HGTV’s Ben Napier and J Pickens’ Budding Bromance is Revealed in Talkin’ Shop

Ladies and gents, it seems the way to a man’s heart is through his wood shop.

December 26, 2018
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At first glance, Ben Napier and Jason Pickens are worlds apart. As the co-star of Home Town, Ben reps all things traditional in Laurel, Mississippi; Jason, by contrast, cultivates a Brooklyn vibe for See J Work With Jason Pickens.

Ben Napier (C) and Jason Pickens (L) prepare to start work on building baseball bats at the Scotsman Workshop in Laurel, Mississippi. (portrait)

Photo by: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

That, of course, was before those worlds collided on Talkin’ Shop, HGTV's all-new digital series — and now that we’ve seen Ben and Jason shoulder to shoulder, it’s clear that they’ve been a perfect match all along. Consider the evidence:

Jason takes serious pride in his oh-so-New-York-City shop, which is kitted out with everything from a pottery studio and a kiln to a lounging area. (Hey, a hard day’s work merits a nap in the sun.)

Ben’s got big love for his Mississippi work space as well (which boasts not one but two taxidermied bobcats that “used to be in [his] granny’s house”). He’s quick to correct Jason when he calls dibs during a visit — “this is my shop” — but he’s more than happy to give a grand tour and share his gadgets with his guest.

Ben Napier (C) and Jason Pickens (L) prepare to start work on building baseball bats at the Scotsman Workshop in Laurel, Mississippi. Ben chooses a piece of maple wood for his bat and Jason decides to work with a piece of ash for his bat. (action)

Photo by: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Spoiler alert: The best thing about having a killer woodshop is opening it up to your friends.

Jason would seem to be the fashion plate in this pairing — he’s awfully comfy in a pink tee.

One should note, however, that Ben’s menswear (Benswear?) game is getting strong — and like Jason, he brings his A game when it comes to plaid shirts. Might we expect matching flannels on a second season of Talkin’ Shop? The future’s unwritten, folks.

Jason’s an unabashed puppy enthusiast…

…and Ben has a fuzzy side. Literally. (We imagine his baby daughter, Helen, will get a kick out of his alter ego in a few years.)

Ben Napier (C) and Jason Pickens (R) are on the field with the Emeralds youth team in Laurel, Mississippi swinging their newly turned baseball bats. Ben and Jason joke after the game about how long it's been since they have played baseball. (action)

Photo by: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Strictly speaking, Ben and Jason compete against one another to turn baseball bats and use them in a home-run derby — but consider their team photo, America. They clearly went out for a Little-League-style pizza party after this shot was taken.

Jason’s a Home Town fan…

…and he’s pretty fond of the crew down in Laurel, as well. How cute are those shoutouts? Ben talks a big game about seeing “who’s the best woodworker to rule all the woodworkers,” but Jason’s “I just want to be friends, I just want to hug” M.O. is the series’ secret theme. Color us completely unsurprised that by Episode 6, these two are playing “Wood You Rather” like tweens at a slumber party. (Crushes are discussed, because of course they are. So is…cake?)

Ben Napier (L) and Jason Pickens (R) work together on building baseball bats at the Scotsman Workshop in Laurel, Mississippi. They celebrate with a high five as both of them finished before the hour time limit was up. (action)

Photo by: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

No pressure, but we expect a selfie when you get your hands on those matching flannels, guys.

Ready for Jason and Ben’s excellent adventures? Wet your whistle with this sneak peek, and stay tuned for the series debut!

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