Entertainment

Here are 22 Reality TV Shows to Enhance Your Drama-Free Life

Reality TV is seriously our generation’s version of la telenovela, but it’s so much juicer because its “real life.” These shows will get you through the end of Mercury in retrograde (April 15), so hole up this weekend, and be grateful to not be involved in this drama.

Best dance shows, reality shows and cannabis cooking shows, nos vamos!

1. VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop: Miami”

CREDIT: @thecelebdiary2 / Twitter

“Love & Hip Hop” has a special place in my heart for bringing us stars like Amara La Negra, Cardi B. and all the spin-off shows in between. Pick a “Love & Hip Hop,” any “Love & Hip Hop” and let the drama become one with you.

2. FOX’s “So You Think You Can Dance”

CREDIT: @DanceonFox / Twitter

If you and your tias aren’t already betting on whose going to win and swearing to boycott the show almost every week they send someone home, then please introduce this show to your family traditions. It’s got all of America’s favorites: inspiring stories, moves like JLo, and even lyrical dancing to Maya Angelou.

3. Netflix’s “Girls Incarcerated”

CREDIT: @whatcandicesays / Twitter

Netflix killed it with this one. It’s the kind of reality TV that will break your heart and mend it all over again. This docu-type series peers into the lives of the young women, almost exclusively POC, at the best girls’ detention facility in the country.

4. NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice”

CREDIT: @MWBRI / Twitter

LMFAO, JK. Would you have ever guessed America would vote for this host to be president? Well, we didn’t because he lost the popular vote, but the world is in flames, so who’s counting.

5. The Food Networks’ “Worst Celebrity Cooks”

CREDIT: @latoyajackson / Twitter

This one is premiering this weekend with Latoya Jackson and you know I’ll be eating my perfectly simmered rice & beans with evenly fried plantains.

6. National Geographic’s “Dog Whisperer with Cesar Milan”

CREDIT: @uturnhandles / Twitter

While this show ended back in 2012, it’s still streaming on Hulu and still not helping me train my yappy dogs. This show just confirms my abuela’s suspicions that Cesar Milan is St. Francis reincarnate performing milagros on reality TV. De acuerdo, Nana.

7. ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”

CREDIT: @dancingabc / Instagram

Every time a Latino celebrity makes the show, I start doing my TD dance, because you already know whose going to slay this season. #TheseHipsDontLie

8. E!’s “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”

CREDIT: @digitalspy / Twitter

They are America’s new Kennedy fam, and tbh I’m here for a family of color full of female entrepreneurs living their best lives. Watch KIUTK to stay in the innerworkings of someone else’s family drama or be like me and just get your news from the inevitable memes.

9. The Discovery Channel’s “The Last Alaskans”

CREDIT: @dmaxitalia / Twitter

Guys, this show is ~bananas~ for real, and these two are my couple dynamic goals. Just fast forward through the hunting scenes and watch these families survive in the remote tundra of Alaska.

10. mitú and go90’s “High Cuisine”

CREDIT: @highcuisineshow / Instagram

Shameless self-promotion, but really this show is for you, our high supporters of vegan cuisine. Two chefs will battle head-to-head in a “high” stakes cooking challenge, where they must create vegan dishes for celebrity judges while high out of their minds. For real.

11. VH1’s “Love and Hip Hop: New York”

CREDIT: @Jonez_e / Twitter

It’s the show that brought Cardi B. to our living rooms for the first time, and we’re not letting it out of our sight. God bless #LHHNY forever and ever, ámen.

12. FOX’s “Master Chef Junior”

CREDIT: @MasterChefJrFOX / Twitter

Nobody’s got time for all these British white dudes with superiority complexes, BUT, throw in some adorable masterful kiddos and bro is cool as a cucumber. Let the memes flourish from this one.

13. E!’s “Christina Milian Turned Up”

CREDIT: @milianturnedup / Twitter

Ever wondered what happened to Christina Milan? Now you don’t have to! She’s letting us in on her whoooole life on “Christina Milan Turned Up.” But first, watch Be Cool to see her perform with Steven Tyler.

14. VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta”

CREDIT: @MurrelKaykay / Twitter

The  women in this show are ? e v e r y t h i n g ?. Look out for Joseline Hernandez reppin’ all the bisexual boricuas out there and looking bae af.

15. VH1’s “Teyana & Iman”

CREDIT: @birdsbeesandbs / Twitter

This is a brand new reality show that is #relationshipgoals af. Afro-Trinidadian Teyana Taylor is a famous choreographer (think Beyonce and Chris Brown famous) and her hubbie, Iman is a baller. Watch them sass each other, love each other, and nurture their baby girl, Junie, and try to hold it together for the week between each episode.

16. Discovery Channel’s “Naked and Afraid”

CREDIT: @NakedandAfraid / Twitter

AHHH, this show is freakin’ savage. Premise: release one man & one woman, both strangers to each other, butt-ass naked in a random remote wilderness and see if they can survive three weeks out there. But watch from the comfort of your own home. #key 😉

17. Netflix’s “Queer Eye”

CREDIT: @queereye / Instagram

To recover from “Naked and Afraid,” this Netflix reboot of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” will make you feel sparkly and new. Set aside time for the inevitable hours you’ll want to spend organizing your house, journalling, and food prepping. This show seriously had me crying and laughing, sometimes at the same time.

18. NBC’s “The Voice”

CREDIT: @nbcthevoice / Instagram

Because talent competition shows are truly life. The drama is usually something inspiring, and so are their voices. Oh, and this is a show where the popular vote actually counts. 🙂 #VoteLatino

19. VH1’s “America’s Next Top Model”

CREDIT: @oqueacheidisso / Twitter

A show that needs no description. You can binge watch a decade and half of this show, still airing, on Hulu. Beware of disordered eating, however, and have “Real Women Have Curves” at the ready if you start comparing your sexy Latina body to anyone else’s. You beautiful, boo.

20. VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race”

CREDIT: @raphasilva30 / Twitter

Seriously, no description needed here. You’ve essentially already seen this show parceled into memes, but watching it in one fell stream is life-giving and empowering. Latinas like Carmen Carrera have competed on this show to go on to model for major brands and give trans people more visibility.

21. Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Miami”

CREDIT: @realadrianademoura / Instagram

Escape to a tropical, fiery place with (I can’t censor the feminist in me) problematic stereotypes of “Spicy Latinas,” and then watch “Jane the Virgin” to balance your internal scales. TBH, we need both to stay balanced.

22. VH1’s “Lala’s Full Court Life”

CREDIT: Da Baddest Bitch / Vimeo

I seriously browsed past this show so many times because I thought it was a reality show in courtrooms. Nope, follow Latina Lala Anthony’s life as a mother, wife of a basketball star, and reality TV star in her own right.

Let’s take a moment to be grateful you can go to the grocery store in your pajamas because that’s the only way we want to participate in reality TV.

Netflix’s ‘Gentefied’ Renewed For Season 2, Fans Overjoyed

Entertainment

Netflix’s ‘Gentefied’ Renewed For Season 2, Fans Overjoyed

gentefied / Instagram

Any and all news is welcomed right now and Netflix came through this week. “Gentefied” is coming back for a second season and this is absolutely not a drill. Soon we will be back in Boyle Heights with Ana, Chris, Erik, and the rest of the cast we have come to love so much.

Netflix has confirmed “Gentefied” for a second season.

The show is a fan favorite for Netflix with praise and love pouring in for the groundbreaking show. “Gentefied” is set in Boyle Heights and it is all about the fight against gentrification. The show premiered this year to big fanfare and excitement from Latino Netflix users. The show, created by Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez, was picked up for an eight-episode run of the 30-minute show.

The show is one of the most relevant portrayals of the Latino experience in the 21st century.

The show highlights the plight of gentrification on communities across the U.S. Boyle Heights in Los Angeles has been the center of growing tension as the neighborhood slowly gentrifies. Rising rents have forced some residents and businesses to close and leave because of the changing demographic in the neighborhood.

Hearts are full as everyone celebrates the news of a whole new season.

