They Made a Show Out of This? Stupid Reality TV Shows: Part 9 – Breaking Amish to Man vs. Wild

Of course, we all know that networks like to air reality shows since they’re cheaper to produce than a scripted series. Proponents tend to say that plots and subject matter on such shows are more authentic and engaging than in scripted dramas. However, as we see in my series, reality TV doesn’t necessarily reflect real life. An obvious example of this would be Amish Mafia from the Discovery Channel which I think doesn’t reflect the Amish whatsoever. For one, one of the Amish guys in the promo is holding a machine gun and we know their firearms of choice would be a blunderbuss. Second, genuine Amish people are religiously forbidden to appear on camera so it’s clear anyone dressed in their attire is an actor. In fact, they mostly don’t interact with the media at all since they value their privacy. And lastly, it’s highly unlikely an Amish Mafia would exist since the Amish are staunch pacifists. So it’s no wonder that a noted Amish expert mistaken a trailer of this show as an SNL sketch. However, this lousy show was popular enough for 4 seasons. Yes, I’m scratching my head. Then there’s Finding Bigfoot in which we all know they’re not going to find him. Because Bigfoot ain’t real. Anyway, for your reading pleasure, I give you another installment of bad reality shows.

81. Breaking Amish

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Breaking Amish is a show about young people leaving their old ways of life for the big English city. Or are they really? Actually it’s more likely to be staged.

Station: TLC

Premise: A group of Amish and Mennonites ditch the butter churns for the bright lights of New York City.

Why It’s Stupid: For one, such idea is ridiculous. Second, after 2 episodes reports circulated that the cast of the show wasn’t exactly who they said they were. Allegations include the couple said to be meeting the first time actually had a child together and another said to be leaving the faith the first time had actually split 14 years prior. Also, there are plenty of Mennonites who don’t shun technology or even modern fashion and don’t live isolated from the rest of society. Seriously, my dad went to school with Mennonites.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, but ran 4 years.

 

82. My Strange Addiction

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It’s shows like My Strange Addiction that has given TLC the notorious reputation of coming up with shows to exploit people’s problems. This series uses people’s serious mental problems for the sake of entertainment.

Station: TLC

Premise: It’s a documentary series about people with unusual compulsive behaviors. These range from eating specific non-food items to ritualistic daily activities to bizarre personal fixations and beliefs.

Why It’s Stupid: For one, this show gives a lot of psychological misinformation since a few of these subjects wouldn’t be classified as having a true addiction, neither conventional or behavioral. Rather cause of behavior varies of psychiatric diagnosis with examples including obsessive-compulsive disorder, pica, paraphilia, schizophrenia, psychosis, Alzheimer’s disease, exercise bulimia, trichotillomania, body dysmorphic disorder, dermatillomania, and object sexuality. Many of these could be considered harmful. Second, it got a lot of flak for exploiting people’s problems that Us Weekly stated the “afflictions are fascinating, but too much time is spent gawking at their odd behavior as opposed to treating it. Only in the final moments do therapists pay a visit, and they oversimplify things by suggesting exercise and journaling!” The New York Daily News called it “the most disgusting reality show on television” while TV Guide said, “maybe the most entertaining freak show on television now, and definitely the most guilt-free one” noting that “the lack of hand-wringing feels deliciously subversive.” Third, specific cases on the show have raised concerns that at least some portrayals are fictional or falsified. For instance, a large number of Pica-like cases where the subject claim consuming materials known to be fatal in quantities shown such as gasoline, camphor, broken glass, and other non-food objects.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, but it ran for 6 seasons.

 

83. My 600-lb Life

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Sure I’m aware that the US has a serious obesity problem thanks to processed foods that needs to be taken care of. However, it still doesn’t explain how TLC could find enough 600 lb people for this show.

Station: TLC

Premise: A reality show about morbidly obese people and their attempts to lose weight to a healthy level, usually with the assistance of gastric bypass surgery performed by Houston-area surgeon Younan Nowzaradan.

Why It’s Stupid: Another way TLC has exploited some messed up people’s problems. Also, one of the people featured on the show died of an illness related to his gastric bypass surgery. Still, you have to wonder how could they come up with enough 600-lb people to do this show.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, but it ran 4 seasons.

 

84. Doomsday Preppers

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A show like Doomsday Preppers takes us into the world of survivalists who have to come up with plans to survive hypothetical but apocalyptic situations. Of course, you can guess it’s jammed packed with plenty of crazy conspiracy theorists.

