The Selling Sunset women stand in front of a house
Despite being looked down on as reality TV, "Selling Sunset" is filled with career-driven, hard-working women and beautiful homes that make for quality content. (Illustration by Molly Posten, Minneapolis College of Art and Design)

‘Selling Sunset’ Continues To Be Addictive in Season 4

The relatively low stakes of this series help make it a quality reality program that stands out from many of its peers.

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The Selling Sunset women stand in front of a house

The relatively low stakes of this series help make it a quality reality program that stands out from many of its peers.

“Selling Sunset” is purely addictive — it becomes increasingly difficult to turn this show off the more you watch. It is a reality show, which is something that is typically dismissed — and often rightfully so. However, this show has enticing qualities that a lot of others lack; it focuses almost entirely on women, all of whom are incredibly successful real estate agents.

The drama between these women is nothing more than petty. It is a wonderful change to watch reality TV stars just bicker rather than engage in explosive arguments every episode. “Selling Sunset” feels genuine in a way that most other works in this genre do not, and the fourth season proves that more than ever.

The focus of the show is on the Oppenheim Group. This crew is best described by the Ogroup website itself: “The Oppenheim Group is a professional real estate brokerage serving buyers and sellers of luxury property in Los Angeles and Orange County. The brokerage is comprised of a close group of talented realtors, led by the firm’s President and Founder, Jason Oppenheim.”

Not every member of the Oppenheim Group is featured on “Selling Sunset,” but every one of the female main characters — Chrishell Stause, Christine Quinn, Heather Rae El Moussa, Mary Fitzgerald and Vanessa Villela — works at the organization. Regardless of personal matters, each of these women is a successful real estate agent, and “Selling Sunset” never diminishes that huge accomplishment.

One of the most addictive qualities of the show is how well-balanced the drama is. Of course, some emotional distress is necessary when it comes to reality television. Viewers want to see these real people, who are just a bit removed from reality, get into difficult conversations and talk about it to everyone that they know. The audience is fully aware that these reality show stars are genuine people with real feelings.

While some plot points may be scripted or slightly forced, viewers are essentially witnessing a real person interact with their world, offering everyone else an escape from their own — this is where reality shows often grow toxic. Fans may have love for these stars, but they also want to feel that sense of cathartic relief that they do not have to be them. The girls in “Selling Sunset” may go through some drama, but it is the perfect amount. BestLife listed the second reason “Selling Sunset” is successful: “Most of the drama is deliciously low-stakes.” This is absolutely part of the reason that viewers do not want to look away.

Reality shows like “The Real Housewives” and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians can become difficult to watch at certain points, because the drama that is captured on these shows is extremely intense. At times, the stars of these shows act out in pure hate. This may be entertaining, but it grows to be unenjoyable and eventually unbearable.

The constant arguments about serious issues like pregnancies, divorce and cheating husbands make it difficult to watch, so seeing the girls on “Selling Sunset” bicker about house listings, ex-boyfriends and baby showers offers something calmer and more sustainable. One will not feel as burnt out when watching this show as they would with others; this allows viewers to binge-watch without needing breaks — hence its addictiveness.

Another major reason people are obsessed with “Selling Sunset” is quite obvious: Looking at these absolutely stunning homes is fun, and the homes that are shown in this fourth season are the most gorgeous ones yet. The houses that these women sell are always worth at least a few million dollars, so every house that is presented to the buyer and the audience is extravagant and captivating.

The women will present these houses in an extremely interesting manner: They walk clients through each room and describe not only what is there, but what could be there and how much better it could become. They are essentially selling a dream to these wealthy people of Los Angeles, and it is impossible to look away. Disregarding any other interesting factor of this show, it is addictive to fantasize about these houses alone.

It is also refreshing to see hard-working women portrayed on a reality show. Each and every one of these women takes their job very seriously, despite any drama within the group. A few of them have families at home or a side hustle that needs special attention. Regardless of outside factors, these women do not make excuses when it comes to being successful in their real estate work.

It becomes hard to stop watching “Selling Sunset” because these girls are genuinely so passionate about their careers. When they get a new listing, they celebrate; they’ll walk through the next house they’re selling, completely giddy. It’s clear that they have a genuine love for helping people find their dream homes, which is one of the most important elements of this show and ultimately keeps viewers hooked.

Most reality TV shows feel like a guilty pleasure. People don’t want to admit to those around them that they watch such cheesy, dramatic content. If others do find out and question the viewer’s choices, they may say that they are watching the show ironically and have no genuine interest in what happens.

“Selling Sunset” does not encourage you to lie about your investment in the series, because people’s preconceived ideas about reality television do not apply to this show. It is not gritty, filled with irritating people or extremely scripted in the way that most other reality shows seem to be.

Hopefully, the television industry will recognize the immense success of “Selling Sunset.” The focus on strong, hardworking women, the generally interesting subject matter and low-level drama have created a fantastic formula that reality show creators should reuse. This fourth season of “Selling Sunset” has further proved the show to be worth the watch.

Writer Profile

Trinity Crompton

Molloy College
Writing

Trinity is a senior at Molloy College majoring in writing and minoring in journalism. She hopes to pursue a career in fashion journalism. She loves dachshunds, platform shoes and Stephen King novels.

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