The show originally premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival as a digital series. Lemus and Chávez debuted the show and it was an instant hit with festival-goers. After three years of waiting, the show was released by Netflix and became a national hit. The show has shone a light on the cost of gentrification for more Americans than knew about it before the show aired.

Low key, it has made for perfect binge-watching during this quarantine.

There isn’t a whole lot any of us can do at the moment. Most of us are at home because of self-isolation and social distancing guidelines designed to save lives during the pandemic. Might as well us some of your time to watch and support and very important moment in our community. This kind of representation is something that Latinos have been asking for.

While excited, some fans want more, like a cross-over with Starz’s “Vida.”

Now, just to be clear, we are not concerned with what it takes to make this happen. Netflix and Starz can come up with the actual plan. We are just going to be here waiting to be heard so we can all have the kind of cross-over the world deserves. Just imagine a chance for those two shows to collide in Latino excellence.

Now we wait for an air date.

We are patient. We will be here when you are ready. All you have to do is let us know when to tune in and you know we are coming through.

READ: I Watched ‘Gentefied’ On Netflix And These Are My Brutally Honest Thoughts

Critter’s Brutally Honest Review Of ‘Insecure’ And If It Deserves The Hype

Entertainment

Critter’s Brutally Honest Review Of ‘Insecure’ And If It Deserves The Hype

Insecure / HBO

Welcome to my review of the HBO series, “Insecure,” the show that has given the Black community visibility, and accurate lighting, for seasons and I recently came across it and I cannot get enough. Why did I wait so long to watch this highly-praised series? This series centers around Issa, a young modern-day Black woman living in Inglewood, Calif., just trying to get her sh*t together. She’s a little weird, but good-for-TV kind of weird.

Honestly, this is Issa Rae’s world and we’re all #blessed to be living in it, mis bebés.

Here’s a photo you can print at home to build your very own Issa shrine.

Credit: Insecure / HBO

La mía tiene those little succulents in a salsa “El Pato” can, but feel free to do you. 

So, let me lay down some Queen Issa backstory. Before she exploded with her hit series “Insecure,” she wrote and starred in her own web series called: “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.”

Credit: Issa Rae Presents / YouTube

I checked it out. It’s basically “Insecure,” pero sin HBO production dollars (click here for a link to the first episode). Despite being low budget, the web series caught the attention of Pharrell Williams, el hombre ese who looks like a 20-year-old muchacho que canta “Happy.” You know the song. They play it at every wedding and all your pinche tías se alocan and awkwardly try to reformat their salsa pasos to it.

“Because I’m happy… Clap along if you feel like…” Dale tía! Your dance moves no calan, pero no le hace!

Credit: Happy / Columbia Music

After Pharrell posted the second season of her series on his YouTube channel, the show took off, eventually getting the attention of HBO. That’s when “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” took on its final evolutionary form.

It morphed into “Insecure,” cabrones.

Creit: Pokémon

Now, let’s jump into the series. So I don’t spoil the show and dissect every single season (because y’all got tarantulas to trade on Animal Crossing), I’ll just speak to the main characters of the show. Y si los personajes les parecen “pipiris nice,” pues a huevo.  

Meet Issa: she likes to talk to mirrors and get freaky deaky.

Insecure / HBO

Earlier when I asked if y’all ever bought chones at Rite Aid, I wasn’t trying to be a cochino. I know you thought I was. But I wasn’t. In season one, Issa gets caught underwear shopping at Rite Aid. That’s a beautiful intro to Issa. The girl is struggling and she obviously isn’t trying to earn seduction points con sus chones baratos. 

She’s been in a five-year relationship with her unmotivated man. She works for a non-profit after-school program in Inglewood and she’s insecure af. The insecurity comes mostly from frustration out of not living the life she wants to live. She’s constantly talking with a different version of herself she sees in the mirror. Mirror Issa es una chingona. She raps. She doesn’t even care about anything and she’s ready to get it. 

Mirror Issa is all the things current Issa is not. But damn, the show gets so real. Issa (the real Issa) is not afraid to show how human flaws can bring out the cringe in people. In the show, you’ll see her character do questionable things, but the truth is we have all been there, fam. Issa’s vulnerability is what makes the show incredible. It’s a very true reflection of how we are.   

