I’ve fallen into the rabbit hole of reality TV in quarantine! My love for Survivor (and now The Bachelor/ette!) is much better documented at this point, but I also gave two other shows a try this year: The Amazing Race and Big Brother!
I watched only one season of The Amazing Race before this year – not coincidentally, the one that included Survivor contestants – and while I enjoyed it (spoiler ahead!), I fell off after the last Survivor contestants were eliminated, and didn’t see the rest of the show through. With nothing else to do, I decided to start watching the next season!
Again, not going to spoil any gameplay, but the nice thing about watching The Amazing Race was pseudo-travelling through watching the race. After all of this time spent at home, even watching complete strangers on TV fly to India, South America, and even The Philippines felt like a tiny, little change of pace. It was even fun to jump into The Amazing Race fandom for a bit, if only to look into fan reactions to specific moments!
On the other hand, I also tried following this summer’s season of Big Brother. While I was really excited to give the show a chance, given my well established Survivor fandom, I was not impressed. I even had high hopes because it was an all stars season! Though there were some funny moments and genuinely interesting characters, I couldn’t bring myself to watch three times a week, especially as I grew more and more disinterested in the game.
I can’t talk about why I disliked the season without some spoilers so… spoilers ahead!
I actually had a few favorites early on in the season… and they were promptly eliminated. I stopped following right before some controversial moments happened as well. I actually thought the gameplay had the potential to be super interesting, but I tuned out when it became more obvious that the dominant alliance was going to dominate. In terms of gratitude… I guess I’m glad that I bailed before things got too nasty!
I’m happy that I’ve had the time in quarantine to watch more reality TV competitions, which I’ve kind of relied on throughout this time as a security blanket. Comfortable! Repeating tropes! Manufactured excitement! Now, truly, my concern is how I am going to keep up with all these shows once “real life” starts up again…