The guilty pleasure that is reality TV shows | 9Lives
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To not think about anything for 55 minutes is the reason I enjoy reality TV. It also makes you feel better about anything that is going on in your life. Is he ghosting you? Be grateful, you could have been on an episode of Catfish. Did your mom force you to participate in public speaking? Luckily she didn’t put a crown on your head and make you a little pageant queen in Toddlers and Tiaras. Going through a break up? At least he didn’t feed you to a tiger.  Luckily I share my guilty pleasure of reality TV with some of the 9Lives writers and here is the reality TV shows we love to hate and hate to love:

Elené

Love Is Blind is so crazy it gets you hooked within the first episode. So, imagine conversing with someone in a pod and through a window. They tell you a bit about their life and the conversations get deeper and deeper until someone proposes. Yes, you read that right, someone proposes without ever having seen the other person. I love this show for its craziness and its memorable characters. You can find the show on Netflix, so rest assured the production value is very high and the streaming is seamless.
As nice and as wholesome as the idea behind Love is Blind is, Too Hot To Handle is crazy as hell. The basic premise is – if you touch any of the singles with you on the island, you have to pay up, but not with your own money, with the entire group’s money. And, of course, these people cannot keep their hands off one another. If you love those series where you literally shout at the screen in frustration, then this is for you. I got so invested that I had to remind myself again and again that I was not physically on the island and that those were not my people. This series is also available on Netflix.
Another favourite is Temptation Island! Okay so take Love Island, but swop the singles for couples. Then you split the men from the women, and add some sexy singles, while breaking contact between the couples. The conclusion being that every person has to decide if they leave the island with their partner alone or with someone totally new. Can you imagine the drama? I’m not sure that you can, it is totally crazy and emotional and a roller-coaster and everything that you want from good reality TV. Find it on Showmax.

Reality TV - Love is blind

Angelique

There’s nothing I love more than a bit of Reality TV after a hard day’s work. I usually turn to the Kardashians for some well-earned entertainment every now and then to unwind.

The Kardashians might not be a favourite for many people but I am a bonafide fan. I love everyone, from Kris to True, and even the Jenners (except Caitlyn – there are still some unresolved feelings after the release of her memoir). The Kardashians are every basic white girls’ dream. They’re rich, live in mansions, got famous baby daddies, and a family that is so tight that not even a massive catfight could tear them apart. I love everything about Keeping Up with the Kardashians and because I’ve been watching since the first season, I’ve experienced their lives with them; from transitions and transformations (here’s looking at you Khloe and Kylie) to traumas (here’s looking at you Paris robbery), and even births (here’s looking at you Kourtney pulling Mason from your cooch).  

They really don’t leave much to the imagination and I love them for it! And even if Kris is planning everything behind the scenes to get views and make her kids famous, she’s doing one helluva job! #momageroftheyear

Keeping Up with the Kardashians is a great escape from reality for me and juuuust the best show on TV right now. Bible.

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Tessa

My guilty pleasures include watching Dr Pimple Popper, Friends bloopers and 90 Day Fiancé. But for now Imma stick with explaining why 90 Day Fiancé.

So if you don’t know about the cringiest show on Youtube then let me give you a little bit of background. 90 Day Fiancé is basically about Americans who get engaged to foreigners who they’ve only met online. Using a unique 90-day Fiancé visa, the K-1 visa, the foreigners will travel to the U.S. to live with their overseas partners for the first time. The couples must marry before their visas expire in 90 days, or the visiting partner will have to return home

Now why is this so addictive? Well for one my love life sucks, so I tend to invest all my time and emotional well being on analysing and getting attached to reality show couples. Also to be completely honest it makes me feel a little bit better about my shitty love life. I mean, I thought downloading Tinder makes me desperate. 

Obviously there are some couples who stay together and where it doesn’t end with someone getting arrested, but in true TLC fashion those stories don’t get as much attention as the cringe ones. Some of the best worst couples to watch are Juliana & Michael,  “I want my sex” Danielle & Mohammed, Darcy & Dutch-Drama Jesse and Moroccan Azan who is  “physically attracted to Nicole, but only 55%” . And let’s never forget about the number one must watch couple, Rose & No-Neck Ed. Their audio has even been trending on TikTok. 

