reality tv

"I recap reality TV for my job. Here's what a day in my life looks like."

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Thanks to our brand partner, Doordash

When some people go to work, they save lives.

Others educate the next generation. 

Some Australians deliver babies or provide mental health support or work in science laboratories trying to find a cure for COVID. 

And some of us do God's work. 

We recap reality television shows on our lounges with snacks nearby but also maybe a chilled Pepsi Max.

When I left school 13 years ago, I remember teachers saying the job you end up doing probably doesn't exist yet. 

Yes, well. Four nights a week I recap Married at First Sight, potentially the most controversial reality program on Australian television. 

When I'm not doing that, I'm hosting three podcasts, a medium that had barely been invented yet when I left school. I write in digital media, distributing content on new platforms like Instagram and Facebook, as well as optimising content for Google which is not a sentence any of my grandparents would understand. And. I. Love. It. 

Here's an insight into what a day in the life of a TV recapper looks like. And let's just say it ain't too bad. 

Morning

I wake up at about 8am and complain for 30 minutes. 

I quickly do my makeup while listening to The Quicky or ABC RN so I have some sense of what's going on in the world, outside of Domenica smashing a glass in Liv's face. 

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At about 8:30am, I jump into the car and drive into the office, shocked by the traffic even though it's fairly consistent and I should've learned my lesson by now. I'm usually in the office just before 9am, and grab a coffee before jumping into the morning meeting. 

Once the content meeting is done (we decide which stories to cover for the day), I head into a 10am Mamamia Out Loud production meeting where we discuss what topics to address on the show that day. Usually this meeting goes for about 20 minutes, unless my co-hosts Mia Freedman and Holly Wainwright are being very annoying and it blows out to 40 minutes. Some days we have lively arguments about what to cover, but they always end up being the best shows. 


Afternoon 

At 12pm we record Mamamia Out Loud and that goes for about an hour, mostly because Mia is 15 minutes late, and then after we turn the mics off, we can't stop talking. One time there was a tech glitch, and we accidentally uploaded the 'raw audio' with all our random chatterings. Some Out Loud superfans definitely heard it and we're still mortified. 

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On Mondays I then record Cancelled with my twin sister, Clare. It's a podcast all about celebrity cancellations and even if I'm feeling grumpy or tired or overwhelmed, these records always cheer me up. It's a comedy podcast and we take the piss for 40 minutes, which is like a warm-up for our Married at First Sight recap. 

Evening 

At about 5pm, Clare and I head to my place for an evening of watching television and calling it 'work'. 

We kick my partner out of the living room because this is very serious business, and ensure that my dog Chilli is on at least one of our laps. 

Lots of our friends and colleagues wonder if it's overwhelming to do a day in the office and then go home to write a recap but it's actually our favourite time of year. 

We have so much fun getting to make each other laugh for a few hours four nights a week. And even though we know what we do isn't neuroscience, we reckon it's a pretty incredible privilege to make our audience giggle after a tough day. 

We take that responsibility seriously and know that looking forward to something — even a silly recap after a show you watch for escapism — can be a really special moment. For some of our audience, they might not have laughed all day. They might be having a really rough time, and sometimes life is serious and scary and overwhelming. Laughter is the antidote to all of that, even if it's just for five minutes. 

We get the screeners for Married at First Sight a few hours early so our recap can be ready for publication the second the credits roll. 

Once we set up our laptops, we then set our sights on dinner, our favourite meal of the day. Well, second favourite meal. After dessert. And that's where our good friends DoorDash come in.

Basically, DoorDash is our saviour for those four nights a week, because they provide meals, drinks, pet food, batteries and soooo much more to my door to make life far, far less chaotic. 

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I've used them for years for everything from delivering a birthday gift to a friend, urgently needing toothpaste at 9pm, dog food when I discover I've run out, and even a morning coffee. Basically, you just download the DoorDash app or head to their website and let them do some of the heavy lifting so you can do things you love. Like watching Married at First Sight, for example. I've also signed up to DashPass so that I don't ever have to pay delivery fees. 

They've recently teamed up with Coles Express, where you can order salads, frozen meals, sandwiches and an assortment of snacks right to your door. 

We order the Coles Kitchen Spaghetti Bolognese (which is only $7.50 by the way) and the Coles Kitchen Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni, two cans of Pepsi Max, as well as a loaf of bread and Vegemite for breakfast tomorrow morning, and most importantly, some companion snacks. 

Most exciting moment of my day. Image: Supplied.  

Tonight we chose a KitKat Chocolate Block to help with the thinking/writing process. 

This delivery means we can start watching Married at First Sight without worrying about dinner. We watch the whole episode — Clare usually takes screenshots on her laptop and I take written notes of what we're talking about on my laptop. 

When we've finished watching the episode, we break for 10 minutes and sort out dinner. By this time, our DoorDash delivery has arrived, and we're both digging into pasta and cannelloni. It takes out the mental load of putting together a grocery list, and trudging through a supermarket on a weeknight when we have very little time. 

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Watching MAFS and receiving our DoorDash order. Image: Supplied.  

It takes probably an hour to an hour and a half to then write the recap, which we do with chocolate (always) nearby. Chocolate is good for the soul and that is a scientific fact. 

We take turns writing, while the other puts together pictures that are included throughout the article. We edit each other's work, which is really helpful when it comes to anything comedic. It is bloody hard to work out whether something is 'funny' alone in a room by yourself. We're constantly rejigging each other's words and laughing out loud at what the other has written. 

Once the article is completed, we add in a feature image, headline, social sells, SEO and all the other stuff to ensure that as many people read it as possible. Then, we file to the night editor. 

By this time it's about 8pm, so the editor has time to go through what we've written and ensure it's all ready for publication. 

Even though it's been a long day, our lives don't feel like chaos. We've eaten. Our work for the day is done. And I even have a loaf of bread for breakfast in the morning. 

It might be 'work', but we enjoy just about every second of it. 

Coles Express is available now on DoorDash to make our lives just that little bit easier. Get your groceries delivered straight to your door by downloading the DoorDash app or visiting the website.

Image: Supplied.

Doordash
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