Tag Archives: Reality Show

Flashback Friday: Building Off the Grid (2014-Present)

The process of building a home from scratch is difficult in itself. Add in Mother Nature and the process becomes twice as hard.

Building Off the Grid has been on the Discovery Channel/DIY Network schedule since 2014. The show follows homeowners who want to build new houses. But instead of building in new or existing neighborhoods, their homes are located in the middle of nature. On top of the challenges that come with creating a new home from the ground up, the owners and builders deal with roadblocks that come with their choice of location.

I find this show to program to be interesting. What keeps me watching is the heightened question of whether or not the final product will come to fruition as promised.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Throwback Thursday: Life at Vet U (2016)

There are certain professions in which it is easy to get a foothold. On the other side of that coin, there are other professions in which many aspire to, but few succeed in.

Life at Vet U aired on Animal Planet in 2016 for one season. This reality show followed six students at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) as they prepare for their future careers as veterinarians.

The reality of television is that every show is meant to last. Life at Vet U was one of those programs. Looking back, it was ok, but not as compelling as it could have been.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Throwback Thursday: Hometown (2016-Present)

In my world, giving back to your community is a mitzvah (good deed)

The HGTV show, Hometown, has been on the air since 2016. The series follows Ben and Erin Napier as they renovate older homes in their hometown of Laurel, Mississippi. The narrative of the show is similar to that of every couple/duo home renovation program on the network. Erin and Ben show three possible new houses to neighbors. One is chosen and it is rebuilt to fit the needs of the new homeowners.

What I think makes this show standout is the charm and the chemistry of the stars. They are down to earth, genuine, and truly believe in the work they are doing.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Flashback Friday: The Zoo (2016-Present)

When we are children, going to the Zoo is a good day out.

The Zoo has been part of the Animal Planet lineup since 2016. This reality series follows the staff of the Bronx Zoo in New York City as they take care of the thousands of animals under their care.

I love this series. Though it is a reality show, it is the type of program that the audience will learn from instead of having their brains fried. The staff clearly love their job, treating the animals as if they were a common house pet instead wild animals who are under their protection. I also love that they talk about climate change and animal conservation in a way that is palatable and educational without the audience being aware of the lesson they are learning.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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Flashback Friday: Good Bones (2016-Present)

Watching HGTV, the impression one gets is that home building and renovation industry is a gendered one. The man handle the construction and the women are in charge of the decor.

Good Bones premiered on the channel in 2016 and has been a regular part of the schedule ever since. The redheaded mother-daughter duo Karen E. Laine and Mina Starsiak Hawk, co-owners of Two Chicks and a Hammer, renovate and restore houses in their home town of Indianapolis. As is expected, there are issues along the way. But the hope is that once the home is done, it will be sold for a nice profit.

What I like about this show is the unique mother/daughter relationship. Mina is the levelheaded one while Karen is more creative. I also love that it disputes the myth that women are only able to and/or not interested in the construction aspect of home building and renovation.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Throwback Thursday: Desert Flippers (2016-Present)

Success in the entertainment industry, if nothing else, breeds copycats.

The HGTV show, Desert Flippers (2016-Present) follows IRL couple Wisconsin to Palm Springs transplants Eric and Lindsey Bennett as they buy and flip homes. The structure of the episode is the same as it is in the genre of home renovation shows. A rundown home with potential is purchased and renovated. Along the way, there are challenges. By the end of the episode, property of the week is redone top to bottom and ready to be sold.

As home renovation shows go, this program is par for the course. But it is still interesting to watch the process of finding a diamond in the rough and making it shine like new.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Recipe for Persuasion: A Novel Book Review

No one goes through life without regrets. It is part of the human experience.

Recipe for Persuasion, (based on the Jane Austen novel, Persuasion)by Sonali Dev, was published last year.

Chef Ashna Raje has a lot on her plate. She is trying to ensure that her late father’s beloved restaurant lives to see another day. Her overbearing and emotionally distant mother, Shobi, is trying to control her life. Out of sheer desperation, Ashna signs up for the reality cooking competition, Cooking with the Stars.

What could only make a bad situation worse is being partnered with Rico Silva, the recently retired superstar soccer player. He is also her ex-boyfriend from high school/first love.

Rico is not happy that he will be working with Ashna and is determined to prove that he has moved on. Their first meeting after twelve years does not go well. As much as Rico and Ashna would prefer to work with someone else, their chemistry is undeniable. But with too many unanswered questions about the past and unspoken feelings, is there even a possibility of re-kindling their relationship?

Among the six completed books by Austen, Persuasion is the hardest for modern writers to replicate. The past romance between Anne Elliot and Captain Frederick Wentworth creates a narrative complication that is unique to this particular novel.

That being said, it is not the worst JAFF (Jane Austen fanfiction) that I have ever read. Though the middle of the novel is a bit slow, I like that the author gave the reader insight into both Rico and Shobi’s perspectives, fleshing out the overall story. Austen only gives her readers a short time to see the world through Wentworth’s eyes, the rest of the story belongs to Anne.

I also liked the insight into traditional Indian culture, which I suspect is not much different than other traditional cultures.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Feminism, Jane Austen, Persuasion, Television

Flashback Friday: The Vet Life (2016 to Present)

There is no love like the love of a pet parent for their furry or scaly companion.

The Vet Life has been on the Animal Planet schedule since 2016. The series follows veterinarians Dr. Diarra Blue, Dr. Aubrey Ross, and Dr. Michael Lavigne as they balance work life in a busy animal hospital and their personal lives.

I really like this show. Though it is a reality show, it is neither mind numbing or salacious. It is I believe, one of the better shows within the genre to watch.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Throwback Thursday: Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County (2004-2006)

The reality television genre generates a variety of opinions, depending on whom one speaks to. It could be seen as a guilty pleasure and a reason to chill out after a long day of work or school. It could also be seen as brainless, trashy television that claims to be “reality”, but is actually as scripted as fictional programs.

Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County aired on MTV from 2004-2006. The prequel to The Hills (2006-2010), the the show followed a group high school students from Laguna Beach High School in California as they went through the normal teenage growing pains.

I hated this show. The kids who were the focus of the program were just a bunch of Caucasian, 1%-ers whose narratives were not as “real” as promised.

Do I recommend it? No.

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Flashback Friday: The Simple Life (2003-2007)

The fish out of water narrative has compelled humanity for generations.

The Simple Life aired between 2003 and 2007. Then Hollywood socialites Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie leave their 1% world behind to see what life is like outside of their bubble. This reality show followed them as temporarily lived with other families and worked low paying jobs.

This show is nothing more than the reality television drama at its worst. Now granted, this program aired when the genre was in its infancy. As it was then, this is television trash and will always be television trash. It also set the stage for other “reality” television shows that took viewers into the lives of the rich and famous.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely not.

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