Is their desperation blinding them? Is it for fame? Or do most of them really believe the (usually) 20 years their junior foreigner is actually in love with them? I’ll just end it there.

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Eden

Love Island is the greatest reality show ever created and I will fight anyone who tries to disagree.  

Love Island is a reality dating show with Brits, banter, and betrayal, and the best part about it is that you get to feast on drama everyday for six to eight weeks (depending on the season). 

Every summer, sexy British singles head off to a sunny destination where they’re isolated in a villa and forced to couple up to survive, and stand a chance to win the £50 000 prize. Usually filmed in Mallorca, Spain, the contestants headed off to Cape Town in early 2020 for the first winter instalment of the show. 

Although the islanders (as they’re usually known) have no contact with the outside world during filming, they each have their own phone by which only the production team can contact them, and potentially ruin their lives. These messages usually set up dates for couples, or alert them to new arrivals in the villa, usually preceded by the infamous, “I’ve got a text!”

Love Island is great, because you really get to know the contestants over the duration of the show. You form a bond with them and pick up on all their quirks, and before you know it, you’ll find yourself using phrases like “crack on,” “mugged off” and my personal favourite, “it is what it is, innit.” 

A TV show is only as good as its memes. Besides the drama-filled episodes, it’s the live tweeting and memes to enjoy after that really sets Love Island apart. They’ll have you howling with laughter, while creating a sense of community between the loyal viewers tuning in every evening to see what the islanders have been up to.  

So, if you really want to indulge in your guilty pleasure, treat yourself to six seasons and 288 episodes of Love Island. It should keep you entertained until the end of lockdown, or at least for the next few weeks.

reality TV - Love Island

Nina

My guilty-not-guilty pleasure is definitely RuPaul’s Drag Race (because if you can’t love Drag Race, how in the hell are you gonna love any other show?). I love this show as it is not only entertaining, but also really empowering. RuPaul is the Mother Queen and seeing her interact and encourage other Queens to embrace their passion is beautiful and thought-provoking. 

There are 12 seasons already with the first 11 available to watch on Netflix. There is some debate about where the show’s success really started, with OGs arguing for season 4, but my addiction started with season 5 and the introduction of Rolaskatox, the iconic trio made up of my favourite queens of all time: Detox, Alaska and, to a lesser extent, Roxxy. Season 6, however, is the be all and end all of comedic relief with Bianca del Rio still hailing as the comedic queen of NOTE. 

The show evolves each season with more drama, more emotional realisations, and bigger talent. I’m particularly intrigued by the emergence of the art queen – a queen whose experimentation with consume, make-up and conceptuality is perceived to evolve past the representation of mere identity or comedy. Start the binge ASAP, or sashay away in sadness. 

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Isabel-Marié

The Circle is a guilty pleasure that I enjoyed so much, that I googled all the participants for weeks after the show ended. “Big Brother” meets “Catfish” on this reality series where nothing is as it seems. Contestants move into the same apartment building but the twist is that the players never meet face-to-face during the competition, as each one lives in his or her own apartment.
The contestants communicate exclusively through profiles created on a social media app. This anonymity allows them to hide their true identities and portray themselves however they choose. Throughout the competition, the players rate one another, with the lowest-rated players put at risk of being eliminated, or blocked, from the game. The contestant who survives the contest and emerges the winner takes home the $100,000 grand prize.
Why I enjoyed The Circle on Netflix so much is that it shows us how social media moulds a perception about a person. That the first photo on your Bumble profile will tell more about you, than your bio, but also that even on social media, the kind-hearted people can also win others over without fancy filters or a big booty. The highlight of The Circle is the drama when someone turns out not to be who they said they where. Yes I’m looking at you, Seaburn posing as your girlfriend!
reality TV - the circle
Just as obsessed as us? Here are the streaming services where you can binge all of the above before the new Bachelor is revealed.

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Author

The VaaIie girl with a laugh better than the joke itself. If you’ve lost me in the crowd, look for the red hat. Or the shoulder pads. Or the floral-patterned blazer. I’ve got a winner of a party trick, just give me a shot of tequila and a raw egg, and if you’re not sure how to start the conversation, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.

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