Whether you’re quarantined alone for two weeks or cuddled up in your living room with your roommates, reality television is there for you. Everyone has a category of reality TV that they consider a guilty pleasure: dating shows, cook-offs, physical competitions or lifestyle TV like “Jersey Shore” and “Teen Mom.” Whatever your niche is, there’s a show for you to binge-watch this semester.
With the rise of streaming services, they have become the best way for me to watch all my favorite shows. Netflix has improved its reality TV choices, even adding some original series. Last year’s infamous show that was extremely popular was “Love is Blind,” a dating show where contestants were not allowed to see each other while they were getting to know one another. Also, another controversial love challenge, “Too Hot to Handle,” sparked conversation online about the importance of physical touch while dating; contestants were not permitted to have any sexual contact for a month in order to win $100,000.
More recently, Netflix released the show “Bling Empire.” The show follows the wealthiest Asian-American families in Los Angeles, Calif. as they throw elaborate parties, spark steamy romances and start a mountain of drama. It is perfect to put on in the background while you cook, clean or talk to your friends about your own mountain of drama.
If dating shows aren’t for you, Netflix’s glass blowing competition, “Blown Away,” could cater more towards you. It challenges expert glassblowers to create unique and intricate glass sculptures each week. The final winner receives $60,000 worth of prizes. There are currently two seasons available to watch on the streaming site.
If you’re searching for a show that pushes contestants’ physicality and endurance, Netflix has added MTV’s “The Challenge” and the ultimate physically challenging competition, “Survivor.” You can also tune in every Thursday to watch the 36th season of “The Challenge” on MTV; reality TV alumni from shows like “Are You the One?,”“The Real World” and “Big Brother” team up in pairs and compete in extreme challenges with the end goal of $1 million in mind. If you have exhausted all your Netflix options, watched all the shows you could possibly binge, including the cringey Netflix originals, do not worry! Hulu is the reality TV hub.
Hulu uploads live television shows the day after they air on cable, so you can stay up to date with “The Bachelor” (if you stay off Twitter on Monday’s). Hulu has all our favorite shows like “Catfish,” “America’s Next Top Model,” “Shark Tank,” “Chopped” and “My 600-Lb. Life.” They also just added all 18 seasons of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” and on Feb. 16 you will be able to watch the most current episodes of the final season as well. Hulu breaks down their reality TV category into smaller segments, so it is easy to navigate to the shows you love the most.
However, if the amount of content on Hulu overwhelms you, I’ll give you some recommendations. No other dating show can compete with “Love Island UK,” especially season six. There are love triangles, scandals, couples you can live vicariously through and, of course, the English accents you can imitate even after you finish the series. Also, “1000-Lb. Sisters” is a must-watch. Two sisters, Amy and Tammy aim to lose enough weight to undergo a life changing surgery. Their weight loss journey is emotional, and you will find yourself getting invested in their day-to-day lives. They are also absolutely hilarious together. Finally, “American Ninja Warrior” will inspire you to create obstacle courses in your living room. It is perfect for people who want a combination of athleticism and humor in their reality TV. No matter what you land on, you can’t go wrong with clicking the reality TV tab on Netflix or Hulu!