design & illustration: Sophie Rogers
Whether in a get-together rooting for a favorite contestant or crying alone on a Sunday night, reality TV captures the overdramatic culture of a person’s pain for the entertainment of many teenagers and middle-aged moms. I’m going to rank some of the most popular shows that can add drama to an otherwise lackluster life.
10. Naked and Afraid (2/10)
Two unconnected individuals are given the task of surviving in the jungle—with the unnecessary catch of also being naked.
The dramatic nature of a reality TV show is an art, and Naked and Afraid does not pull it off. The shock factor of extremely incompetent, naked individuals not understanding basic survival skills lasts about 10 minutes before someone decides to switch the channel.
9. America’s Got Talent (3/10)
Irrelevant people from across the country come to perform their talents in front a group of popular, usually not talented, judges).
Every person has sat down to watch at least one performance from this show; but most of the performances are so uninteresting that watching the 10-minute commercials doesn’t feel worth it. Also, no one cares about any of the performances except for the singers, so they should take a hint from American Idol on that.
8. 1000-LB Sisters (3/10)
Amy and Tammy project their weight-loss journey to the world, and the charismatic aspects of their personalities is what gives the show its rep.
The clips of this show are genuinely funny, the girls putting on a show as they laugh about their struggles. However, that’s all the show amounts to—clips. Be serious, when has anyone watched this show, or any TLC show for that matter, outside of YouTube or TikTok?
7. Big Brother (4/10)
A group of strangers are placed in a house together where they’re filmed 24-hours a day. What loser would attend to that is beyond me.
This show is one of the originals of reality TV, and it set a harsh precedent on how impeding the internet can be on irrelevant individuals’ lives. That doesn’t disregard that the show is irrelevant. Part of this could be because no one’s wasting their money on Paramount+.
6. RuPaul’s Drag Race (6/10)
Local and renowned drag queens from around the nation come to drag queen RuPaul’s show to showcase their talents in makeup, performance, and drama.
The flaunting personalities and extensive looks of the show have people rooting for their favorites. But with overproduced visuals and repetitive competitions, viewers will start to feel like they’re watching grown-ups act like self-entitled children.
5. Chopped (7/10)
Four chefs are given a random array of ingredients to creatively combine into different dishes for a panel of judges to review.
Not many see this show as reality TV, but that doesn’t disregard it as one of the most interesting things to watch. Still, the contestants have no personality, and the judges try so hard to be Gordan Ramsey when they never will. It just lacks the sense of drama that comes with the other shows on the list.
4. Too Hot to Handle (7/10)
Short-term sex-obsessed adults act like teenagers going through puberty as they attempt to form normal, romantic relationships with a cash incentive.
Filled with a combination of high-school bullies and college dropouts, this show turned the casual jerk into an internet personality. Ignoring the people that got cut early on, both seasons featured couples that everyone lusted over with relationships that no one could predict the ending of. While none of it materialized into anything, I still like to think that Harry and Francesca are together somewhere.
3. Dance Moms (9/10)
A small dance company in Pittsburgh features young girls shooting for high-level dance competitions along with a very problematic, yet entertaining, coach.
A TV classic that grew with generation Z, Dance Moms supplied social media with a plethora of memes and videos for just about every situation one could think of. Icons like Jojo Siwa, Maddie Ziegler, and the extraordinary Abby Lee Miller came out of the show, making it easy to rewatch repeatedly. The show is a guilty pleasure of mine: I never thought I’d enjoy watching children cry and ruin their stability of their lives so much.
2. The Bachelorette (9/10)
One woman on the quest to find love hands roses and picks through a plethora of men, one being her soulmate—sometimes.
No one can go wrong with The Bachelorette. One girl being chased by a group of frat guys with no emotional intelligence skills makes Monday nights worthwhile. The competition becomes ruthless as the boring men are left without a rose and the inept men are purposefully kept to annoy the audience. Why these individuals decide to ruin any future relationship in their lives, I have no clue; but I’m willing to put hours of my life into their terrible decisions.
- Keeping up with the Kardashians (10/10)
The iconic family of American pop-culture, with absolutely no reason to be famous, broadcast their lives in every aspect after almost 15 years of airing.
The ultimate classic, magnum opus of reality TV, the Kardashians have cemented fakeness, drama, and stupidity as staples of today’s TV shows. It’s so painfully obvious how fabricated every single episode is, but it’s produced in a way that makes it seem important. No one cares that Khloe’s boyfriend cheated on her for the thousandth time, or that millionaire Kim lost her diamond earing, yet I will continue to defend that family till the day I die.