My All-Time Favorite Reality Shows: Past & Present

If you know me, you know that nine times out of ten, when I’m watching TV it is a reality show. Just from reading that first sentence, you’re probably already judging me, but that’s OK. We all know that reality TV isn’t “reality.” I like to see it as scripted versions of real people’s lives.

Some storylines are real with extra drama added, and some storylines are completely made up for the show. Regardless, I love every minute of it! I literally have so many shows that I watch on a weekly basis that sometimes I’ll have two shows recording while I’m watching another. Since the summer is coming up, that means our fall and winter shows have ended and new seasons are starting to arrive. I decided to compile a list of my favorite reality shows, past and present, and explain why I enjoy(ed) them so much.

*In no particular order:

Real Housewives franchise

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Source: Bravo TV

The Real Housewives franchise is one of my favorites because of it’s wide variety of location settings. With the franchise highlighting different cities, we get different lifestyles and personalities with each one, which is what I really like about it. My absolute favorite is The Real Housewives of Atlanta. The drama is unlike any other franchise and I live for every moment of it.

With it being one of the only two series to feature black cast members, it’s just a different type of enjoyment. Interestingly enough, hardly any of these women are even “housewives.” Most of them are single. Besides Atlanta, my favorites are The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, The Real Housewives of New Jersey, The Real Housewives of Potomac, and The Real Housewives of Orange County.

Love & Hip Hop Franchise

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Source: VH1

Love & Hip Hop is another one of my favorites. Like The Real Housewives, it has setting in various locations including New York, Atlanta, and L.A. I didn’t begin watching the series until Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta started, so that’s my favorite one of the three. Love & Hip Hop is extremely dramatic and ratchet, but it keeps me entertained. Nowadays, the series is so blatantly scripted that there’s hardly any “love” or “hip-hop” in it. Supposedly Love & Hip Hop is expanding to Miami in the near future, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of drama we’ll get from that.

Black Ink Crew

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Source: VH1

Black Ink Crew is among my favorites because I feel like they are pretty real in comparison to other shows. I’m super into tattoos and body art, so I enjoy seeing that aspect of the show. The storylines are probably exaggerated, but many of the storylines include situations that are happening in the cast member’s lives. Black Ink Crew is based in New York and branched to Chicago a couple of years ago. I think I prefer the original Black Ink Crew because I feel like they are more authentic. I do enjoy Black Ink Crew Chicago and I like most of the cast members, but I feel New York’s cast members are more entertaining overall.

Jersey Shore

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Source: MTV

An oldie but goodie! Last summer I went back and binge watched all of the seasons of Jersey Shore. It would be my dream to spend a summer living the way they did. Partying, traveling, and living carefree with a bunch of people on the Jersey Shore. I was sad to see it end, but the cast members began taking different directions in their lives, so it was probably best to end it on a good note instead of dragging it out. I wouldn’t mind seeing the show come back, maybe with a new generation of cast members…but then again, no one would be able to compare to the originals.

Basketball Wives

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Source: VH1

Like The Real Housewives franchise, none of these women are “basketball wives,” so again, kind of defeats the purpose of the name, but nonetheless, this is a good one. Initially it took place in Miami, then it branched off to L.A., and now the L.A. girls and Miami girls are combined. It’s a good show, and the way I would describe it is as a combination of Housewives and Love & Hip Hop. The ladies are classy (Housewives), with a mix of ratchetness (Love & Hip Hop). That’s why I enjoy it. There is a happy medium.

Laguna Beach

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Source: Netflix DVD

Another oldie but goodie. Seeing as how I was in elementary and middle school during the Laguna Beach era, I have no idea how I started watching it, but it was great. At the time, I thought high school would be just like it was portrayed on the show, but obviously I was wrong. I guess I missed the concept that they lived in a utopia in Southern California, so their reality wasn’t exactly my reality. Now that I’m older, I still love watching re-runs of the show, especially since I view it from a different perspective than I did before. I even went to visit Laguna Beach with my mom and sister one summer, and I absolutely loved it! (It’s secretly my dream to get married there on the beach 😊).

The Hills

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Source: MTV UK

Since I was crazy about Laguna Beach, I was obviously super excited for the spinoff, The Hills. I was in high school during this era, so I watched it differently than I watched Laguna Beach. This show showcased their independence away from Laguna Beach. I think this show is actually what made me love L.A. as much as I do. Everything just seemed so perfect in this show, and I imagined that’s what living on my own would be like. Again, I was very wrong.

Bad Girls Club

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Source: Oxygen

After nearly 11 years, this era just came to an end in May. Bad Girls Club was definitely my guilty pleasure. Seven girl from different walks of life all living under one roof. That’s never good, especially when all of them are self-proclaimed “bad girls.” Even though I’ve never been in a fight in my life, and am not what people would consider a bad girl, a small part of me wanted to experience it for myself just for the fun of it.

The Amazing Race

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Source: Hulu

This is a competition show, but it still qualifies as a reality. It’s probably one of my wilder dreams to one day go on this show. Traveling around the world, completing different challenges with a partner for a chance to win one million dollars? Every part of that sounds like so much fun. If I were in top notch shape and had a partner to go on the show with, I probably would have sent in an application years ago.

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