Flashy Netflix show ‘Selling Sunset’: Tone-deaf for our post COVID times?
Selling Sunset, if you haven’t heard of it, is a Netflix “reality” show about the elite members of Los Angeles who work in real estate. The show is essentially what you would get if you threw Real Housewives, MTV, and a dash of HGTV into a blender.
The show specifically focuses on The Oppenheim Group, a residential real estate company which sells luxury houses in and around Los Angeles. The company is headed by twin brothers – you guessed it, the Oppenheim’s. Their agents are all women.
Of course, you can’t have reality television without drama, so whether scripted or not (we’ll let you decide for yourself), tensions get crazy when a new employee comes to work at the exclusive real estate company.
These continuously glamorous women, who wear clothes more expensive than most people make in a month – bicker, compete, and for some reason attend social gatherings together despite seemingly hating each other’s guts. How work gets done in that office is anyone’s guess.
The first season of Selling Sunset premiered last year, and those who enjoy this type of reality television enjoyed it. However, a new question has popped up with the second season of Selling Sunset being ready for release later this month. Is the show tone-deaf for our current world?
In short, we’d say no. The show appears to have been filmed before the pandemic, so it isn’t as if anyone was put into harm’s way while the show was being made.
Television is meant to be entertainment and an escape. Unless, it’s a news segment, but really, for better or worse, everyone gets their news from Twitter these days, don’t they? So, if TV is for fun, then why in the world should this show be considered tone-deaf?
Is it already a product of an era in the past? Sure, it is. It’s a terrifying admission, but it’s true. However, that doesn’t mean the show doesn’t deserve to see the light of day. A lot of people right now probably want and need a chance to pretend they’re in the pre-coronavirus world right now.
Selling Sunset is a great way to escape into the past – even if the past was only six months ago. For the people who enjoy shows such as this one, Selling Sunset is a fun time.
Selling the lifestyle
It’s also pretty fair to wager almost nobody who watches Selling Sunset is or was a rich Los Angeles real estate agent. So it isn’t as if this show is somehow pouring salt in the wound of people who have lost their livelihoods.
Yes, an astounding number of people are currently out of work, but this show is so far from actually feeling real, it seems unlikely watching these women bicker in an office would be an issue for anyone. (Office is a word used loosely, the place looks more like a living room with desks.)
The whole point of this show, deep beneath the petty insults and dirty looks, is about selling a lifestyle. The people watching this show aren’t the rich or famous. They’re the people who dream of being the women on their screen.
The people who watch Selling Sunset and other shows are people living vicariously through the shows on their screen. The audience this show is intended for are not watching something they’ve recently lost in vivid HD – they’re watching something they’ve never had, but hope and dream for one day.
So, in our opinion Selling Sunset isn’t tone-deaf for our pandemic ridden world. It’s a welcome escape for many, and nobody should feel guilty for watching or being excited for the second season. And most of all, Netflix should not hesitate to release it.