I spent Saturday evening until 3 a.m Sunday watching Netflix's The Ultimatum. If you haven't watched the show, here's a quick summary:
The show follows six couples at a turning point in their relationship. One person is ready for marriage and the next step, and the other in the pair is not. The couples have three weeks with a new partner they selected from the couples on the show, and then they have three weeks back with their original partner. During this time, they are supposed to know whether or not they are meant to be together and move to the next stage in their relationship which is marriage. I didn't want to watch this show, and I saw many people on my social media feeds apprehensively watching with me, which made me wonder: Why do we keep watching all these shows about love?
None of these shows are original and follow a very common formula - putting love on the screen and bringing in tons of drama. For example, whether it's Love is Blind which forces contestants to be put in pods to fall in love with a perfect stranger they marry at the end of the experiment. Or if it's Married at First Sight, where five couples get married sight unseen after going through an extensive interview. Then, after their wedding, they go on a honeymoon and are forced to live together to see if they have the keys to a lasting marriage. I could go through countless shows that follow the same formula, BUT I came up with a few reasons why I think these shows are so popular.
First, I think it's because people love, love and companionship. We are all looking for some variation so seeing these love stories play out on television resonates with some of our desires. Secondly, people love drama. If there was no drama in these shows, I doubt they would be as popular as they are. Third, and my final thought, I think watching these shows feels similar to why I follow scams and scammers, and that is because it often feels like WTF? Watching some of these shows is like watching a trainwreck that you can't stop watching - very, very entertaining.
That's just my three cents on it. Let me know your thoughts in the comments, and if you happened to watch the reunion of The Ultimatum already, please let me know your thoughts.
Things worth reading this week:
Last week I talked about seriously slipping on my reading. I did, however, manage to read Easy Beauty by Chloé Cooper Jones in about two days. This is a book that I had been waiting for since seeing some of my favorite book influencers reading it, and it lived up to the hype. I found the book to be a beautiful read about navigating the world with a disability and the beauty that can come from it. I enjoyed it and highly suggested it.
“The Longest Thirty Seconds of My Absolute Life”: A Survivor’s Account of the Brooklyn Subway Shooting
It breaks my heart that such hateful things keep happening and I pray for everyone who was impacted by this act of hate. I am thankful that the suspect was taken into custody, but this was a horrific account.
Celebs Are Fleeing Social Media in Droves, and Honestly, Good for Them
I always wonder if this will ever happen to me. I love social media and love working in it. On a personal level, though, pandemic social has been too much for me. This article speaks about some female celebrities who have recently left social media and their reasoning behind doing so. I will admit, I am always very impressed with Selena Gomez and how she is always offline. Also, in the same vein, I thought this was a pretty good read about how not necessarily to limit your social media but how you can sometimes change your relationship with it for the better.
What does success look like?
I loved this newsletter so much and how success looks different for everyone.
Things worth listening to or watching this week:
Sounds Like a Cult Podcast
I spent the end of last year reading Amanda Montell’s book Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism which I highly suggest. Based on that book somewhat, Amanda has a podcast with comedian Isa Medina and I am hooked. I listened to six episodes back to back, and my favorite so far were about the Instagram Therapists and Elizabeth Holmes (duh, you know your girl). I also said duh in my head like this Keke Palmer moment.
I have really been into Pusha T’s latest press run to promote his forthcoming album, It’s Almost Dry which will be released on May 13th. Pusha T was interviewed by Charlamagne Tha God and the interview was pretty great and in-depth. They discussed fatherhood, the passing of both of his family, marriage, his upcoming album, and more (read some of the takeaways here). Pusha T was also interviewed on one of my favorite shows, Desus and Mero and I loved how chill and entertaining the interview was.
Have you watched Jerrod Carmichael’s Rothaniel? It was great and here’s a pretty good review of the special here - but make sure you watch it on HBO Max.
As always, I’m still adding to my cozy playlist.
As noted last week, I launched paid subscriptions for subscribers to join. So if you feel moved and would like to contribute as a sign of support and appreciation for this newsletter, I would appreciate it. Paid subscribers will have access to more content like reading digests, weekly playlists, and gifs - hella gifs.
That’s it for this week.