Station: National Geographic Channel

Premise: Profiles various survivalists preparing to survive the various circumstances that may cause the end of civilization like economic collapse, societal collapse, and electromagnetic pulse. A consulting company called Practical Preppers grades the quality of their preparations.

Why It’s Stupid:  As Vh1 states, think about this quote from contestant Jay Desai, “We don’t make it an obsession like some folks but we do spend a fair amount of time and money on it. …You can’t always rely on the government or society to help you. The more people that are prepping minded, the better off we’ll all do.” Anyway, Neil Genzlinger in The New York Times condemned it as an “absurd excess on display and at what an easy target the prepper worldview is for ridicule,” noting, “how offensively anti-life these shows are, full of contempt for humankind.” Practical Preppers also profits off the show.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, but it ran 4 seasons.

 

85. I Cloned My Pet

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Though I Cloned My Pet is a series of specials instead of a regular show, it’s certainly insane. I mean it features rich people who miss their departed pets so much that they’re willing to spend up to $100,000 to have it cloned. Sorry, but what they really need is a visit to the psychiatrist.

Station: TLC

Premise: Mostly about bereaved pet owners who want to have the next best thing to a second chance with their departed furry friend through having it cloned.

Why It’s Stupid: As Lisa Mannering said from The Stir, “I understand what it means to have a pet you’re totally in love with. I loved two pets that were near and dear to me, but I accepted death as a part of life and have moved on. Cloning, if you ask me, is an unnatural, science-fictiony plot against the natural order of things, and no living, breathing being should be cloned for fun. Because, let’s be honest, people aren’t cloning their pets here in the name of research; they’re cloning their pets because they’re selfish and probably a little bit unhinged. After watching the clip, arm chair psychiatry will tell you that this woman secretly always wanted children and her obsession with her pet is a manifestation of that burning, unfulfilled desire.” Besides, clones aren’t necessarily the reincarnations of the original despite being a genetic carbon copy. Just look at identical twins. If you lost a pet you really loved, the healthiest thing to do is to bury it in the back yard or perform some other funerary ceremony and never look back.

Did it Get Canceled?: I’m not sure since it only ran in several hour long specials.

 

86. Duck Dynasty

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Yes, I’m well aware that Duck Dynasty is a very popular show. However, if you look at past photos of this family, it’s incredibly clear that the Robertson family is selling a fantasy. And that the beards and wardrobe are contractually obligated.

Station: A&E

Premise: Portrays the lives of the Robertson family who became successful from their family-operated duck caller business in West Monroe, Louisiana. The men are known for their long beards and conservative Christian views.

Why It’s Stupid: Phil Robertson’s controversial GQ Interview comments aside, this entire show’s success is based on selling a fantasy. Though the men of the Robertson family seem like a bunch of rednecks who speak simple homey truths and see what their more sophisticated brethren can’t, their facial hair and camo are all lies. Earlier pictures of the men depict them clean shaven in short hair in polos at golf courses. So I guess the long beards and camo were contractually obligated. As Rolling Stone called it, “A dipshit sitcom passed off as a reality show, with a bunch of bearded phonies stumbling over their scripted banter – like The Beverly Hillbillies with less believable facial hair. The Robertsons talked about Jesus a lot, but Jesus probably prefers Real Housewives like the rest of us.”

Did it Get Canceled?: It’s still on. Shit.

 

87. Paris Hilton’s My New BFF

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In Paris Hilton’s My New BFF, a bunch of women compete to be one of Paris’s confidantes. Well, for at least until the next season.

Station: MTV

Premise: It’s a competition series in which Paris Hilton searches for a new BFF.

Why It’s Stupid: From Metacritic: “Given these chances, it’s a surprise that thousands of people are not auditioning for the coveted position, whose prize does not seem to extend beyond bragging rights. (Seriously, no cash incentive?) It’s also a surprise that the show has been turned into a global franchise, with versions slated for taping in Canada, Germany and Russia, ensuring that the jet-setter will have a friend for all seasons.” Seriously, would I want to be friends with a shallow Paris Hilton? No. Still, even when someone wins the show, a friendship with Paris could be nothing but artificial. As Irikated would say, “Did anybody ever think that winning a show like this would instantly catapult them to a level where they will be there to console the failed porn star/DJ/model/actress/singer/fashion designer/jewellery designer, as she fails at the next career path she chooses?”

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, but it ran for 4 seasons, including one in the UK and the UAE.

