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The year is 2022. It’s been five years since the last of The Hunger Games movies premiered and six years since the last Divergent series movie was released. The dystopian young adult novels and films fad may have died down but we’ve spent half of those six years in a global pandemic. Is this eerie premonition by Suzanne Collins and Veronica Roth or an inevitable turn of events from a flawed society? In a time of uncertainty, a sure-fire way to soothe your soul is to live vicariously through strangers on a screen. Besides, who has the attention span to read anymore? Here are four shows on relationships to binge-watch during a time when socializing is considered a life-threatening activity:

1. Love Island 

There’s nothing I love more than mind-numbing television, especially when the cast is made up of attractive people with dreamy accents. This dating show originally began in the UK, but has also expanded to Australia (my personal favorite), as well as the US. A perfect blend of aesthetic shots of models laying out by the pool with the backdrop of a paradise destination, witty commentary from the show’s narrator, and plenty of love triangle drama, this show is an easy choice for a lazy Sunday.

2. Insecure

Issa Rae is the mastermind behind this addictive show set in Los Angeles that has me and my roommate in a chokehold. The two main characters, Issa Dee and Molly Carter are best friends who navigate adulthood through the uncertainty, messiness, and beauty of growing together, even if it challenges their relationship. The show is comprised of a majority all-Black cast and also showcases and uplifts Black culture, all while addressing harmful stereotypes about the Black community. For this show, we can forgive Issa Rae for being a Stanford alumna as it’s sure to have everyone in cathartic tears of appreciation. To top it off, the show’s soundtrack is also unmatched. 

3. Selling Sunset

Before the show, real estate sounded like a bore, but the way this show depicts luxury real estate has me rethinking career choices. I live for the mostly female cast of the show, showing up to their listings dressed to the nines in full makeup and hair, stylish outfits, and five-inch heels while forging strong relationships with their clients. I may not like drama in my social circles, but the recurrent drama that occurs between costars, whether scripted or not, certainly makes for entertaining television. The bold attitudes and glam appearances definitely suit the regions the real estate agents dominate, like Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

4. Emily in Paris

If I had any lingering hesitations about studying abroad, this show definitely solidified my decision to just pick a European country and apply. Featuring the gorgeous Lily Collins as Emily and taking place in romantic and picturesque Paris, this show is the ultimate Gen-Z show, especially since her occupation is literally an influencer. Not only are the venues she frequents lush, but so are the entire cast’s outfits. The leading men of the cast are easy on the eyes and the show is always guaranteed to satisfy my romantic-comedy cravings. It’s a feel-good show and an honorable mention on this list of escapist shows.

Rebekah Sim

UC Berkeley '22

Rebekah Sim is a fourth-year at UC Berkeley pursuing a major in English and a minor in Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies. The Los Angeles transplant likes to spend her time trying out new restaurants and traveling.
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