An expert’s guide to reality TV romance

An experts guide to reality TV romance

As a reality TV show fanatic, I’ve seen almost every type of reality show imaginable. From adventure shows such as “The Amazing Race” to Netflix’s social-media centered “The Circle,” I have had the opportunity to view and judge shows based on the degree to which their producers are involved, their drama-factor and how relatable it is to everyday life. 

However, one type of reality TV show has always stood out to me: romance shows. They often have the effect of a good rom-com, satisfy a viewer’s thirst for drama and ensure that an audience can engage with the relationships that emerge from the shows in the real-world on social media. 

From one reality TV romance nut to another, here are some of the best options to satisfy your craving for a good watch: 

The Bachelor & The Bachelorette
The Bachelor & The Bachelorette

Every Monday night at 8 p.m. during ABC’s Bachelor or Bachelorette seasons, you’ll find me glued to my television waiting to see the drama unfold. The Bachelor/Bachelorette show centers around the lead, one eligible Bachelor or Bachelorette who are presented with 25-30 members of the opposite sex to, simply put, fall in love. 

Throughout the 3-month duration of the show, the cast travels across the world to destinations ranging from New Zealand to New York City. The lead has a series of fantasy dates each week with the contestants in a one-on-one, two-on-one and group date format to ensure they see their potential partners in many different settings. At the beginning of each season, the drama is often quite heated between the contestants, but as the group dwindles down, the show truly becomes focused on the love story plot. 

Personally, one of the most engaging factors about the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise is the friendships that emerge from each season. Since the contestants have so much free time to spend with one another, the true love story often becomes the friendships that are built between contestants throughout the season. 

The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise is an amazing opportunity to watch a real-life fantasy love story unfold. Although it doesn’t present very many realistic struggles of a couple, it is an extremely engaging watch for a viewer such as myself. 

Love Is Blind
Love Is Blind

Ever since the show was released in 2020, Netflix’s “Love is Blind” has done a superb job at capturing the attention of young viewership and generating buzz on social media. The show places a large group of men and women in a 12-day experience known as the pods. Within the pods, men and women are given the opportunity to date through a wall, unable to see each other. 

The goal of the show is for couples to fall in love and get engaged “sight unseen,” only able to see one another once already engaged. In the producer’s eyes, it is a test of whether or not love can be truly blind. After exiting the pods, the couples are taken on a romantic vacation, and soon after placed in the real world with their weddings taking place at the end of the TV show. 

I am extremely fascinated by the premise of the TV show, however as it’s gained more popularity, the couples’ success rate has plummeted. From my perspective, individuals have begun going on the show to gain a social media following rather than falling in love, which often defeats the true purpose of the show. 

Overall, however, “Love is Blind” is an extremely entertaining watch. With important dramatic moments to romantic relationships, the show portrays extremely realistic sides of real-world relationships.

The Ultimatum
The Ultimatum

Despite not being my personal favorite, Netflix’s “The Ultimatum” quickly gained popularity following the release of its first season in 2022. The premise of the show is to help couples decide whether it’s time for them to go their separate ways or get engaged. 

Coming into the show, each couple has one partner who is ready to get engaged and presents the other partner with an ultimatum. Throughout the show, each couple splits up for two weeks, getting the opportunity to begin a temporary live-in relationship with a different cast member. Following that two week period, the couples return to their original partners to experience life together once again. 

Following the four week period, the couple is brought to the final engagement day where they choose to get engaged or walk away from one another. 

I found the show quite interesting, giving couples opportunities to meet different people. Oftentimes, reality shows are focused around a consistent love story, but this show took a different approach. I enjoyed how effective it was at helping couples decide if their relationships still suited them and I’d recommend it to a realist-viewer. 

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About the Contributor
Aliza Bellas
Aliza Bellas, Managing Editor, Copy
Aliza is ecstatic to continue her work on The Lion’s Tale as Managing Editor, Copy in the upcoming year. In her past year as Opinion Editor, Aliza found passion in writing timely articles, editing interesting stories, and designing spreads. Outside of the Pub Hub, Aliza dedicates her time to her role as Junior Class President, the Regional Vice President of Membership in BBYO’s D.C. Council, and her role as Editor-in-Chief of The Melting Pot. Aliza is eager to get started on developing the paper’s writing and ensuring that every web and print article is as polished as can be.  

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