Reality TV is perhaps the most hated-on of all film genres, and honestly, rightfully so. But there’s something about reality shows that grabs us in and glues us to the screen. Behold: Eight TV shows that could be your new guilty pleasure.
Teen Mom 2
This reality show is the definition of “so bad it’s good.” The teen moms’ cute kids, father drama, and questionable decisions make this show… interesting, to say the least. The young moms deal with legal battles of all kinds, chronic illness, marriage (and divorce), and other drama, all while raising their adorable children. While only seasons three and four are available on Netflix, the show has been running for a whopping eleven seasons on MTV.
Too Hot to Handle
A group of British, Australian, and American singles are ready to enjoy their tropical beach getaway, but Lana, a talking electronic cone, undermines their plans. Instead of getting hot and heavy, Lana takes away from their shared $100,000 jackpot every time they get a little too cozy with each other, forcing them to make “meaningful connections” and discover true love. The efficacy of this strategy is questionable, considering the tens of thousands of dollars lost throughout each season. To say that they kiss every now and then is a huge understatement. You’re supposed to be making emotional connections. Keep it in your pants.
This one has to be my personal favorite. I’m half Indian, and it’s hard to connect with my grandmother because I don’t speak Hindi. But when “matchmaker” Sima finds a match and the parents start getting out the wedding jewelry, we look at each other and agree that Akshay and Radhika will last…for two months, tops. Since my grandparents didn’t have an arranged marriage, this was my first introduction to the world of matchmaking, which I thought consisted of daughters being forced to marry against their will. While this is likely true in more rural parts of India, I had no idea that elite matchmakers had international clients who participated in an expensive, meticulously-curated speed-dating process to find “the one.” I still think I’ll pass.
Forged in Fire
Forged in Fire is a blacksmithing competition show. Tasked with making weapons like throwing knives and swords, these talented metalworkers are judged on their skills in construction, efficacy, and visual style. Most of the time, reality show judges are household names—Heidi Klum, Simon Cowell, Cardi B—but who is Doug Marcaida? I never thought a metalworking reality show judged by a few random people would exist, but here we are. In one episode, the contestants are tasked with making knives, which the judges then violently throw at a wall to determine their quality. Sometimes, I’m not entirely sure whether this is a reality TV show or an unhealthy anger management group.
This might be one of the most well-known reality shows on this list. As the talented team of young girls perform at competitions, led by harsh dance teacher Abby Lee Miller, the show focuses on the moms and their endless drama with each other and “Miss Abby.” Whether it’s favoritism or cheating allegations, not a day goes by without a mother yelling at someone and dragging their crying, emotionally-abused kid out of dance class. If you live for the chaos and drama, this show is definitely for you.
At first, I couldn’t stand the Melbourne trio of soon-to-be mums flaunting their designer outfits and Range Rovers. But as I continued watching the show, I grew to love Lorinska, Jane, and Rachel. Adelaide mum Maria, however, had to establish her own status, attempting to outshine the mums with her big, Versace-themed baby shower. Most importantly, all of the mums receive a “push present”—a lavish gift from their husbands in exchange for carrying the baby for nine months. These push presents range from a Rolex to a diamond ring to a $150,000 car. These babies have no idea what they’re in for!
A bunch of 20 year-olds starting drama and breaking COVID-19 restrictions while living (and partying) in a multi-million-dollar mansion? I vowed to boycott this show as long as I possibly could, because frankly, I thought I would lose braincells from watching these spoiled kids. But as a TikTok-addicted teenager, I just couldn’t stay away from the drama. Is the Hype House or Chase Hudson’s Encino House better? Are Charli and Chase more than friends? Are they going to “hit the Rolls Royce or the G-Wagon?” Despite the drama, one thing is consistent: the house’s adorable pets will make your day. A substantial amount of my braincells, however, have been lost.
I have a feeling that girl drama doesn’t usually have a place in the real estate sector, but The Oppenheim Group is different. The Oppenheim Group is a top real estate firm, selling multi million-dollar homes in the Hollywood area. The firm owes much of its success to its real estate agents, all beautiful, young women who use their skill and charm to entice buyers. But when a new agent joins the tight-knit group of girls, hostility and competition arises. (By the way, this “new girl” is the ex-wife of Emmy-nominated This is Us actor Justin Hartley, allegedly worth $7 million). When you think of these homes, picture a giant mansion fully equipped with an infinity pool, private tennis courts, and a garage full of luxury cars…and then make it ten times bigger. It’s hard to believe that this is an actual representation of the LA real estate scene, but then again, it’s “reality!”