When it comes to what I like to watch in my free time, I cover a lot of ground. I get as much joy out of browsing the Criterion Channel as I do indulging in the long list of reality TV series I’ve become loyal to—namely, the Real Housewives franchise, and especially my current favourites Beverly Hills, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, and New Jersey. I owe a great deal of gratitude to the producers and production teams that ensure fans have a series to tune into all year long.
In its current form, Real Housewives has transcended bad taste and become a fixture of escapism in my life to the fullest degree. Yes, it’s a guilty pleasure, but one I don’t feel particularly guilty about. Watching the drama between the cast members, their overreactions to conflicts, instigations, and nouveau-riche style is the closest thing to watching a real-life Dynasty unfold.
Not far from the escapist dramas of Real Housewives is our cover star Lily Collins’s hit show Emily in Paris. Debuting during the height of the global pandemic, the Netflix original provided a much-needed reprieve for viewers. While the dialogue and banter often feel as overindulgent as Emily’s fashion choices, Emily in Paris’s success—much like that of Real Housewives—is that it doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is: a lighthearted show that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
As we gear up for the winter months ahead and look back on the year behind us, it’s more important than ever to reward ourselves with opportunities to lean into things that feel good. And if indulging in some reality TV or mood-elevating programming is what your heart desires, there’s nothing remotely guilty about it. Don’t overthink it— just enjoy.