Top 10: Best and Worst Reality and Competition Shows

The headline should be rather straightforward, but TV is littered with reality or competition shows that I just wish would go away. From obnoxious “cast members” to obnoxious hosts, these shows should disappear.

Now, I should note two things about this list. First, I don’t watch these shows. My knowledge of them comes from clips I’ve seen from the web, commercials, and The Soup, so you can call me out in the comments if my decisions are off-base because I’m not a regular viewer. Second, if I hate them this much by just seeing clips from the web, commercials, and The Soup, that generally means that I agree with my assessment. If they’re terrible in minimal quantities, they don’t deserve the time that’s allotted in the show itself.

Our Picks for Best–and Worst–Reality and Competition Shows

The Top 5 WORST

1. American Idol

Ooh! This one, I did watch. Well, I watched the end of the first season, when Simon was critical but fair, Randy was happy but smart, and Paula was a sweetheart (and not letting her drunkenness show). Well, now Paula’s gone, Simon’s gone (after moving on to just plain mean), and Randy’s unhelpful. Plus, we’ve got random new judges that people don’t really like, and honestly, the contestants all seem the same. Sure, there’s an impressive performance here and there, and yes, these people have talented voices. But the show takes over at premiere time, airing way too many hours in a week, and honestly, people just watch to make fun of the people who just show up to make idiots of themselves. And once we get to the talent, well, it’s still on way too much in a given week. It’s run it’s course, and it just needs to go.

2. Keeping up with the Kardashians

Not even Marshall from How I Met Your Mother can remember why these people are famous. I’m ready for them to go. Sure, they give Joel McHale some good fodder for The Soup, but every time I see a clip, a little part of my soul dies. As well as my vision.

3. Kate plus 8

Kate Gosselin dug her own grave when she went entirely obnoxious in Dancing with the Stars. With her public divorce (ok, even I felt a little sorry for her once I saw what her ex-husband turned into), I’m quite tired of hearing about her, and honestly, I felt like the kids deserved a break from being in the public eye. But to put it right back on the air–with her bad hair to boot–bah. End it.

4. Jersey Shore

I’m not sure if this needs a reason. I can just imagine the world is getting spread around with STDs just watching the show. Plus, seeing a 40-something “Situation” nailing college girls just makes me sad.

5. Sister Wives

I understand that people have their own beliefs, and I think that’s fine. But flaunting it on TV is another thing. Plus, isn’t polygamy illegal? All that aside, the husband, Kody Brown, just seems like the biggest jackass I’ve ever seen (think about this, after what I just said about the Situation), and his wives don’t seem that much better. Sure, I can see how this might be a guilty-pleasure show for some, but my pleasure would be to never see these people again…unless I’m seeing Brown go to jail.

Read more to see the reality and competition shows I like!

The Top 5 BEST

1. So You Think You Can Dance

Ok, I’m flying blind here. I’ve seen one whole episode of this show, but damn, it was impressive (judges aside). These people have talent, and they deserve a medium where they can show it off. Sure, some dances are better than others, but from what I’ve seen, wow.

2. The Amazing Race

I’m actually a late adopter of The Amazing Race, and I’ll be honest. It’s because one of my high school classmates appeared in one of the seasons (she went home pretty early). But, you know? It’s a fun show. I don’t know how it compares to early seasons, but it’s a lot of fun. Even if you don’t win, I can’t imagine that you’d take a million bucks over the experience you’ve just had all over the world. (But maybe that’s just me.)

3. Top Chef

Ok, Top Chef has had a rough couple of years as far as creativity goes, but it’s still such a fun show to watch. If only you could actually eat the food. Sure, I wouldn’t mind a little less product placement and drama within the house, but ultimately, seeing the creations they come up with is worth the hour to hour and fifteen minutes of food time. Some might feel it’s run its course, but I think there’s still room to grow, especially with Anthony Bourdain at Judge’s Table.

4. Say Yes to the Dress

Is this really considered reality? I think so. And man, I can’t seem to get enough. With bitchy brides and nagging, negative families, it’s hard to believe that at the end of each episode you’ll get a heartwarming wedding moment. Sure, I might be biased having just gotten married this year, but I’m still a religious watcher.

5. America’s Next Top Model

Haha. No, this isn’t a joke. And yes, the girls suck now. But isn’t it fun to watch? What ridiculous thing will Tyra say about herself next? What social issue will be her next project (this season it was “tall girl”–and she won!)? Oh, this show is so ridiculous and self-serving. I love it. Plus, you get to stare at pretty pictures. And for all you men out there, they’re taking more and more opportunities to make these women as scantily clad as possible. Maybe next season’s theme will be…prostitute!

Well, that’s it! Any you’d like to add to either category? Any that you disagree with? Let me know in the comments!

*images from Yahoo! TV


4 thoughts on “Top 10: Best and Worst Reality and Competition Shows

  1. A few comments on your worst list:

    You’re right on with #3. I can’t stand that woman. She has become so totally overexposed, and from the little of the show that I’ve seen, she seems genuinely unstable and is probably really screwing up those kids. Watch for them on TMZ in a couple of years.

    #4 Jersey Shore: I think a lot of people watched this for the unintentional comedy at first, but it’s gotten just a little out of control. These people have actually become celebrities now! My only encouragement is that I am convinced this show is a fad, and once people are over it, the “stars” are going to fall into obscurity so fast that they’ll get whiplash.

    And yes, 1000% on #5. Sorry, but polygamy is exploitation. What’s next, TLC? Some crappy, soft-side show on child labor?

    I know it’s a top five list, but here are two more shows that herald the end of human civilization as we know it:

    18 Kids and Counting: Sorry, I don’t care how superhuman of a parent you think you are, or what your crazy religious beliefs say. You cannot provide enough emotional care or support for 18 children. This is child abuse through benign neglect.

    Toddlers and Tiaras: Just accidentally seeing the commercials for this makes my skin crawl. Don’t encourage these people.

  2. Generally, if I have a choice I avoid reality TV (with the exception of pro and college sports, which I would say do have enough extraneous drama provided by them to count as reality TV). However, your #1 best reality TV show is the only one I would actually stop and choose to watch. I’m typically not a fan of dancing, however the mix of music and athleticism portrayed by people who legitimately know what they’re doing can be very compelling. Throw in a fair yet fan friendly voting system in which the fan vote only counts a fraction of the total vote, along with the fact that the bottom two compete a second time against each other to see who stays, and the 2nd show vote-off each week becomes entirely watchable.

    And hey, it doesn’t hurt that whether you’re a guy or girl, watching these dancers is certainly easy on the eyes.

  3. I think you could have listed the entire VH1 channel line up as one of the worst. From flavor of love all the way to love of ray j. VH1 quietly turned from the easy listening station to the trashy reality show station.

    Also, i was caught up into the singing bee this last season. Whats great about that reality show is that it is only 8 episodes or so for the season. Lots of good talent, quick resolution. Isnt that really what we all want?

  4. Additional worst: Bridalplasty. Seriously–why!?

    Additional best: The Sing-Off! Talk about entertaining… and who doesn’t love Ben Folds?

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