Sure American reality TV shows have often been blamed for decline in society and in entertainment as appealing to the lowest common denominator. However, we need to understand that at the same time American reality shows have become so popular that their concepts are often imitated in other countries all over the world. You read that right. But sometimes other countries have their own shows as well like Britain with the Great British Bake Off and Don’t Tell the Bride. Though while reality TV is often associated with surveillance states and consumerism in western countries, other countries have their reasons. For instance, reality show voting has been the first time many citizens in authoritarian regimes have voted in free and fair wide-scale elections like American Idol style singing competitions. In fact, the Chinese government criticized a show called Super Girl for its democratic nature before banning it a few times. In the Arab world, reality shows have often challenged long standing taboos which resulted in public outcry and street protests. However, it’s best that we go on with the series as I add another installment to my series of lousy reality television.
71. Jersey Shore
Premise: Follows 8 housemates spending their summer on the Jersey Shore.
Why It’s Stupid: Debuted amid large amounts of controversy regarding the use of words “guido/guidette” (which is deemed as an ethnic slur) as well as portrayal of Italian-Americans due to the fact some cast members either weren’t or weren’t fully Italian descent (including Snooki) and for perpetuating degrading Italian stereotypes of an ethnicity often featured in gangster movies. Also faced scrutiny from locals because cast members weren’t state residents which resulted in protests. Hell, even Governor Chris Christie criticized the show for this and he’s known for stopping traffic. Then there’s the fact a lot of cast members got into some serious trouble, sponsors pulling ads, as well as glamorized tanning (note that most of MTV’s viewers are teenagers). Still, this show was very popular in its day.
Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, but it ran for 6 seasons.
72. Kill Reality
Premise: Leftovers from various reality shows get together to make a horror movie called The Scorned with behind the scenes features with the cast living together as it was being filmed.
Why It’s Stupid: One guy got removed from the house after defecating in a fellow contestant’s bed while she slept. Also, featured former reality show contestants trying to cash in on their fame.
Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, and after one season.
73. Flavor of Love
Premise: It’s supposed to be The Bachelor with negative black stereotypes. Several women compete for the heart of rapper Flavor Flav, a man known for looking for love in all the wrong places.
Why It’s Stupid: Mostly because Flavor Flav decided not to date or marry any of the winners from the first 3 seasons. Instead, he ended up marrying Liz, the mother of his 7th child which he did on the Season 3 reunion show. Let that sink in. Also, he was assisted by his mom and his ex in the first season. So yes, it was all a publicity stunt.
Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, after a few seasons with Rock of Love having the same format but having Bret Michaels from Poison instead.
74. Bad Girls Club
Premise: Focuses on altercations and physical confrontations of seven highly aggressive, quarrelsome, and unruly women. Each of them with psychological and behavioral problems and all have different backgrounds and personalities. Mischievous sexual and rascally moments are captured. Each are introduced to the show based on their capacity to be a “charismatic, tough chick.” Also they enjoy a luxurious lifestyle in a fine mansion for 3 months during which they must obey specific rules. Their lives inside and outside the house are chronically recorded. If a cast member violates production rules, she is evicted before being replaced.
Why It’s Stupid: Mary Mitchell of Sun Times stated that it was “hazardous to the female psyche” and “Just like some teens try to emulate rappers in their dress and behavior, the same is true for ‘bad girls. ‘” She also went on that the show gives a distorted view of how to live the good life, calling the cast “wannabe” who are “sleeping in a mansion they can’t pay for.” However, she believed that most people know these women are living a bogus lifestyle and said it’s disturbing. But that doesn’t stop many teenagers from emulating it. Also was subject to several controversies over the years. In addition, having crazy alcoholic women get drunk in a nice house which results in fights, feuds, and broken furniture is really not setting a great example. If I want to see charismatic, tough chicks enjoying luxurious lifestyles and getting into fights, I’ll watch Downton Abbey. Because at least the Dowager Countess and Cousin Isobel know how to argue with class.
Did it Get Canceled?: It’s still on.
75. Mob Wives
Premise: Follows a group of Staten Island women after their family members are arrested and imprisoned for crimes that are allegedly connected to the Mafia.
