The Real World-esque reality show is the latest in a string of shows about young people living together, but it "isn’t interested in adding a unique layer to this format," says Kyndall Cunningham. "From its bland depiction of Austin as a purportedly vibrant cultural center to the mostly drama-free personalities they recruit, the show’s sanitized, aspirational quality doesn’t necessarily work for a series slated with capturing the difficulty of an inherently messy, mistake-ridden period in a person’s life. Instead, we get the usual 'mindless viewing' Netflix fare that’s sure to help you through a sick day but won’t leave much of an impression afterwards." Cunningham adds: "The traits and life experiences that differentiate them from each other feel flattened throughout the show. It’s not impossible for a random assortment of young adults to find common ground and build friendships. In this scenario, they’re all united by feelings of boredom and dissatisfaction with their current lives amidst the pandemic. But the level of cohesiveness within this hodgepodge of varying personalities, cultures and life experiences comes a little too easy and only magnifies as the show goes on. It’s not that altercations or disagreements need to be extreme or grounded in hate to compel today’s reality-viewing audience. Fights over cleaning and paying for drinks have made for more iconic, memorable moments in television history. However, the utopian world of Friends somehow portrays cohabiting with your buddies as a more complicated experience than this 'reality' program."
TOPICS: Twentysomethings: Austin, Netflix, Reality TV