Paradise Is Knocking: Why I No Longer Knock People Who Watch Reality TV

Paradise Is Knocking: Why I No Longer Knock People Who Watch Reality TV

I religiously watched "Bachelor in Paradise" this summer - and I'm not sorry!

I've always been the type of person to have really strong opinions for or against a topic/decision, and with that, I like to stick to whichever side of a given argument I've chosen. I feel disingenuous if I flip-flop on a choice I've so strongly and loudly supported (or opposed), so I try to never do that...but even the strongest opinions waver sometimes.

Since I've always been openly dissatisfied with the concept of reality TV, especially when it comes to dating competition shows, flipping to ABC to watch "The Bachelorette" this season was the shock of a lifetime for me, an unheard of occurrence. To that end, I have to backpedal on my war against all things that fall under the umbrella term of reality TV programming. This summer, I caved and became one of the many reality TV consumers I had so avidly spoken out against.

After having seen social media buzz about who was the favorite to win the 2016 season of "The Bachelorette," I was convinced I had to see the season finale. The last two men competing for season 12 Bachelorette JoJo's heart were Robby, a former competitive swimmer, and Jordan, a former pro-quarterback - and more famously, NFL Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers' brother. Though I didn't really have a preference between the two chisel-faced men, I had a slight lean toward Jordan because of his ties to Aaron.

Anyway, I tuned into the season finale of "The Bachelorette" on August 1st to see if Jordan would get the gal and snag his final rose. Spoiler alert - he did, and all was well in the world. This isn't really where my enlightening happened, however. My reality TV epiphany happened once the proposal was made and finished and another show came on immediately thereafter - "Bachelor in Paradise," also known as "BIP".

As I was about to flip the channel to something less mind-numbing, I was reeled in by the mesmerizing theme song, "Almost Paradise," which enticed me enough to keep watching the remainder of the episode (and clearly, the season). I was formally introduced to an array of colorful, lively contestants whose end goal, I would soon discover, was to find true love in paradise. What a dream.

Though my doubts were aplenty, the pace of the dialogue, the dramatic contestants, and the vivid imagery sealed the deal - I was going to watch this crazy reality show. So I did. Every week on Monday and Tuesday nights, I'd tune in to ABC and binge-watch hours of "BIP" each night. I grew attached to the relationships being built, hated the same people as everyone on the show did, and talked crap about the annoying guys and girls with my mom. I hadn't ever been this invested in a reality show that wasn't related to cooking somehow. (Shout out to Gordon Ramsay!)

Prior to my spontaneous infatuation with "BIP," I had harshly dissed the entire "Bachelor" franchise and its viewers for years. I always based my judgment on the assumption that anyone who watches (what I formerly called) trash TV couldn't be a very smart person. Well, to all of you die-hard "Bachelor/ette" fans, I wholeheartedly apologize. Since I took the time to actually see what all the buzz was about, I realized that liking and watching reality TV doesn't speak to any aspect of the viewer's personality - people literally just watch these shows for fun.

I watched "BIP" because of the dramatic elements that fueled the intense emotions surrounding the seemingly perfect utopia where these lucky few gathered to find love. I watched it because I grew attached to Evan and Carly, Grant and Lace, and even Amanda and Josh. I watched it because that damn theme song embedded itself in my head and brainwashed me into doing so.

OK, maybe that last part isn't true.

In all honesty, I watched "Bachelor in Paradise" this summer for one reason: I wanted to. I wanted to, and I don't care who knows it! I'm finally able to admit to the fact that reality TV in and of itself isn't so bad; it's a great way to veg out after a long day at work, and it's even better for getting that extra dose of drama you can watch from the sidelines and not be directly involved in.

Regardless, I know some people will still roll their eyes when they hear the words "reality TV," but now, I'll take half a step back and listen with open ears 'cause if the next reality show has as addictive of a theme song as "BIP" does, I know I'll be hooked once more.

Cover Image Credit: EOnline

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.


So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?



Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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After 'Extremely Wicked' And 'The Stranger Beside Me,' We Now Understand The Criminal Mind Of Ted Bundy

1 hour and 50 minutes, plus 550 pages later.


Netflix recently released a movie in May called "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile" (2019), based on the life of Ted Bundy from his girlfriend's viewpoint.

In 1980, an author and former Seattle police officer, Ann Rule, published a book about her experience and personal, close friendship with Ted Bundy, called "The Stranger Beside Me."

These two sources together create an explosion of important information we either skim over or ignore about Ted Bundy. Watching this movie and reading this book can really open your eyes to who Ted Bundy really was. Yeah, there are the confession tapes on Netflix, too, but these other things can really tie it all into one big masterpiece of destruction.

I swear, it will blow your mind in different ways you never thought possible.

In the movie, "Extremely Wicked", Zac Efron stars as the infamous Ted Bundy, America's most notorious serial killer. He portrayed the murderer who kidnapped, killed, and raped 30 women or more. Personally, he made a great Ted Bundy, mannerisms and all. Lily Collins stars as Ted's girlfriend who was easily manipulated by Ted and believed that he was innocent for years.

The movie is told in the order that Liz, Ted's girlfriend, remembers.

In the book, "The Stranger Beside Me", Ann Rule writes about Ted Bundy, who used to be her old friend. They met while working at a crisis center in the state of Washington and were close ever since. Like Liz, Ann believed he was innocent and that he was incapable of these horrific crimes.

Ted Bundy had made both Liz and Ann fools. He easily manipulated and lied to both women about many things for years, his murders being "one" of them.

Okay, so we all know that Ted Bundy was absolutely guilty as hell and totally murdered those women. 30 women or more. He literally confessed to that, but researchers and authorities believe that number to be way higher.

But... you must know that the movie and the book tell two different stories that lead to the same ending. That's why it's so intriguing.

At one point, I couldn't stop watching the movie. Then, I bought Ann Rule's book and was completely attached to it. I couldn't put it down.

For me, Ted Bundy is interesting to me. Unlike most young girls today, I don't have a thing for him nor do I think he's cute or hot. I know that he used his charm and looks to lure women into his murderous trap. That's why it's so hard to understand why this movie and book created a new generation of women "falling in love" with Ted Bundy.

GROSS: He sodomized women with objects. He bludgeoned women with objects or his own hands. He was a necrophile. Look those up if you have not a clue of what they mean. That could change your mind about your own feelings for Ted Bundy.

After "Extremely Wicked" and "The Stranger Beside Me", I now understand the criminal mind of Ted Bundy. He was insane, but he was also smart, put together, educated, charming, and lots more. That's why I'm so interested in why his brain was the way it was.

The criminal mind is an interesting topic for me anyway, but for Ted Bundy, it was amazing to learn about.

I highly recommend both the movie and the book I quickly read in two weeks! If you want answers, they are there.

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