What makes good Reality-TV 📺

And I've got some exciting personal news...

Hi All,

So last week I told you I had news… well on Monday I’m starting a new job at SickKids Hospital! SickKids has an amazing Child Life team that runs an internal TV station with programming specifically designed for the kids at the hospital and I’m joining the team that helps run that programming. They’ve just launched a new external YouTube channel called The SKOOP and helping run this channel will be one of my main responsibilities. I’m so excited to get started with the team and help bring my love of TV to the kids at the hospital. I think it’s going to be such a great opportunity and I’m already buzzing with ideas. It’s a part-time job so I can still pursue other projects (like running this newsletter) — but this will be my main project for the year.

This year has been a real challenge for me and so I’m really just excited to have some fun and do something that will make other people feel good. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I’m just really grateful for all the support and encouragement you’ve all given me throughout this year that has gotten me to this place.

Anyways, there are some fun things to check out this week so let’s get to it!

This week on the blog:

Last week, Leah sent me an email asking me about reality TV and if it is rigged. This is a great question and I’m getting into it. I’m going to use The Circle as my example and I’m going to talk about what makes a reality show good and how producers can make or break it. Read that here.

If you’re watching The Circle let me know. I have lots of thoughts and would love to get into it.

Things to watch this week:

I’ll be honest, there aren’t that many things this week that I’m looking forward to watching.

That being said — I’m pumped for tonight’s season finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race. If you’re watching this text me who you’re cheering for. I’m on #teamsymone but I will be perfectly fine if Gottmik wins too. 

On CBC Gem, more seasons of Call the Midwife have been released. Today the 5th season is now streaming. This is a GREAT show and I highly recommend checking it out if you haven’t yet. The 5th season gets into the thalidomide crisis and the introduction of contraceptive pills. It’s just so great. Go watch it.

I remember in university there was a massive Lost fan club. They’d all get together and watch it in the common room each week. It was a massively popular show and yet I’d never seen it. Lucky for me, it’s now on Disney+. Seasons 1-6 start streaming today.

If you want something *new*, Netflix is releasing the season of their new fantasy show Shadow and Bone. I don’t know if this for me — but if you like fantasy shows this looks like fun. Check out the trailer here. (p.s. see Editor Emma’s note below!)

This week’s must-watch is the Oscars. It airs on Sunday night on CTV here in Canada. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. ET with etalk’s special, then there is a program they’re calling Into the Spotlight starting at 6:30. The *actual* Oscars award show starts at 8 p.m. This year’s show has had a lot of buzz — mostly because no one really knows what’s going on. It’s being produced by Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins, and they keep talking about it being more like a “film.” I don’t know what that means but I’m curious. All I care about is that Emerald Fennell wins something. If you want help with your Oscars pool, check out this.

On Wednesday, the fourth season of The Handmaid’s Tale premiers on Crave. Lots of people in Toronto have worked on this show. I know a bunch of people involved with this project and they should be very proud. It’s an excellent show and this season should be just as good as past ones. Check out the trailer here.

Like I said — there aren’t that many things to watch that are new this week, but keep watching all your old favs. You can never stream The Office too many times :) 

Other things to check out:

There were a few interesting profiles this week. Off the top — Elizabeth Olsen has a great profile in Glamour. I really enjoyed reading about her. She is becoming more famous than her sisters and that’s a really interesting place to be. Then — Frankie Jonas aka The Bonus Jonas has a profile in Bustle that’s also really interesting for the same reason. Lastly, New York Times journalist Taylor Lorenz (who if you’re not following, do that immediately) wrote a really interesting article about “YouTube villain” Jake Paul. Jake is a terrible human, but he’s been in the news a lot recently because of his shift into fighting (ugh) and Taylor’s piece is very interesting.

Internet celebrities from Hype House (here’s a backgrounder) are apparently filming a reality show with Netflix. I’m fascinated. I equally hate this idea and understand why this might be big business for the streamer. This group of young people have blown up in the last two years and a lot of people are fascinated by them. If you have a teenager in your life — I guarantee that they will either love this crew or hate them. They are quite polarizing but collectively they are some of the most powerful people on TikTok and thus the hottest celebrities right now. One Hype House member, LilHuddy, is now making music. I can’t help but roll my eyes at this kid but he’s got his ex-girlfriend and TikTok mega star Charli D'Amelio dancing in his music video — which is going to spark a lot of internet conversations. Basically, these kids are fighting for legitimacy and are trying to break into the traditional mainstream (TV, music, etc). As I said… I’m fascinated.

For Marvel fans — we’ve got the first trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Staring Canadian Simu Liu — this looks great. As established, I’m not in the Marvel universe but I would watch this. Highly recommend checking it out.

Simu’s other project, Kim’s Convenience, has also been in the news a lot lately because it was unexpectedly cancelled by the CBC. A lot of the actors in the project were stunned by the announcement and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee had a great interview on CBC’s The National last week. Check that out here and join the fight to #savekimsconvenience.

If you need a little joy, check out this oldie but a goodie video from Michigan University’s Musical Theatre department. Just go through the whole channel and watch all the videos. It’s niche but I’m into it.

In Sports — there was a lot of drama this week around the proposed European Super League. James Cordon’s rant about it is a great explainer about why this is problematic. A lot of the owners have backed off since the drama started — but it’s still very interesting and worth keeping your eye on this story.

On a final personal note — the local Brownies are having a really hard time selling cookies this year. If you are looking for some mint cookies please consider supporting the 47th Brownies here

And to end this, a PSA: 

Have a great weekend,


📝📝📝 This newsletter was graciously edited by Emma Sakamoto 📝📝📝

Editor’s Pick: 

Shadow and Bone is my must-watch of the week because I’m a big fan of the books they’re based on. Leigh Bardugo’s trilogy and two duologies are huge bestsellers, so you’ve probably already seen them on bookstore shelves… but if you like YA fantasy and haven’t dipped into her books yet, I really recommend them. Start with the very first book, Shadow and Bone, for an exciting, empowering story of one girl rising above her circumstances in a magic-filled world inspired by Russian mythology and history. Or, if you’re more in the mood for an ensemble-cast heist story, go straight to Six of Crows. These books are fast-paced, well written and fun.