When I was younger I never understood why the most educated people I knew, watched reality television shows. As I got older and the stress of life started to set in (especially at a job where everyday was intense), the need for these shows started to become more clear; when you don’t have to think as hard about what you’re taking in, your mind can relax.

Between the entire Real Housewives franchise and 90 Day Fiance, my dopamine levels rise and my stress falls away at the end of the day. Given the current global pandemic we’re all getting through day to day, I would say now is the time more than ever to have go-to entertainment you can rely on that takes the guilty out of the pleasure:

 

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Bravo

real housewives of beverly hills reality show cast photo

Truthfully, I would recommend almost all of the cities in the franchise. New York, New Jersey, Atlanta, Orange County, etc. Each provides semi-unfiltered, first world/wealthy problems and a peek into the lives of the one percent on a regular basis. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a “housewife”, Bravo delivers.

90 Day Fiance on TLC

IMAGE FROM LOVE IS BLIND REALITY SHOW

100% pure, what-is-going-to-happen-next D R A M A. Well, as much as it can be anyway. Being engaged presents its own set of obstacles, but when combined with the unavoidable factor of being in different countries and only having 90 days to get to know each other better AND plan a wedding? Chaos is inevitable.

Love After Lockup on WE

The crazy factor on this show is high. Not only does the title automatically imply a strong potential for chaos, but the overall journeys of couples that start as pen pals and evolve into more make it too good to look away. Watching how the family reacts to the newly paroled partners in their loved ones’ lives are also part of the intrigue.

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Love is Blind on Netflix

The streaming platform’s first original dating show knocked it out of the park in numbers. Admittedly, I was skeptical at first. Having shows like the Bachelor and its many spin-offs on television already turned me away from dating shows, but after giving this show a chance, I definitely can say I was not disappointed. Is love really blind? That’s debatable, but one thing is for sure – Jessica is 34 and Mark is 24.

Chrisley Knows Best on E!

Sometimes it feels like certain people are just given a camera to turn on and whatever is captured day to day is what gets made into a show. This is one of those times. Family fun and young-spirited shenanigans from a bubbly family that is spearheaded from the southern patriarch himself, Todd Chrisley. Do they spend a lot of money? Yes. Do they have unrelatable problems? Pretty much. And that is what makes them as entertaining as it gets. They may not be the Kardashians, but depending on who you talk to, that fact is relative.

 

Understandably, all of these reality shows feature real people and elements of their lives that are considered sad, frustrating, and sometimes even tragic. I guarantee the good times of petty fights, extravagant shopping sprees, and a need to align oneself with a favorite personality far outweigh any of the low points these shows touch on from time to time. At the core of each of these shows is the very real need to give the general public interesting content and just for the brief 42 minutes of average runtime – be grateful that you’re not most of the people that you watch on reality television.

 

This article is an opinion piece and was not written by a mental health professional

This article was originally posted 5/14/20

 

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