The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

What we’re watching this week: A lot (too much?) of reality TV

A round-up of all the favorite shows The Hustler is currently binging.
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Lexie Perez
Graphic depicting a person sitting by a TV screen displaying “Dance Moms.” (Hustler Multimedia/Lexie Perez)

Spring break has come and gone, but there is one constant that remains: binge-watching TV shows. From reality picks to classic comedy shows, read on to see what shows have caught our eyes recently.                              

Marissa’s Picks

As schoolwork continues to pile up, there is one constant that I go back to every time: reality television. Though reality television may not be typically deemed “quality programming,” there is a certain allure to finishing a long day of classes, laying in bed and living vicariously through the drama of total strangers.

Here is a breakdown of the two reality television shows I have started this week. I’m still in the post-Valentine’s spirit, so both shows are centered around competitions to fall in love. 

“Love Island” Season 9 ★★★★

While some may have recently found themselves divided about who would win the Superbowl, I have been pondering a different dilemma: Who will win “Love Island?”

The show’s premise is that contestants are sent to a tropical island where they must pair up to avoid elimination. Challenges and newcomers are introduced throughout the series to spice things up. The newest season premiered in the U.S. on Jan. 30, with new episodes dropping daily on Hulu. 

I will note that it is quite easy to get behind on the series considering the constant influx of new episodes, and it is slightly upsetting that U.S. viewers aren’t able to participate in voting throughout the series or for the ultimate winners, unlike people tuning in from Britain. Yet between the constant new “bombshells” and British accents, it’s easy to get hooked. More than anything, I feel like the strongest allure of the show is its ability to be both widely ridiculous and sentimental. For anyone craving a life of bathing suits and being “coupled up,” I’d say that “Love Island” may be the perfect outlet.

“Perfect Match” Season 1 ★★☆☆☆

Bundled up for bed early on a Saturday night, I opened Netflix and started digging through their new shows. Instantly, “Perfect Match” caught my attention. As an avid lover of Netflix’s many cliche reality shows, I was thrilled to see that “Perfect Match” is composed solely of cast members from former Netflix reality shows. 

In the new Netflix show, 23 cast members from shows such as “Too Hot to Handle,” “The Circle,” “Love Is Blind” and “The Mole” are given the opportunity to find love while living in the most massive mansion I have ever seen. 

I only finished the first episode, and I don’t see myself gravitating toward this series often. There were too many plot points happening at once for my liking, and there wasn’t even one contestant I ended up rooting for amidst the many. I am also fairly sure that “Perfect Match” is entirely scripted. 

Despite my quarrels with the show, I could still see myself playing it in the background while hanging out in my dorm or even before bed when I’m trying to fall asleep. If you have watched any of Netflix’s other reality shows and are missing any of the beloved contestants, I’d give “Perfect Match” a try.

Jorie’s Picks

TikTok destroyed my attention span, and since then, I often find myself starting multiple TV shows but never getting past the first few seasons (looking at you “Gilmore Girls”). However, TikTok has also given me some great recommendations and reminders to rewatch some favorites. Here are my recent entertainment picks, with a little help from my TikTok doom-scrolling habit.  

“Dance Moms” Season 1 ★★★★☆

Disney+ recently released seasons one, two and seven, and seeing the tiny dancers from season one is adorable because I feel like I grew up with them. 

The early years of “Dance Moms” are simply iconic, from the tiny girls and their messy hair to the moms’ drama and horrendous outfits to Abby Lee Miller delivering perfect one-liners in the confessionals. Season one is my favorite of the eight seasons because it feels the most genuine. The girls weren’t celebrities yet and they were still taking normal classes right at the studio they grew up in. 

However, watching “Dance Moms” 10 years after its original release has really opened my eyes to the problematic aspects of the show that weren’t clear before. Miller put those girls through some real emotional trauma: At 10 years old, they were dancing for hours each night and clearly exhausted. 

“That ‘90s Show” Season 1 ★★☆☆☆

A spinoff of “That ‘70s Show,” “That ‘90s Show” follows the children of original cast members Eric, Donna, Kelso and Jackie as they navigate summer with Red and Kittie in Wisconsin. 

Even though this is supposed to be set in the 1990s, “That ‘90s Show” gives strong 2000s Disney channel vibes and does not really capture the nostalgic energy that its title might suggest. With almost modern-day outfits and cringy jokes, “That ‘90s Show” does not live up to its predecessor. Hopefully the actors work out the show’s kinks in the second season and deliver more similarly to their parents. 

“That ‘70s Show” Season 1 ★★★★

I had to subscribe to Peacock to watch this show and it was definitely worth it. Since I binged “That ’90s Show” in two days, it was only fair that I returned to the original that has gotten so much praise on TikTok. “That ‘70s Show” follows an eclectic group of friends growing up in Wisconsin in the 1970s. 

The outfits, the humor and even the small bits of dialogue between characters are amazing. My only complaint is that some of the humor of the show is just not relatable anymore. I can’t wait to binge the rest of the seasons. 

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About the Contributors
Jorie Fawcett, Editor-in-Chief
Jorie Fawcett ('25) is from Tiffin, Ohio, and studies secondary education and sociology in Peabody College. She previously served as Managing Editor and Life Editor. When not writing for The Hustler, you can find her teaching, reading or pretending to study at Local Java or Suzie's. You can reach her at [email protected].
Lexie Perez, Graphics Director
Lexie Perez (‘26) is from Northern Virginia and is majoring in climate studies and human and organizational development and minoring in business in the College of Arts and Science. She enjoys listening to 70s and 80s pop music, doing the daily Wordle and rooting for the Nashville Predators and Cincinnati Bengals. She can be reached at [email protected].
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