In this edition of Ask Andy, I reach far back into the inbox for a couple of questions from years ago, which focus on how I decide what shows to recap, and about how to watch The Real Housewives of Melbourne.
I also help a reader who wants to apply for a Discovery Channel show that is now casting.
If you have a reality TV-related question, please send it to me. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll do my best to find one, even if takes years!
How do I apply for Naked and Afraid?
I just want to know how to apply to be on Naked and Afraid. —Colleen
It’s simple: go to nakedandafraidcasting.com and fill out the application.
Well, that part of the answer is simple. The application itself will take some time.
It has almost 90 questions, including “What’s the longest you’ve survived primitively outdoors? Where and when?” and “Do you have any past issues that would cause you mental anguish about being partnered with a naked stranger?”
The casting application says the show is currently casting for filming that will take place later this year, tentatively scheduled for between April and September 2022.
People who apply have to be available for one month in that window.
Will Bravo air Real Housewives of Melbourne and/or Sydney?
Love the website, one of the best and most thoughtful sites on the genre. Question …do you know when Bravo may air Real Housewives of Melbourne or Sydney? Keep up the great work. —Keith
Thanks for the incredibly kind words, Keith, and sorry for my failure to answer your question with any sort of timeliness. You wrote this in 2018, and I’m embarrassed it took me four years to answer.
But, now’s a good time as any to answer because the first four seasons of The Real Housewives of Melbourne are now on Discovery+, as part of a recent deal between NBCUniversal and the streaming platform. Discovery’s streaming service also added The Real Housewives of Johannesburg and The Real Housewives of Cheshire.
Curiously, Discovery+’s announcement only said that the first two seasons would be available as of January 19, but it actually has seasons one, two, three, and four right now.
Bravo aired the first three seasons of Melbourne back in 2014, 2015, and 2016, but stopped broadcasting it after that.
There are a total of six RHOM seasons, and no word about when or if those other two will come to the United States. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the other seasons follow if the first four do well enough for Discovery+.
The Real Housewives of Sydney, alas, has not and is not available anywhere in the U.S., and I don’t expect Bravo to ever air it. (It is available to stream or buy, but only if you’re in Australia.) I say that because it was a one-season show, and getting viewers invested characters only to have them go away after a single season would make less financial sense than investing in shows with multiple seasons.
Would you ever recap x show?
I always wonder if you would ever recap shows from the UK, like Big Brother UK, for example. If you had the time would you do a recap on that series? —Keith D.
I have a longer answer, too, but I’ll start with the simple answer: probably not. I never want to say never! But there are a few reasons why that’s unlikely—and I don’t mean because Big Brother UK itself was cancelled, though it was still on a few years ago when you wrote this question.
Even though I don’t do it all that frequently, I do love recapping, perhaps because I got my start in writing about reality TV by recapping The Real World Hawaii—you can still read those recaps, if you’d like.
Recapping is surprisingly challenging, especially for the kind of recaps I prefer, which are not just plot summary, but a combination of analysis, (attempted) humor, observation, and argument. Since there are so many recaps in the world now, in writing and now in audio and video form, too, I don’t want to contribute to the glut of content if I have nothing meaningful to add.
Ultimately, when I choose something to recap, it’s simply because that show has interested me enough to merit an entire piece on an episode, or sustain multiple pieces on the same show.
Recaps are the most fun for me when my recap is a contribution to a conversation, or the start of a discussion. And that means recaps work best for shows that people have access to, so we can all watch together. That’s why it’d have been unlikely I’d have recapped Big Brother UK, or recap UK shows now—unless they are streaming and available in the U.S.
The availability of a show also explains why I tend to not recap streaming shows that just dump a pile of episodes on us. That distribution method leads to everyone watching at a different time, and means recaps get lost. Even Netflix’s The Circle, which released its episodes in batches, creates a situation where some people watched all the episodes hours after it was released, and some people didn’t see those episodes for weeks.
For me, it’s the most fun to talk about what we all just watched together.
Thankfully, that’s been happening this year. I haven’t recapped The Amazing Race weekly in years, maybe 10 or more, but this season—both because of the cast and the pandemic challenges—has inspired me to recap every episode so far, and I plan to keep doing that!
The most-regular recapping I do is Survivor, which always delivers a lot to talk about, whether that’s character and strategy, or the episode’s craft and producing.
With other shows, I sometimes recap a newsworthy or noteworthy episode or three.
Lately, though, considering the vast quantity of reality TV shows that are premiering, I tend to focus more on reviewing new shows, in an attempt to help people find great new reality TV shows in that flood of content.
So, there’s the long answer. Thanks for asking the question, and keep your questions coming, even if it takes me a while to answer!