 

88. Tool Academy

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Tool Academy may not seem like a bad idea on the surface since it pertains to jerks reforming themselves. However, it also enforces the idea of “I can change him,” which doesn’t constitute as healthy relationship advice.

Station: Vh1

Premise: A bunch of self-centered jerks are tricked into entering a competition for the title of Mr. Awesome by their equally shallow girlfriends. But as it turns out, they’re really entering the Tool Academy to turn them into decent boyfriends through a series of instructional counseling sessions. Each week, one contestant is eliminated and their partner must chose to whether to stay or not. Last remaining contestant wins $100,000. As Metacritic says, “Think of is as a reform school for the men of Jersey Shore, which, now that we consider it, isn’t such a bad idea after all.”

Why It’s Stupid: Kind of promotes the idea of, “I can change him,” which is a very bad relationship notion. Also, 6 cast members from various seasons filmed porn videos for their website Reality Revealed, an offshoot of the gay porn website Straight College Men. Lawsuits ensued.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, but it ran 3 seasons.

 

89. The Real Housewives of….

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Though The Real Housewives franchise has been a boon to Bravo, we have to acknowledge these women are technically socialites. Also, a lot of it’s scripted and demeans women in very nasty ways.

Station: Bravo

Premise: Documents the lives of several affluent housewives (actually socialites) residing in varying regions throughout the United States.

Why It’s Stupid: These shows really make women look bad by depicting them as shallow, spoiled bitches. As one blogger wrote, “I hate that Bravo has made these women – these disgusting examples of everything that is bad and wrong with our society – into minor (VERY minor) celebrities. They are all hopeless – and very difficult to watch.”  She then goes on saying, “I mean, who do these idiots think they are?? Before the show, they were nobodies! In my eyes, they still are – but you can’t pass a bad magazine as the check-out aisles of stores without seeing one of their faces on the cover. Ugh. It makes me shake with anger that these shows are still being watched.”

Did it Get Canceled?: These shows are still on.

 

90. Man vs. Wild

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Man vs. Wild made Bear Grylls an instant sensation on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean with his survivalist feats. However, it was later found that Grylls’ death defying acts on the show weren’t as impressive as portrayed. One scene consisted of him surviving a bear attack from a guy wearing a bear suit.

Station: Discovery Channel

Premise: Follows Bear Grylls left stranded in a region with his film crew and documents his efforts to survive and find a way back to civilization, usually requiring overnight shelter of some kind. Most of these are wild terrains like jungles, forests, or similar non-urban areas.

Why It’s Stupid: Let’s just say if you want to get tips to survive in the wild, you should probably watch The Hunger Games instead. That or reading stuff from survivalists. Because a UK Channel 4 conducted investigation in response to claims that some of Grylls’s stunts were set up by his production crew. Their findings revealed a long list of misleading information including instances where Grylls was staying in a hotel while claiming to be in the wild (like how the rest of us camp). One instance had Grylls shown trying to lasso a “wild” mustang in the Sierra Nevada that was actually tame and had been hired from a trekking station nearby. Another scene had a crew member wearing a bear suit to simulate a bear attack due to the inability to find a tame bear. One scene where Grylls is purported to have escaped from an active volcano by leaping across lava, avoiding poisonous sulfur dioxide gas was actually enhanced with special effects using hot coal and smoke machines. Then another episode gave viewers the impression that Grylls was a real life Robinson Crusoe stuck on a desert island when in reality he was on an outlying part of Hawaii where he spent the night in a motel.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, but it ran for 7 seasons.

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They Made a Show Out of This? Stupid Reality TV Shows: Part 8 – Jersey Shore to True Tori

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

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Jersey Shore was one of the infamous shows on MTV that became strangely popular and made Snooki a household name. Was known for promoting and glamorizing a lot of misbehavior.

Station: MTV

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

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Kill Reality was a show on E! that had leftovers from various reality shows making a horror movie. Yes, the producers must’ve been on something to come up with this idea.

Station: E!

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

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Flavor of Love featured several women competing for the heart of Flavor Flav, the guy with the big watch. However, he didn’t end up with any of the winners during the show’s 3 season run. Instead, he married the mom of his 7th child.

Station: Vh1

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

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Bad Girls Club focuses on the lives of 7 unruly women who may have behavior problems. And they’re allowed to live a life of luxury with some restrictions by production crew. Was subject to several controversies over the years.

Station: Oxygen

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

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Mob Wives follows a group of women whose husbands are in prison for their mafia-related activities. The fact this show disturbed victims’ families goes without saying.

