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Here are Four Reality TV Shows You Should Be Watching Instead of “The Bachelor”

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northwestern chapter.

Let’s face it. The glory days of “The Bachelor” are over. In my opinion, the show peaked in 2016 when Ben Higgins was the Bachelor. Now, the drama is redundant, the Bachelors are basic and no one is there for the right reasons (unless the right reason is growing your TikTok following). 

I used to be an avid viewer of “The Bachelor” franchise. I would get my friends together every Monday and force them to watch with me. But now, I’m simply bored. I tried to watch Clayton’s season, but I physically cannot get myself to continue. 

Now, after deviating from “The Bachelor” franchise and diversifying my selection of reality shows, I’m here to say there are better reality shows you should be watching. Here are four reality shows that you should add to your watch list to fill that Bachelor-sized hole in your heart (and where to watch them): 

“12 Dates of Christmas” (HBO Max) 

Even though the holiday season is long over, it is not too late to watch this Christmas-themed reality dating show. “12 Dates of Christmas” revolves around three singles who are trying to find a special someone to bring home for the holidays. If you can’t tell from the show’s name, each single goes on 12 dates until they decide who is the one. The show has a lot of heart, with all the contestants becoming friends, and features leads from the LGBTQ community, which is rare to find on a dating show. 

“FBOY Island” (HBO Max)

If you’re looking for a laugh along with some romance and obviously some drama, “FBOY Island” is the perfect choice. Hosted by comedian Nikki Glazer, the raunchy show does not take itself too seriously. The show revolves around three single women who have to identify their 24 suitors as “f-boys” or “nice guys.” The self-professed “nice guys” are looking for a relationship, while the “f-boys” are hoping to win a cash prize. Now is the perfect time to watch the first season, as the show has just been renewed for another season.

“Twentysomethings: Austin” (Netflix)

I discovered this newly-released show over winter break while I was bored and scrolling through Netflix, and it did not disappoint. “Twentysomethings: Austin” follows eight singles in their twenties who are given houses in Austin in which to live. The coming-of-age show not only follows their love lives as they meet other singles in Austin (and even date each other), but it also traces their journeys to finding careers and making their way in a new city. As a college student, it is definitely reassuring to see fellow adults who still do not know what they’re doing with their lives.

“Are You the One?” (MTV and Netflix)

With eight seasons, you might have heard of “Are You the One?” already, but I am still going to tell you about how amazing it is. Now is the perfect time to start watching because the first four seasons were just added to Netflix. Although it can be trashy at times (what else do you expect from an MTV reality show?), it is seriously one of my favorite reality dating shows. On the show, a group of men and women are paired by a matchmaking algorithm, and they need to find their perfect match to win the grand prize of $1 million. The show broke boundaries with its eighth season; all contestants were sexually fluid and could be paired with someone of any gender. I personally love the show because it has a game show element, which makes it more exciting as you, as a viewer, try to figure out yourself who is matched with who.

Jessie Chaiet

Northwestern '23

Jessie Chaiet is a senior from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, studying Journalism and Economics at Northwestern University. In her free time, she loves to go to the gym, keep up with the latest pop culture news and curate Spotify playlists.