The Worst Reality TV Shows Ever
Originally published in the Paradise Valley College newspaper Oct/09
For some reason, America has a very voyeuristic obsession with Reality TV shows. From the beginnings with Survivor and The Real World, to 2009 where entire channels are dedicated to providing 24-hour non-stop reality television, Reality TV has evolved from being an entertaining pastime into a grossly obsessive world of people clambering to look into another person’s tragic, embarrassing, and utterly diminutive world. The shows range from people fighting on an island, to people fighting in a house, to people fighting at work. As you can tell, the possibilities with Reality TV are endless, which is why there are so many of them on television. There are a few though, that do stand out as the worst Reality TV shows of all time.
Check out the worst reality TV shows after the jump:
-The Real Housewives Of Atlanta/Orange County/Every major city (2006-Present)
The many variations of the Real Housewives series consist of essentially the same premise. Rich, bored women who don’t dress their age fight with each other, drink wine, complain, and do mundane activities. I once watched 20 minutes of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and it consisted solely of one housewife finding out that another housewife was half Asian. She explained her shock repeatedly for the entire 20 minutes.
-My Super Sweet Sixteen (2005-Present)
The set-up: Over privileged rich kid plans a birthday part with their parents. The results, on every single episode: A ridiculously elaborate plan for a ridiculously elaborate birthday party falls through partially and the birthday girl cries, complains, and screams until the show is over. Once people became tired of watching bratty kids cry, MTV decided to make an extension of the show, titled Exiled. Exiled takes some of the stars of the Super Sweet Sixteen show and send them to remote locations across the world, such as the jungles of the Amazon, the Arctic, the Andes Mountains, and remote islands in the Pacific. There, these spoiled rotten kids learn that…if you’re dramatic and make irrational decisions and have an immature attitude, you can make lots of money and be on TV. The show consists of these girls whining about doing “hard work” and missing their luxuries at home. Then, they get to go home, while the poor families in the remote islands and the Arctic get to continue their underprivileged, exposed for the purpose of corporate greed and lowbrow entertainment, simple lives.
-Pimp My Ride (2004-2007)
At first glance, you would think this show is about making old or broken cars run better and look nicer. In reality, the show is about has-been rapper Xzibit making already functional cars ridiculous by adding useless items to them. Xzibit gets to know the owner of the car, and based on their interests, “pimps” their ride. This consists of putting things like fish tanks and televisions in the trunks of cars. Xzibit also gets very upset when people make fun of his show, and complains about it on his Twitter. The episodes mostly consist of Xzibit looking at a car, rubbing his chin in thought, then disappearing while the rest of the cast do boring things like fix engines and check brakes. Later, Xzibit comes back to the show with something outrageous like a fish tank and installs it in the car. He then jumps around for a bit while yelling until the show ends. Somewhere in that, there is a sad looking person standing in the background, regretting letting Xzibit near his car.
-Jon & Kate Plus Eight (2007-Present)
Who wants to watch a marriage fall apart as an over-zealous woman pumps out too many babies while her dirt-bag husband sleeps with the babysitter? Apparently, a lot of people do. Jon and Kate went from a promising show about a loving couple raising an unexpected number of children while trying to maintain a normal life. It dwindled down into a show being about a label-obsessed fat guy who likes to sleep with women who are young enough to be his daughter and a woman with a porcupine haircut struggling to raise 8 children by herself because she doesn’t realize that there are jobs available other than “reality TV star”.
Bromance is a reality show competition where men compete to be best friends with Brody Jenner. The premier consisted of the contestants trying to lure women to a party, and ended with 9 guys in a hot tub discussing their friendships. They ran one season, with only 6 episodes airing, and with only 7 contestants (one dropped out of the first episode, because he was gay and felt that he had nothing to contribute to the sex conversations. Also, he was disappointed that the show was not like The Hills). The rest of the episodes consisted of simple tasks, from preparing a camping trip to dance-offs. Each episode, a different man was eliminated for various reasons (Too shy, didn’t want to leave his family and friends, Brody’s mom didn’t like him). All in all, Bromance takes a spot as one the worst reality TV shows of all time mostly due to it’s title. Bromance? What is this, a Cosmopolitan magazine turned TV show?
-The Apprentice: Martha Stewart (2005)
Donald Trump: Multi-Billionaire businessman who built his empire on innovative ideas and hard work. Martha Stuart: Designer who went to jail for corporate crime. “They must have filmed the show before Martha went to jail!” you may exclaim. Nope, in fact some of the episodes had to be shot from inside Stuart’s home, as she was still under house arrest. Each episode was constructed the exact way Donald Trump’s Apprentice was, however in Martha’s version, there were more flowers and less toupees. Instead of the standard and well know “You’re Fired!” at the show, Stewart would hand the loser a letter expressing her thanks for their contribution, and a smiley “good bye!” accompanied with a hand wave.