.  

Her decision, alongside her husband and business partner Evan DeMarco, to pursue a life off-grid is as intriguing as it is courageous. “Modern Homestead” chronicles their evolution, highlighting the couple’s raw experiences and unfiltered emotions as they navigate the myriad challenges of homesteading. 

The show was originally supposed to follow the couple’s journey of going off grid near their meat processing plant in Cody, Wyoming, highlighting their work in regenerative agriculture. But Janna jokes that she is solar powered and that the negative twenty-degree temps common in that area would have led to her ultimate demise. With full commitment from CarbonTV, they set off on a countrywide search for their ultimate dream property. 

“We found this absolutely beautiful property in TN and went for it. And then everything went wrong,” laughs Evan DeMarco.

From close encounters with brown recluse spiders to battling the elements and the land itself, their journey is a testament to the power of perseverance, but also of serendipity. 

As it turns out, the property includes part of the Avery Trace Road, one of the original homesteaders’ routes in the US. “Learning that this property carried homesteaders West from Nashville to settle the Midwest and beyond, especially after we had already purchased the property, instantly connected us to the idea of what we wanted to do. It was the nod from the universe letting us know we weren’t crazy.” says Evan. 

The Realness of Their Relationship

The charm of Modern Homestead, and perhaps one reason why it has captured the attention of millions of viewers through CarbonTV, is how authentic it feels. Janna and Evan are not homesteaders, showing early on that they lack many of the necessary skill sets to succeed, other than the right attitude. From the very first night when Janna wakes up with a brown recluse spider in her hair, to their ponds drying up, to their cabin being destroyed by termites, to weather issues, the couple takes it all in stride, leaning heavily on each other for the emotional support. Unlike Chip and Johanna Gaines, the magic of Janna and Evan is the ability to solve the problems as they come, bringing the audience in, and making them feel a part of the journey. And unlike Chip and Johanna Gains, Evan and Janna feel more real, more raw, and in that sense, more authentic. Evan possesses a brilliant mind, a fact he often masks with the humor of a 16-year-old boy. In others, this might seem crass, but for Evan, it’s an attribute the audience finds unexpectedly charming. Maybe it’s because we get the sense that, while he loves what he is doing on the show, his real love is Janna and his daughter from a previous marriage. Early in the show, we get a real sense of why this man gets out of bed, and it is clearly to build a better life for those around him. Janna is captivating in this show. She shows us all what authenticity really means, never caring how she looks but always looking stunning. Her clear passion for being in TN and for being with Evan are obvious. But she is more than just a pretty face in this show. The dynamic between Janna and Evan is engaging, especially in their friendly competition to outwork each other. Despite lacking certain skills, their incredible work ethic shines through, making their journey a captivating watch. 

Butch to the Rescue

Work ethic on a farm only gets you so far and the saving grace for Janna and Evan is Butch, their octogenarian neighbor with the energy of a 20-year-old who always seems ready to help. “If it wasn’t for Butch, I think we might have called it quits by now,” says Evan. 

Butch propels the authenticity of the show into the stratosphere. His jovial and calm demeanor, paired with his humor, embodies southern hospitality. “I love Butch, he’s like my grandfather, always there to help, to guide, to teach. He’s patient and kind, and funny, but most of all, he’s just Butch,” says Janna.

Butch has quickly become an integral part of the show, earning the affection of audiences far and wide. Living without a cell phone, a computer, or any understanding of social media, Butch seems like a visitor from another era. His presence starkly contrasts with Evan and Janna, symbolizing a bridge between traditional homesteaders and the modern generation seeking an off-grid lifestyle. Watching the show, one can’t help but feel that the world would be better off with more people like Butch.

Modern Homestead Industries: Extending the Dream Beyond the Screen

The impact of “Modern Homestead” extends beyond entertainment, inspiring the couple to establish Modern Homestead Industries. This venture aims to empower others to embrace homesteading, offering innovative products and services rooted in sustainability. From the Eternal Spring, a technology that extracts water from air to consultancy services for aspiring homesteaders, Janna and Evan are paving the way for a movement that champions self-reliance and environmental stewardship.

“We’re at a critical point, and many people are discussing what it truly means to have freedom,” Janna explains. “Modern Homestead began as our personal journey, but we quickly realized that we had the capability—and therefore the responsibility—to help others discover the freedom we’ve found.”

Conclusion: A Call to Discover Authenticity

“Modern Homestead” stands out as a jewel in the realm of reality TV, offering more than just a glimpse into the challenges of going off-grid. It celebrates the human spirit, the strength of partnership, and the beauty of pursuing a dream against all odds. This show is not just about homesteading; it’s about the journey of life, with all its unpredictability and joy. So, if you’re seeking a story that resonates with authenticity, inspiration, and genuine emotion, look no further than “Modern Homestead” – the best show on TV that you’ve never heard of.

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