As college semesters are winding down and the stress from the semester starts to melt away, you may be wondering what to do with your newfound free time. One popular option is to binge-watch television series, and with the abundance of streaming services now at your disposal, binge-watching TV shows is easier than ever. Here are some lighthearted, low-stress reality shows to binge watch this summer.
1. The Masked Singer
Since its debut in the beginning of 2019, The Masked Singer has taken social media by storm. Every season of The Masked Singer has a group of celebrities disguised in full costumes and, you guessed it, masks. Every week, these celebrities perform songs and give clues about their identities, and one celebrity is eliminated and unmasked at the end of every episode until one celebrity remains.
The “guess that celebrity” aspect of this show is what makes it so engaging. Every week, I find myself trying to piece together the clues and rack my brain to figure out where I’ve heard that voice. The celebrities that appear on the show are also another source of entertainment. You wouldn’t expect former governor of Alaska Sarah Palin to be on any reality shows, but she was one of the celebrity’s featured in the current season of The Masked Singer.
It’s easy to watch a ton of episodes in one sitting because you’ll be eager to find out who’s behind the mask. All episodes can be watched on Hulu, including the weekly new episodes.
Survivor has been on for 20 years and 40 seasons, and there’s a reason for that! The premise of the show is pretty simple: a group of strangers are marooned in the wild where they’re left to fend for themselves, including building shelter and finding food and water. Every few days, one member of the tribe is voted out and at the end of the game, one player is crowned Sole Survivor. The catch is the title of Sole Survivor is awarded based on votes from previously eliminated contestants. There’s nothing quite like it on TV.
Over the years, Survivor has evolved and become heavily based on strategy and full of new twists every season to keep the game fresh and exciting. It’s an easy-to-binge show because of how fast-paced the game is, especially in later seasons. Plus, Survivor does a great job casting engaging and entertaining people, so it’s easy to find someone to root for.
Because the show’s been on for 40 seasons, there’s an abundance of content to fuel your summer binge watches. Select seasons are available on Hulu and all of the seasons are available on CBS All Access.
3. The Amazing Race
This is the perfect binge-watch if you’re eager to travel. To put it simply, The Amazing Race is a race around the world. Teams of two travel around the world, with the last team to arrive at each leg of the race being eliminated.
The legs on The Amazing Race take contestants to a ton of different countries around the world. It’s a great way to see and learn about different places and cultures without having to get up off your couch. Personally, watching the show has piqued my own interest in traveling and it’s especially fun to watch right now when I’m cooped up inside the house during quarantine. It’s sort of like you’re living vicariously through the contestants.
29 of The Amazing Race‘s 31 seasons are available to watch on Hulu.
4. Dance Moms
If you’re a frequent TikTok user, you might have noticed there’s quite a bit of content based on the Lifetime series Dance Moms, which focuses on a competition dance team, the dancers’ mothers, and their infamous coach, Abby Lee Miller.
I’ll admit it: I started watching Dance Moms a few years ago as a joke, but it quickly sucked me in and now I can’t get enough of it. It’s an excellent choice to binge watch just because of the sheer amount of drama involved. Once you start watching it, it’s really difficult to stop.
You get invested in the people you’re watching and just want to continue following their stories: Will the Abby Lee Dance Company beat their rivals, the Candy Apples? Will Chloe get a solo at nationals? You love Dance Moms in the same way that you can’t resist getting involved in high school drama.
Select seasons are available on Hulu, but you can watch the entire series on Lifetime’s website by making a free account.
5. Worst Cooks in America
This is the perfect show if you need a good laugh or just need an ego boost about your cooking abilities. Worst Cooks in America is a Food Network series where adults who are awful in the kitchen go into “culinary boot camp” with two Food Network celebrity chefs. At the end of each season, the two best contestants go head-to-head and cook a restaurant-quality meal for a panel of food experts to compete to win the competition.
Part of what makes this reality show in particular so bingeable is the season length, with most seasons ranging from six to ten episodes. You could realistically get through an entire season in a day. It’s also nice to see how the contestants improve over the course over the season.
Seasons four through 13 of Worst Cooks in America are available on Hulu.
6. Nailed It!
In a similar vein to Worst Cooks in America, Nailed It! is a Netflix original competition series where amateur bakers try to recreate expert-made baked goods. It’s a light-hearted reality show that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Watching these people try to recreate professionally made projects, like those extravagant cakes you would see on a show like Cake Boss, is sure to give you a laugh. It might even inspire you to try your hand at baking this summer.
Nailed It! can be watched on Netflix.
Lots of people have had experiences with MythBusters in the past, whether it was in an elementary school science class or a childhood do-nothing Saturday morning. This summer, why not revisit some of that nostalgia by watching the MythBusters bust some myths?
MythBusters is a good choice to bingewatch this summer if you’re looking for something to remind you of your adolescence, or you’re just in the mood to watch Adam and Jamie blow some stuff up in the name of science.
Seasons 11 through 20 of MythBusters are available on Hulu.
8. Queer Eye
The Queer Eye reboot, staring a new Fab Five of Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, and Jonathan Van Ness, is a perfect feel-good pick for a reality show to binge watch this summer. The Fab Five help improve the lives of everyday people by giving them makeovers and tips for how to live their lives. It’s emotional in all the right ways.
It’s touching to see people open up and see how their lives are improved by the Fab Five over the course of each episode. Watching the members of the Fab Five interact with each other is also entertaining in its own right.
The Queer Eye reboot is available to watch on Netflix.
9. RuPaul’s Drag Race
A good binge watch of RuPaul’s Drag Race is one way to help make your summer fabulous. RuPaul’s Drag Race is a competition series where host RuPaul searches for the next drag queen super star.
The amount of talent that contestants bring to the table is unmatched and absolutely incredible. The various challenges that the contestants participate in throughout the competition will never fail to leave you impressed and entertained. And if that’s not enough to get you hooked, maybe the backstage drama will be what gets you invested.
Seasons one through six of RuPaul’s Drag Race are available to watch on Hulu.
Here’s a good pick if you’re looking for reality shows to help get your theatre fix. Encore!, a Disney+ original series presented by Kristen Bell, reunites casts from high school theatre productions years later to put on another performance while being coached by professional voice coaches, choreographers, and directors.
Watching the interactions between old high school friends who, in some cases, haven’t seen each other in years is interesting to watch. These people are happy to relive their fond high school memories with their old friends and it’s obvious, which makes it another feel-good watch for this summer.
Plus, it’s incredible to see how these people are able to put together a high-quality production of a show in a week, especially when some of them haven’t performed on stage since high school. Encore! is a good pick for you and your whole family to enjoy.
Encore! is available to watch on Disney+.