I have always been a big supporter of reality T.V. shows since I was a naïve, curious child. I remember being WAY too young when my dad first showed me 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians' and I was HOOKED. I'm not sure exactly what draws me into reality shows. The simple answer is that I just find them thoroughly entertaining enjoy to watch the drama to unfold. But the complicated answer is that I love to live vicariously through people's lives and become so invested into the different characters and what they do and say. Sure, some shows are scripted or dramatized for television purposes. However, the content is just so raw and captivating that makes it impossible to not be hooked. But for those of you who need a little convincing, I will gladly provide you with a long list of shows that everyone can enjoy.
1. "Big Brother"
Summer is just around the corner, which means it's time for my favorite time of year and the three-month-long span that is "Big Brother." The show follows sixteen houseguests and their struggle to form alliances, gain power, and avoid eviction from their fellow housemates, all while cut off from all technology and communication from the outside world. Some say that the three days a week commitment is overwhelming and not worth it, but I think it makes it all that much better because I don't have to wait an entire week for a new episode. I could talk about all the greatest houseguests, seasons, and game moves of all time all day long, and cannot wait for endless watch parties this summer.
2. "Project Runway"
This show may come as a shock to many of you that know me personally about why this show is on the list, as I am pretty much the last to know about any sort of fashion trend or whatever the latest style may be. Surprisingly, though, I have been watching "Project Runway" since I was like seven or eight, and don't intend on ever stopping. To this day, I still love to watch my favorite episodes from old seasons and still could name so many of the previous designers and recall the impeccable (or awful) outfits they've made. It's honestly remarkable what these designers can make in a day, especially the unconventional challenges where they have to master the impossible and use candy and items from a hardware store to make a garment. In the wise words of Tim Gunn, these designers really know how to "make it work."
3. "Bachelor In Paradise"
To start off, I would like to mention that I still do tune into every season of both "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette," but I am not going to lie and say that at a certain point I get bored and sick of watching the same old thing over and over again. However, this is why I like paradise so much, and it is because there are different characters each season, and the couples and dynamics of the group are constantly changing. And the truth is, I kind of think it has the potential to create more long-lasting relationships than the other shows in the franchise do...I mean, think about how much time these characters get to spend together in comparison to the others. Rooting for Blake and Hannah G. to get together this summer.
4. "Are You The One?"
"Are You The One?" is one of those shows that you either LOVE or would think is actually so dumb and ridiculous that you would think I'm crazy for watching it. The basic concept sounds pretty nice: 10 random girls and random guys are put into a house and are tasked to find their perfect match (they use a bunch of scientific tests and stuff to calculate this). Some in the past have found love and actually have married their perfect match (s/o Ethan and Amber from season one), but a part of me does kind of think that a lot of the characters pretend their looking for love but instead use the show as an excuse to get famous, get drunk, fight and punch walls, and sleep around. I probably do lose brain cells watching it, but you'd be an idiot if you think I'm ever gonna stop.
Out of all the shows on this list, this is probably the last show I could ever do so major props to those who have. Speaking in simple terms, "Survivor" is very similar to "Big Brother," but instead they are stranded in the woods, don't get to eat or drink much, and the challenges are A LOT more physical. The best episodes are the ones where tribal council get juicy and they vote out someone who you would not have expected to go home. "Survivor" is one show that my whole family loves to watch together and it makes watching it so much more fun.
6. "Keeping Up With The Kardashians"...and all its spinoffs
I feel like it wouldn't be right if I didn't include this one on here. The Kardashians are one of the forefronts of reality T.V. and I have always been a supporter of their insanity. Like I said before, my dad showed me the show when I was little and I can vividly picture the exact episode it was — where little Kylie Jenner wanted to wear makeup and hang out with boys and Bruce (omg see how old this was) was not having it. Honestly take me back to the olden days where they opened up the Miami DASH store and Scott punched the mirror...so iconic wow.
7. "Pawn Stars"
A show that I wouldn't expect myself to like all that much, but I somehow do. "Pawn Stars" is a show that takes place in the family-run, Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in the heart of Las Vegas and you watch as they buy, sell, and pawn some of the most historical and valuable items. I just think it's so fun to guess how much things go for and get surprised to find out (once they bring their special guys in) when things are literally worth nothing.
8. "Property Brothers"
For all of you HGTV lovers, I had to include at least one on the list. "Property Brothers" centers around realtor Drew Scott, and contractor Jonathan Scott where they turn lackluster, underpriced homes into luxurious, dream ones. I love watching the incredible transformation and seeing what these guys are capable of...it's truly such a remarkable turnaround.
9. "Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County"
Ever heard of successful entrepreneurs and designers Lauren Conrad and Kristin Cavallari? Well, they got their start narrating and staring as high school rivals in Laguna Beach and we've never looked back. Laguna Beach is good if you just want to follow the boujee-ness of all things Orange County and love some good high school gossip just as much as the next person. As soon as "Come Clean" by Hillary Duff starts playing as the theme song, I am in the mood to watch. P.S. for those of you who are "One Tree Hill" fans, Stephen Colletti who played Chase Adams in the show is also a main character in the Laguna Beach series.
10. "Very Cavallari"
After Laguna Beach, I felt like "Very Cavallari" was a good follow-up. And this time, Kristin is fully grown, running a successful jewelry line and living with husband and retired NFL quarterback, Jay Cutler. If my dad likes it (wow he's been mentioned a ton in this article hi sorry dad...I guess you can tell now where I get my reality T.V. show obsession from), then it must be good.
11. "Cake Boss"
I remember when I was younger I made those cake slips they use and hand them out to my friends and family and make them fill it out so I could pretend I was Buddy. Every cake is cooler than the next and it just amazes me how they are not only to craft the most creative and insane ideas but execute them better than I could ever imagine. I also have really grown to love Buddy's entire family and watch their fun unfold on camera. We can instantly feel the Italian love.
12. "Jon And Kate Plus 8"
An oldie but a goodie, this show is too good. Jon and Kate may have had their fair share of marital challenges and it was definitely difficult to watch their divorce unravel before our eyes, but their combined effort to raise their children and all of the unique adventures they faced made it all the better. It's crazy to have watched those kiddos grow up before our eyes, and I'm like pretty sure they're in like high school now which makes me feel very #old.
13. "Dance Moms"
And here to pay homage to one of my all time favs. Yes, I was that seventh grader who had a "Dance Moms" fan page with 20,000 followers, staying up all night to binge the series, make edits, and write fanfictions (*cringe*) about the characters. I will admit that at a certain point I definitely got sick of the show, but when it was in its prime, the combined entertainment of their amazing dances and the arguments between Abby and the moms were iconic. Season 2 was definitely the best, and no one can argue about that.
14. "Tana Turns 21"
And finally, the show that we never knew we needed. A few weeks ago, YouTuber and influencer, the somewhat controversial, Tana Mongeau recently posted a video announcing that she will be staring in an upcoming reality show this summer! I literally cannot wait to binge this summer and see a side to Tana that we haven't seen before. But until then, I will gladly enjoy her videos.
So now are you convinced that reality T.V. is a gift that not enough of us enjoy? I am not ashamed to admit I love reality T.V., and will gladly rewatch these shows anytime and with anyone. From family shows, to game shows, to competitions, I don't discriminate. I will forever be a reality junkie, and no one can say or do anything to change my mind.
P.S. If you have any other reality show recommendations, HMU, I'm always looking!