Meet Lawrence: Issa’s boo who is always a step behind.

Credit: Insecure / HBO

Lawrence (played by Jay Ellis), is Issa’s long-term love interest. Lawrence’s thing is, the dude is always a step behind. Your amá would refer to him as someone “que no se pone las pilas.” When his relationship is in trouble, Lawrence doesn’t act on it. When he gets a dope app-development job, he pitches an out-dated app idea called “Woot-Woot.” I don’t wanna spoil anything, so I’ll just say the dude siempre espera que las cosas le caigan en su mano. For the record, Lawrence isn’t necessarily a bad guy, but since he’s slow to realize things he ends up having to clean up a lot of messes he could’ve avoided if the menso had just acted a little sooner. As you continue to see more of his character, you’ll realize you can’t judge Lawrence too harshly because we’ve all been a little bit of a Lawrence at one time or another.

Meet Molly: Issa’s BFF who is bothered by everything.

Credit: Insecure / HBO

Molly is a mess. Guuurrll, let me tell you. On the outside, this comadre is hella-put-together: she’s a lawyer, has a fancy apartment, she’s got a super precioso French Bulldog, you guys, no mames, es un pinche tamalito de cuteness.

Pero por dentro la doña Molly se está pudriéndo, guey. Molly’s biggest issue throughout the series is her tendency to sabotage all her relationships. Why? Because everything bothers her. 

This is my theory on Molly: she’s got a perfect set up. You can tell she put up a vision board of her dream life as a kid and she made it all happen. She probably got good grades, worked hard, y a huevo todo le salió bien. Osea, she’s kind of a chingona. BUT, I think Molly assumes acquiring the perfect man works the same way. But no. It 👏 does 👏 not 👏 work 👏 that 👏 way 👏. Although you can work your butt off and one day buy your dream car, you can’t just work your butt off and buy yourself the perfect man. Imagine walking into the tianguis and perfect men are being sold a tres por 10.” My wife would be there now making it rain $10 bills and asking if they come in extra tall and handsome. 

If you want a perfect relationship, you need to find that person willing to work to build a perfect relationship with yourself. Molly dismisses guy after guy because none of them come standard with all her preferences and ideals of a perfect man. Sorry, Molly. If you want perfection, go get you some Gucci, but don’t count on no man being everything you ever wanted right out of the box.  

Meet Kelli: my personal favorite character.

Insecure / HBO

I’ve put y’all through enough reading today, but just know that if you watch the show, Kelli is a cochina y una loca and she’s gonna make you pee yourself. She has some of the funniest moments in the show — especially the Coachella episode in season 3. Kelli is also a ride or die friend and every group of friends has a Kelli. If you don’t got a Kelli, go get yourself a Kelli.

Speaking of friendship, friendship is one of the strongest themes of the show. Besides all the pedos and drama Issa faces in the series, her girl squad is the only thing that is a constant in her life. And this is refreshing to see because we need more stories with people of color sticking together. Even though Molly goes through men as fast as I go through Flaming Hot Cheetos, and Issa has drama with her own man and work, and Kelli and Tiffany (who I did not mention in this review…but, you’ll totally understand why when you watch the series and meet Tiffany) have their own thing going, the girls always come together. The episodes where they have girls-only getaways are the realest. They unpack all their issues, and they call each other out on their issues, sin tantita pena. This show will definitely make you call up your girls to thank them…and then ask them if they’re still going out con ese sin vergüenza. 

To sum everything up nicely, should you watch “Insecure”?

Mmm-hmm. The show speaks to a generation of young people trying to grow past their own flaws and insecurities, and very few shows do this in a relatable way let alone featuring stories of people of color. Even though you’ll feel seen from the most embarrassing aspects, “Insecure” te va ser cagar de la riza. 

Oh and I almost forgot to mention the music on the show is 🔥! Click this link for the Spotify playlist. Tus nalgas me lo van a agradecer.

Enjoy the show and keep it spicy, fam. And binge it on HBO NOW while you can get a 7-day free trial.