Pop quiz: what’s the winning formula to a fantastic reality show?
a. Premium drama
c. Eye candy (people, style, locations)
d. All of the above
You could answer a, b, or c, but you’d be wrong. The best ones offer the perfect balance of all three, which is exactly what the Issa Rae-produced “Sweet Life” brings to the reality show table. The nine-episode saga draws on the glitz and glamour of a handful of beautiful, entrepreneurial LA 20-somethings. There are over-the-top parties in nearly each episode, a private plane that drops off 25 “close” friends in Mexico for an ultra-important 26th birthday, and relationship drama that threads the entire season. But it was the mega beauty in every frame that really grabbed me. Guys, this show is a hair-lovers dream.
The Silk Press + Baby Hairs
If there’s one thing I know for sure about reality shows, it’s that unless your last name rhymes with Bardashian-Renner, you are required to arrange (i.e. pay for) your own hair and makeup. This is why you get a lot of sameness from episode to episode when it comes to the beauty looks. But “Sweet Life” immediately bucks the trend with a runway of super cute styles. Starting with the straightened and baby hairs-centric looks, as worn by Tylynn and Becky.
Now if the blowouts were the show’s warmup, the braided styles in “Sweet Life” are the main act. At one point the crew all filmed them all getting their hair braided at a salon called Hair Forever, and yet I regret to inform you it has since closed. Pour one out for this braided palace of wonders by marveling at how that salon carried the best hair looks all season.
Speaking purely from personal experience: men in their twenties are a disaster. They don’t know what they want but they still manage to screw up the people in their inner orbit while they figure it out. The guys on “Sweet Life” are no different, but the show peels back the curtain a little by spotlighting how complicated it can be when you’ve been conditioned to suppress the very emotions that make you human. Even though pretty boy Jordan annoyed me beyond measure, I think he’ll grow soon enough, along with his Drake-inspired heart haircut. The same goes for P’Jae who, like Jordan, managed to date two different women while filming. But I’m a sucker for a good set of cornrows. Oh God, is this how it starts?
Photos via HBO Max