From American idol to X factor to Masterchef, there are a plethora of reality shows on television today. The number and types of shows over the last decade have increased magnanimously due to increasing demand from audiences. The reason reality shows do so well is that ordinary people on television are more genuine, as are unscripted celebrities. Watching the everyday lives of your favourite celebrity is every fan’s desire. Some shows have become superhits while there are many which make you question its inception in the first place. Some of the worst reality shows are:
10. Keeping up with the Kardashians
This reality show defies all logic with its current hit status and large viewership, almost as much as the fame of its lead protagonist Kim Kardashian. It has had eight successful seasons, despite the negative reviews by audiences and critics alike, which makes you wonder why it is watched at all. With a family as untalented as Kim doing their daily tasks which is practically nothing, the Kardashians have swiftly gained popularity for being the family that everyone loves to hate. Accused of being shallow and fame hungry, the show’s stars have had to suffer public backlash for several of their antics, including the much publicized wedding of Kim to Kris Humphries, whose exclusive photo and video rights were sold for a fortune, and broke up only 72 days later, hinting that it was just an elaborate publicity stunt.
9. Mr. Personality
We all know that beauty is only skin deep, that you cannot judge a person by how he/she looks, yet looks form an important and primal part of our attraction to the opposite sex. Before you can get to know a person, the only thing that you can decide on before going out with someone is obviously the looks. This show was built up on the notion that the personality of the person is more important than his looks, which is true and genuine. But the concept of the girl having to choose her husband from a group of men who are hiding their faces behind weird masks, so that she doesn’t base her judgement on his appearance just propagates the belief that women are shallow and superficial and ugly people will never find love. Getting Monica Lewinsky to be the anchor didn’t help ratings either.
8. Sarah Palin’s Alaska
A politician who served as the governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin became famous in 2008 as the Republican Party nominee for vice president. A famous politician doing a reality show to depict the beauty of Alaska , where she grew up, to the rest of the world, formed the premise of this show. Sounds good right? A travel show with a little family drama. The first episode actually drew in 5 million viewers, the highest for TLC, but the ratings fell by 40% the next episode when the viewers realized the obnoxiousness of it all. Sure there are good shots of the beauty of Alaska, but the show focuses more on how good of a mother Sarah is, loves nature and can hunt a caribou to feed her starving family; basically a marketing tool for Sarah to show to the masses that she is an extremely down to earth politician who would make for a good president. Not surprisingly, it has only one disastrous season to its credit.
7. Are You Hot?
As the title suggests this show, that was started in 2013, was a competition to find the sexiest person in America. Tasteless and dumb, the contestants were solely based on their physical appearance to judge their ‘hotness level’ and to watch people reduced to tears as judge Lorenzo Lamaz scorned individual body parts on national television to reject someone, made for the poorest form of entertainment. This again held men and women to such strict standards of body appeal as propagated by beauty magazines. Offending and embarrassing, there was an episode where a person’s teeth alignment led to his elimination!
6. Boy Meets Boy
Yes, the initial premise of the show was probably innocent, i.e. a dating show about gay men, but the twists and turns added to make for an interesting watch were downright disgusting to say in the least. Basically this American reality show that premiered in 2003 shows a house full of guys and one contestant has to choose among 15 other single guys or potential suitors, who he would like to date. Sounds fair enough, it was just a gay version of the bachelor. But the change that the show incorporated to increase ratings and spice up the show was that among the single gay men in the house, there were few straight men, just pretending to be gay. This information was not privy to either the contestants or housemates and the reward for them was a cash prize if any of the straight men got chosen as the winner. The fact that only one season was made, proves that audiences were revolted by the theme of the show as well
5. The Littlest Groom
This American reality TV show was modeled after the bachelor as well, where a man will have to choose one woman to date from among a group of women. The difference here was that the man here was a little person, i.e. a salesman named Glen Foster who was 5 feet 11 inches tall. Not sure what the show writers were thinking, they decided to include average sized women along with the other equal sized women, as the supposed twist in the show. Offending and by far one of the worst premises for entertainment, the show received extremely negative reaction from critics and viewers, who felt that the show attempted to use the little person quotient in a freaky sense to exploit them, just for ratings and attention, and throwing in average sized women in as a twist was suggestively mocking the contestant. The show which was probably about finding love became a ruthless example of the heights to which a network could fall for ratings.
4. Here comes Honey Boo Boo
This hit show is nothing more than a huge blow to preserving innocence of children. It is absolutely grotesque to watch, as parents of kids throw loads of makeup on their kids as young as four to six, give them fashionably outrageous clothing and strange hairstyles to make them ‘worthy’ of being judged in beauty pageants. How the concept of pitting kids against each other in beauty contests got approved, I will never know but what is more disgusting is that parents actually come forward to drag their kids to any lengths for the sake of fame and money, without a single thought as to the will of their child or the effect all this exposure could have on them.
3. Britney and Kevin: Chaotic
Believed to be a career destroying move for the extremely talented Britney spears, this reality TV show which kicked off on air in 2005 followed this troubled couple through their dating to their ultimate wedding. Initially aimed to document the backstage events of her ‘Onyx hotel tour’, which got cancelled due to her knee injury, it later focused on the highly controversial love life of Britney and Kevin. Her narcissistic behavior and general lack of decency received flak from all critics who labeled the show as one of the worst. Most viewers agreed that the show was awful and the general opinion about Britney was that she was nothing more than a dumb, sex-obsessed and believes the world revolves around her. With an initial viewership of 3.7 million in the first episode, it fell to 2.5 million, limiting the show to just one season.
2. Who’s your daddy
Making a mockery and a game show out of the whole premise of adoption, Who’s your daddy was a heinous show, hurting sentiments of people over such a sensitive issue. For an adopted child one of the hardest things in life, apart from the discovery that he/she is adopted, is finding out the biological parent’s identity. Now welcome to Who’s your daddy, where an adopted woman has to choose her biological father from a group of potential men,all for the prize money of 100,000 dollars. If she guesses right, she gets the money, else it goes to the ‘fake’ father she picked. Lying to a child about parenthood for money, is what the entertainment business come to! Only one episode was aired by Fox and after several other channels refused to air the others, it was canned and for good.
Personally, one of the worst shows to ever be made, it degraded everything from dignity of women to even love. The show, which aired in 2010, featured 12 engaged women in a completion where each woman had a list of plastic surgeries that they desired, and the winner of the weekly wedding task would be rewarded with any plastic surgery on her list. The final winner would get the wedding of her dreams as well as her wish list of plastic surgeries. The tasks ranged from anywhere between testing compatibility of the couples to fighting for the perfect wedding dress. The twist in this so called romantic story is that the fiance doesn’t get to see the bride until the wedding day, which apparently is supposed to be a wonderful surprise for him because his wife is now perfect and beautiful. After all the debates about how a woman should love her body and herself, for who she is and not how she looks like, this show single handedly put all of it to shame. Terrible reviews and ratings finally put an end to this abominable show.