Station: Vh1

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.

 

76. Jackass

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Before we had the Jackass movie franchise, there was a Jackass show on MTV. You can say it involves a bunch of guys getting themselves injured for the sake of entertainment. Or trying to win a Darwin Award.

Station: MTV

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.

 

77. Buckwild

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Thinking of demographics to offend after the success of Jersey Shore, MTV decided to focus on rednecks with Buckwild. But everyone thought it was boring and just as offensive.

Station: MTV

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

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Out of all celebrity spouses, Bobby Brown should be the last guy to have his own reality show. Seriously, he may be Whitney Houston’s husband but he’s not fondly remembered by her fans. And it doesn’t help that Whitney Houston died some years after this show aired.

Station: Bravo

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

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Hogan Knows Best follows professional wrestler Hulk Hogan and his family. Of course, it shows that Hogan didn’t know best since the family would be beset but a cavalcade of shit.

Station: Vh1

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

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True Tori documents the lives of Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott’s life 3 weeks after he left for rehab as well as the uncertainty in their marriage after his alleged affair. Let’s just say, you don’t want to see this.

Station: Lifetime

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.

They Made a Show Out of This? Stupid Reality TV Shows: Part 7 – Finding Bigfoot to The Bachelor and Bachelorette

As many of you might know by now, there are many types of reality shows. But there are 3 main ones that stick out. First, there’s the docusoap in which the viewer and the camera are passive observers following people going about their daily personal and professional lives. Sure there may be some “fly on wall” filming going on, but the “plots” can be compiled for the program that often resemble soap operas. TLC is famous for these kinds of shows but other cable networks air them on, too, like E!, A&E, the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, National Geographic, and the History Channel. Some of these may have educational value but a lot of them won’t and may potentially exploit people’s problems. The second type is the hidden camera when random passers by encounter a clearly staged situation. A lot of prank shows fall here. And finally, we have the so-called “reality game shows” where participants are filmed intensively in an enclosed environment while competing to win a prize. And when we think of reality shows, we usually think of these. Though we should remember that producers control the format and can manipulate the outcomes of these shows. So it’s always questionable how “real” reality TV really is. Anyway, on to another bad reality show installment for your reading pleasure.

61. Finding Bigfoot

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Spoiler Alert: They don’t find Bigfoot. Still, if Bigfoot was real, we would’ve known by now. I mean creatures always leave tracks like hair and excrement. Also, for someone as tall as Sasquatch, people probably would’ve seen one in the Pacific Northwest by now. Just saying.

Station: Animal Planet

Premise: Follows 4 researchers and explorers investigating potential evidence of Bigfoot, a cryptid hominid allegedly living in the wilderness of the United States and Canada.

Why It’s Stupid: To put a short story short, they haven’t found Bigfoot so far. And giving this creature’s alleged dimensions, there should be some considerable evidence like large footprints, feces, and the like. But it’s very likely that this mythological creature doesn’t exist and this show is a virtual wild goose chase. Makes the Discovery Channel’s documentary about an extinct shark seem rather reasonable because at least that animal really existed.

Did it Get Canceled?: No, and it’s set to enter its ninth season this year.

 

62. Bridezillas

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Sure weddings can be stressful and yes, a bride may act like a diva on her big day. Yet, Bridezillas portrays women as uncontrollable, selfish, and bullying bitches who’d throw tantrums if they don’t get what they want. It should be off the air.

Station: WE

Premise: Follows the lives of engaged women about to get married as they prepare their weddings and get into crazy fights with their families, friends, groom’s family, wedding parties, and service providers.

Why It’s Stupid: It’s incredibly offensive to both sexes on so many levels casting women as crazy and emotional and men as calm but vacant. It also implies the concept that women can be uncontrollable, selfish and bullying harpies who’d do anything to get what they want.

Did it Get Canceled?: No, been on the air since 2004, unfortunately.

 

63. Lost

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You may not remember but there was a reality show called Lost on NBC that was kind of a rip off of the Amazing Race. But unlike the long running series on ABC, it made way less sense.

Station: NBC

Premise: It’s similar to The Amazing Race except that the 3 two-member teams knew only of the final destination and were only given a backpack full of clothes and other essentials. Also, contestants who were not acquainted with one another prior to the show, were assigned to teams. They were then blindfolded and dropped off with a single camera person in a remote location of an unknown country to find their way back home. First team that reaches the Statue of Liberty receives $200,000.

