Alright confession time. When I get super stressed I consume TV shows whose mindlessness is directly proportional to the amount of stress I am feeling at any give time. In fact, every semester I have binge watched almost every a season of a single show. My first semester it was Amazing Race, then Top Chef, and now I’ve gone down a rabbit hole with Project Runway. I do what I have to in order to cope with the mental and emotional strain of my Graduate program and I am not ashamed! But, I thought– why not utilize my mode of escapism into a blog post– so here we are!
In this week’s Monday Matinee, I’m sharing recommendations based on -popular reality TV shows. I would like to preface this by saying that I do not currently watch all of these, but I have enough experience with them to make recommendations based on their content. As always, be sure to share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments!
1- The Bachelor and Bachelorette (and all of its other present embodiment)
This show is all about a bunch of girls (or guys) earning a rose and, ultimately, winning the heart of the guy or girl at the center of it all. The hope is that during the course of the show the bachelor or bachelorette will find their “soulmate.” Our book recommendations feature a similar reality show where the game is all about falling in love!
2- The Amazing Race
This is probably my favorite reality show because it feels the most genuine. Teams travel around the world and try to make it to check points in each city after completing a series of mentally, emotionally, and physically taxing challenges in a race for a million dollars. Frequently its the uncontrollable, external factors that gets teams eliminated (lack of transportation, poor directions, and misplaced luggage to name a few). Each of the books below provide elements of traveling and competition, perfect for any die hard Amazing Race fan.
I have fond memories of this one, watching it on week nights with my mom while I worked on homework. There are numerous elements to this show, including surviving a jungle or island like setting, winning team challenge, and working team dynamics so you aren’t voted out by the other members on your team. A lot goes into this show and to win you have to keep a lot of plates in the air at one time but its a fun one with plenty of drama (if you like that sort of thing).
4- Project Runway
This is my current reality tv obsession, and its all about designers who design according to a preset theme every week. Every once in a while there is some drama but I actually like to avoid that and focus on the challenges and how the designers rise to meet those.
- Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
- The Fashion Committee by Susan Juby
- Ripped At The Seams by Nancy Krulik
5- Top Chef
Probably one of my favorite cooking competitions because of the different challenge and the fact that it focuses on how well the chefs cook and prepare food and less on relationship between the competitors. The rules are cut and a any one dish can sink you or save you. I needed season 17 yesterday!
- With The Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
- Taste Test by Kelly Fiore Stultz
- From Where I Watch You by Shannon Grogan
We thought we would include a handful of novels about reality tv shows that didn’t really fit into any of the aforementioned categorizes. We definitely recommend you add these to your TBR, you know, because its not long enough already!
- Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
- Reality Boy by A.S. King
- Gretchin McNeil’s #Murdertrending Trilogy
What About You?
What is your favorite reality show? Are there any books that you think we should add to this list? Let us know in the comments!