Why It’s Stupid: Other than the obvious negative Italian stereotypes, this is basically the Real Housewives consisting of women who live off of their men’s violent an criminal life. One person wrote in The Staten Island Advance in 2011: “Out of interest we only watched about twenty minutes of the first episode and couldn’t stomach watching the second. We don’t know what’s so interesting about a bunch of low-life women (the one pictured is a real piece of work) who think that husbands that go off to prison is like spending a year at college. I bet their kids are real proud of them. Any glorification of a life of crime is pathetic. They all deserve whatever misery that comes along.” Borough president James Molinaro commented, “I’ve seen it – It’s disgraceful. It paints Staten Island and Italian-Americans in a bad light. It’s detrimental because people will think this is what Staten Island is made of. I’m Italian – and this is bad for our doctors, our lawyers, the people who came from Italy to build their lives.” Not to mention, this also disturbed relatives of murder victims. If I want to see something on mob wives, I’d watch The Sopranos instead.
Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, but it ran for 6 seasons.
Premise: Features people performing various dangerous, crude, self-injuring stunts and pranks.
Why It’s Stupid: From Fame 10: “We’re not entirely sure how “Jackass” became as big as it did. All of the dangerous, crude, self-injuring stunts and pranks that they partook in were hardly that entertaining. If anything, it really should have made most people question these individuals and their intelligence. These guys were behaving like careless morons and were being paid for it. Unfortunately, many of us encouraged this by tuning in once a week! The real danger in “Jackass” is that there were some young people who copied some of the stupid things that they did and really hurt themselves as a result.”
Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, after a few seasons but they managed to make 4 movies that did very well at the box office. Still, people shouldn’t be rewarded for behaving like absolute idiots as these guys were.
Premise: Follows 9 young adults in Charleston, West Virginia and nearby Sissonville to create their own unique ways to enjoy life in the rural area surrounding them.
Why It’s Stupid: It’s like Jersey Shore with redneck stereotypes. From Fame 10: “According to one critic from The Hollywood Reporter, this show is not worth anyone’s time because it fails to offer its audience anything new or interesting. ‘It adds nothing. It’s not shocking, it’s not interesting, and it’s not quite crazy enough to become part of the zeitgeist. There’s nothing about these young rednecks that is particular to West Virginia, either, as much as any other state would surely deny it. These are just kids gone wild (though no wilder than you’d find in any college town). The biggest problem is, we’ve seen it all before.’”
Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, and thank God.
78. Being Bobby Brown
Premise: Depicts life of R&B singer Bobby Brown and then-wife Whitney Houston as well as their family.
Why It’s Stupid: Anyone who knows anything about Whitney Houston’s personal life, knows that Bobby Brown is a horrible human being as well as has a rap sheet longer than his catalog. I mean this guy is less known for his R&B career and more famous for his domestic violence, infidelity, drug use, and legal troubles. Was also said to rob Whitney Houston of any last shred of dignity. Seriously, this just gives a known abuser more undeserved celebrity.
Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, and after one season.
79. Hogan Knows Best
Premise: Follows the life and family of professional WWE wrestler Hulk Hogan.
Why It’s Stupid:Well, hoping to rip off the Osbournes, they were seen as way more dysfunctional and unlikeable that you get the idea this show aired because Hulk needed the money while his kids wanted a taste of fame. Doesn’t help that their family would be later destroyed with Hulk cheating on his wife with one of his daughter’s friends, his son permanently disabling his best friend in drunken car crash, and his wife going on the rebound with one of her children’s classmates. Turns out Hulk Hogan doesn’t know best, not by a long shot. Also, Hogan has admitted in an autobiography that a lot of this show was staged.
Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, but ran 2 years.
80. True Tori
Premise: Documents Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott’s life from 3 weeks after Dean left for rehab and highlights the apparent uncertainty in their marriage due to the alleged affair as well as them rebuilding their relationship.
Why It’s Stupid: From Fame 10: “Like most normal people, we enjoy a good cheating scandal; however, when it involves Tori Spelling, Dean McDermott and a reality TV show (“True Tori”), we’re instantly turned off. After giving this show a shot during season one, we quickly learned just how dysfunctional this couple’s relationship is. The whole point of the show is to give Spelling an opportunity to punish her husband for being unfaithful. While some women would choose divorce, she doesn’t have the strength. She’d rather obsess about McDermott’s infidelity, finding various ways to keep him in the physical and metaphorical doghouse, all while giving the audience way too much information about their sex life. One season of this awful show was bad enough; however, for some odd reason it was renewed for a second season. McDermott ended up dropping out of it after only a few episodes. Apparently Spelling’s punishment got to be too much, which isn’t surprising – she wanted to make him feel really bad and successfully accomplished it. These two need some serious couples therapy and, if that doesn’t make them stop airing their dirty laundry, we suggest that they get that divorce everyone has been hoping for.”
Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, but ran 2 seasons.