Jewish Matchmaking Review

When we think of matchmaking in our modern world, we think of couples who are forced by their families to marry due to a similar economic status or place in the social strata.

The new Netflix reality dating show Jewish Matchmaking is a spinoff of Indian Matchmaking. The series follows matchmaker Aleeza Ben Shalom as she works with Jewish singles in both the United States and Israel to find their person. As with dating (both IRL and in the world of reality television), not every date leads to a happy ending. There will be a few frogs along the way before the prince or princess comes (if they come at all).

I enjoyed the series. It was not as brain numbing as other programs of this nature. I appreciated that it is as educational as it is entertaining. The men and women who are the focus of the series come represent a range of backgrounds and levels of religious practice.

My only issue is the lack of LGBTQ singles. As great as this show is, this is the one area that I find to be lacking and hope will be recitified in season 2 (if there is a second season).

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Jewish Matchmaking is avaliable for streaming on Netflix.

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Flashback Friday: Who Wants to Marry My Dad? (2003 to 2004)

There is no aspect of dating or romance that reality television has not been attached to.

Between 2003 and 2004, Who Wants to Marry My Dad aired on NBC. The show followed adult children whose goal was to find their father’s next spouse.

I remember watching a few episodes. Looking back, I feel like this particular reality show was a new low. It was as if all of the good ideas had already been taken and this was the bottom of the barrel.

Do I recommend it? No.

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Throwback Thursday: Britney and Kevin: Chaotic (2005)

It’s sometimes easy to say that you are in love with someone. It’s harder to show that this is your person.

The short-lived reality show, Britney and Kevin Chaotic (2005) aired on UPN. Viewers followed Britney Spears and her then-husband Kevin Federline during the early days of their relationship.

I get it. They wanted to prove that their romance was legit. But, at the same time, it was a train wreck that could not be ignored (as is the case for most of reality television).

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Flashback Friday: Love After Lockup (2018 to Present)

Sometimes love comes in the least unexpected of packages. The choice that stands before us is the following: do we follow our heart or listen to those who tell us to walk away?

Love After Lockup has been on the We TV schedule since 2018. This reality show follows former felons as they try to return to normal life and maintain their romance with their significant other.

As usual, the program is full of drama and complications. As with all reality television, some of the narratives seem to be a bit hyped up for the sake of ratings and keeping eyeballs on the screen. I personally find this show to be appalling, brain-draining in the worst way, and not worth watching.

Do I recommend it? No.

Flashback Friday: Queer Eye (2018 to 2021)

One of the myths about gay men is that they are more stylish and culturally aware than the average straight man.

The Netflix show Queer Eye (2018 to 2021) is a reboot of the early aughts reality makeover show of the same name that aired on Bravo. As with its predecessor, five gay guys with expertise in various areas (fashion, food, grooming, culture, and design) helps (mostly) hapless heterosexual males to improve their physical appearance and their lives.

This show is so much fun to watch, mainly because the stars of the program are having fun. As an audience member, I am rooting for that episode’s subject, wishing that they get everything that they want from this experience. It also opens the door to see the LGBTQ community as something more than stereotypes and boogeymen for those with conservative beliefs.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Throwback Thursday: Celebrity Undercover Boss (2018)

One of the many dreams of a struggling artist is to be noticed by someone who has already made it.

The reality show, Celebrity Undercover Boss (2018) was an extension of Undercover Boss (2010 to 2016). Instead of a CEO going undercover to discover the issues with their company, the subject of each episode is someone famous. Wearing prosthetics and/or a wig, their goal is to find undiscovered talent and give them the tools to succeed.

I enjoyed the program. Though I am aware that there is always the question of how much of the narrative is “real”, it was not out of the realm of possibility. Sometimes, the struggling artist only needs to be noticed by the right person to see their dream become a reality.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Flashback Friday: Making It (2018 to 2021)

I think that it’s pretty safe to say that reality television has spread its tentacles into every sort of competition.

Making It aired on NBC from 2018 to 2021. Hosted by Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, a group of craftspeople faces off in hopes of winning $100k and being named “Master Maker”. Each episode contains two challenges. As with every program within this sub-genre, one contestant is sent home every week until the winner is crowned.

Though it is a reality show, it is not as mind-numbing and brain cell-killing as other shows. Though I am sure it is not 100% “real”, the participants have a genuine talent and seem to love what they do.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Throwback Thursday: Dr. Pimple Popper (2018 to Present)

We all know, that in spite of ourselves, we still judge a person based on outward appearances. The question is, what do we do when our looks do not match what is expected or normal?

Dr. Pimple Popper has been on TLC since 2018. In this reality show, Dr. Sandra Lee helps patients with extreme skin conditions. Once the procedure is done, the hope is that they will be free of the anxiety that kept them from living a full life.

I have mixed feelings about this show. It has a carnival-esque quality to it, almost a way of using the “freaks” as a form of entertainment. Which is exactly what reality television is. But at the same time, these people want to live a normal life and are willing to expose themselves to millions of viewers to do so.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

Flashback Friday: Flip or Flop Nashville (2018)

When an IP is successful, the expectation is that there will be a continuation of it of some sort. That does not guarantee, however, that it will be as successful as its predecessor.

Flip or Flop Nashville (2018) aired on Hulu. As with its HGTV reality show originator, the purpose of the program was to follow a couple who purchased, rehabbed, and then resold homes that desperately needed a makeover. This spin-off, it took place in Nashville. Formerly married couple (now business partners) Page Turner and DeRon Jenkins took on the task of revitalizing properties that needed much more than a cosmetic update.

As expected, there are unforeseen problems that may delay the project’s completion and drive up the costs. The hope is that when all is said and done, the house will be sold for a profit.

Like all reality television (and television in general), the program is formulaic. As much as I enjoyed the show and the buildup to the final product, it becomes repetitious and boring after a while.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

Throwback Thursday: Toddlers & Tiaras (2009 to 2016)

The pageant world is one that is foreign to me. I’ve never participated in one nor have I had an interest in it. That does not mean, however, that it is not of value to other people.

Toddlers & Tiaras aired on TLC from 2009 to 2016. This reality show followed young children and their parents as they traverse the pageant circuit. In this prequel to Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, the program spotlights these child performers and their sometimes Mama Rose-like parents.

I’ve only seen snippets of this show. That is all I need to see. Obviously, being reality television, I have to question what is “real” and what is scripted. I also have to question if participating is for the child’s benefit, or if the adults are living vicariously through their young ones?

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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