Reality TV That Is Getting Me Through Lockdown 3.0

There have been many ways different people have attempted to keep sane during lockdown from walking and baking banana bread to zoom quizzes and at-home workouts. However, the most recent lockdown period has descended upon us at a time when the weather isn’t great, university work is online and running, and a shared student kitchen sometimes isn’t the best place to create a culinary masterpiece in the form of baked goods.

But, a shared TV, Netflix subscription and a couple of friends to gossip with brings another form of entertainment that has certainly helped pass on some rainy/hungover days during this period – reality TV!

Classic reality TV such as TOWIE or Made in Chelsea aren’t the same as they used to be with much-loved characters growing up and starting families so once again, I turn to Netflix for the best of new global reality shows. 


We’ll start with ‘Bling Empire’ which follows the lives of LA’s Asian socialites. This show has eight relatively short episodes and can easily be binged in a day or two. Individuals of particular interest and points of gossip include Kelly, Andrew and their toxic relationship, the elusive Anna whose family seem to have fortune in all money-making sectors from jewellery to oil, and finally, Kim who, in the latter episodes decides she wants to find her Father with the (un) wanted help of her somewhat annoying friends – Kane and Kevin (also mega-rich!).


Of a similar vein, but not as good ‘Singapore Social’ follows the lives of a group of young people living and building their lives in Singapore. Unlike ‘Bling Empire’ I struggled to find any of the people incredibly likeable however the things that they get up to are interesting to watch and it’s fun to see the perception and views of young people who have grown up around a culture different from the Westernised perspective the likes of myself are used to. 


If you liked too hot to handle or love is blind, ‘Are You the One?’ is another trashy American love experiment set on the beautiful island of Hawaii. The series follows ten boys and ten girls who are each others 'perfect match’ based on extensive research before they entered the show. The challenge for these people is to find their perfect match. Find all ten matches and they win $1m between them. I’m only up to episode 5 and the show has already had drama, lots of failed trips to the ‘truth booth’ and brought much more entertainment in the form of questionable fashion choices (season 1 was made in 2014).


Netflix is also home to many of ‘the real housewives of’ series as well as other reality favourites such as ‘Selling Sunset’ but these other shows bring a refreshing sense of what life was like pre-COVID and what life will be like after! Reality TV often gets a bad name and whilst there are many more tv programmes out there that are more educational, gripping and probably entertaining, sometimes all you need is to escape your own reality and enter into someone else’s. Now more than ever reality escapism is one great way the pass the time!