Recently, I read a memoir written by Casey Rose Wilson, an actress and podcaster I love. She has a chapter in her book dedicated to how Bravo’s Real Housewives helped her get through a difficult time in her life. I listen to this chapter occasionally and cry every time because I can relate. Not just Bravo, but television in general, has served as an escape for me for as long as I can remember.
When my husband and I went on our first date, I asked him what he liked to watch on television. I’m sure to impress me, he told me he was not much of a TV person. As the night continued, much of our conversation circled around shows that we watched, and it turned into a major connection for us.
As an avid reader and someone who teaches literature, it is also very easy for me to get lost in a show. I become borderline obsessed with characters and storylines and sometimes have to be reminded that it is not real—even “reality” TV. I mean, we all remember when Brody broke the fourth wall on The Hills, right?
One of my fond childhood memories is watching The Fresh Prince with my uncle over at my grandparent’s house where I spent a lot of my time. My uncle isn’t much older than me, and he helped me understand the jokes. As a family, on Fridays, like many, we watched T.G.I.F., and when I moved out on my own as a young adult, the television sometimes served as a companion on the nights I was alone.
Name a show, I have likely seen it, but I’ll talk about Bravo first. I have been watching The Real Housewives since the very first season of Orange County. I was actually watching a reunion of an early season when I went into labor with my oldest son. Potomac is my favorite franchise, and I believe Teresa is the best housewife of all time, but I’m a Dorinda fan for life. She cooked, she cleaned, she made it nice!
I have seen all the Vanderpump kids through break-ups, marriages, and babies and will frequently remind people, “It’s not about the pasta!” I would do anything, absolutely anything, to meet Andy Cohen. It is a life goal to be in the Watch What Happens Live audience with my sister-in-law.
Bravo is not the only reality I dabble in. I have seen every single episode of all 16 seasons of Sister Wives. I would love for anyone else in the world who has seen every episode to reach out because there is so much to unpack! I secretly, not so anymore, watch Darcey and Stacey, and I have binged a few seasons of Love After Lock-Up.
*Spoiler alert: Don’t read any further if you don’t want show endings ruined!
In addition to my love of all things reality, I cannot pass up a good series. I subscribe to every streaming service. There are shows I binge; for example: Shameless. Though there are many plot holes, watching the Gallagher kids grow up while we were home during the pandemic is an experience I deeply enjoyed. I still randomly tear up thinking about Frank calling out for Fiona in his final moments; what a character to hate to love and vice versa.
I also binged Game of Thrones, arguably the best show of all time, until that final season. Most recently, and this is a record for me, I watched both seasons of Euphoria in eight days which I feel is quite a feat for a working mom of three. Truth be told, I was avoiding this show because I thought it might be triggering; however, I think it is so well written. I have a soft spot for Rue and have lost sleep over Lexi not knowing what happened to Fezco. I cannot believe we have to wait two years!
My husband and I are currently on both of our second viewings of The Sopranos, a show I feel I need a more mature analysis of now that I am older. We are also watching Ted Lasso, Yellow Jackets, and I am committed to finishing Big Love over this summer and Succession.
When I want to watch something light, I turn on Pen15 or Abbott Elementary which is heartwarming and funny, and an educator’s version of The Office…a show I have also seen every episode of more than once. I, of course, do not skip a Netflix mini-series or documentary, and there are just too many to name, but as soon as I finish here, I will be watching Inventing Anna.
I can truly go on forever. I did not even touch on Sex and the City, Breaking Bad which features my favorite television show character: Walter White (David Schitt is a close second), or Stranger Things: a show that is not a genre I dig, but I watch it nonetheless. Shows like Friends and Seinfeld helped me through late-night college homework sessions, always providing company and a laugh, and How I Met Your Mother was my go-to during first-trimester exhaustion in my third pregnancy.
I did not realize how much television and its characters mean to me or how they have helped me throughout my life. Talking about great TV is an excellent conversation starter and a place where we can all unite. My days are hectic, stressful, and challenging, and TV shows provide a true escape from reality, and sometimes that is exactly what I need.
Now, what are you watching? I want to add it to my list!