Why It’s Stupid: Let’s just say that the contestants were more worried about getting home in one piece than competing against one another. Also, by the end most of the contestants quit.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, thank God.

 

64. The Family

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The series The Family, followed an Italian-American clan who moved into a mansion with a staff to compete for $1,000,000. And yes, it comes complete with offensive stereotypes, too.

Station: ABC

Premise: 10 members of an Italian-American family are moved to a mansion with a staff and compete for a $1,000,000 grand prize. Each week, contestants played reward challenges and elimination contests that determined which two people would be up for elimination from play. It worked with a secret Board of Trustees and making a decision on which member would be eliminated. Unbeknownst to the family, this board consisted of the servants.

Why It’s Stupid: Let’s just say that when it comes to portraying Italian-Americans, it makes Growing Up Gotti and Jersey Shore seem less offensive in comparison. Also, runs the risk of tearing families apart over money. If I wanted to see that, I could’ve watched some Agatha Christie adaptation on PBS or The Sopranos.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes.

 

65. A Shot of Love with Tila Tequila

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A Shot of Love with Tila Tequila was a hit on MTV during my teenage years which featured a group of men and women competing for Tila’s heart. However, there were not only rumors that Tila’s bisexuality was just an act, but that she had a boyfriend already. Such can be reinforced that the man who one in the first season never received her phone number and never saw her again.

Station: MTV and Logo

Premise: A group of both men and women vie for the heart of bisexual social media personality, occasional porn star, and recording artist Tila Tequila.

Why It’s Stupid: This was one of the most watched shows on MTV when I was in high school and college. While it did attract the conventional LGBT bashers, it’s to be expected. However, what makes this show stupid is that there were rumors that its star was not only straight but she had a boyfriend already. And it wasn’t helped that the show’s first season winner Bobby Banhart claimed that he never saw Tequila again after the show finished taping and that he wasn’t even given her telephone number.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, after 2 seasons.

 

66. America’s Next Top Model

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While America’s Next Top Model has been popular, it has often been criticized for shaming women as well as giving people unrealistic ideas of fashion model life. The allegations can go on and on.

Station: UPN, CW, and Vh1

Premise: Aspiring models compete for the title of “America’s Next Top Model,” with the show providing them the opportunity to begin their career in the modeling industry.

Why It’s Stupid: Okay, I understand that appearances matter here since it’s a fashion show but it’s endure long string of criticism from the first season. It’s been criticized for containing elements of cruelty and humiliation as well as some judges’ critiques being “really cruel and cringe-inducing” as well as humiliating and degrading young women according to Yahoo! Shine. The site also noted that the show gave contestants and women viewers unrealistic visions of life as a model and, “always espousing empowerment and female strength and then forcing the contestants into embarrassing scenarios far outside the realm of real-life modeling.” One scenario highlighted in Season 12’s final two contestants “were made to wear bikinis so skimpy that the producers had to blur out Allison Harvard’s butt cheeks” and perform “creepily sexual mud fight,” after which winner Teyona Anderson was “commended for taking her weave in her hand and whipping it around on the runway like a sexy feather boa.” Season 8 caused considerable controversy when Tyra Banks and Ken Mok noticed that most of the girls were unusually heavy smokers. Season 9’s winner Saleisha Stowers was later discovered to have appeared in a Wendy’s commercial, on a catwalk from a Season 6 show, and an episode of the Tyra Banks show prior to participation. This with the show breaking its own rules that a contestant must not appear as a model in a national campaign during 5 years prior to the season they participate in. After filming Season 10, the show’s producers were served with a lawsuit from the Top Model house owner for an estimated $500,000 in damages. This claiming that the contestants engaged in food fights, made holes in walls, caused water damage to the bathroom, damaged a $15,000 chandelier beyond repair, and caused $90,000 worth of damage to an electrical store. Also, claimed that the crew damaged the floor and made holes in the ceiling for lighting equipment. Additionally, it’s said that show hasn’t exactly produced any supermodels and the fact Season 1’s winner Adrianne Curry claiming that part of the grand prize she received such as a Revlon modeling contract was for a much smaller amount of work than was promised throughout the show.

Did it Get Canceled?: No, it’s still on VH1 and on its 23rd season but this time without Tyra Banks as host.

 

67. Jon and Kate Plus 8

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Now Jon and Kate Plus 8 was a major juggernaut in TLC’s ratings that the family soon became major celebrities. However, claims on child labor violations and a messy divorce gave me the impression that the parents were horrible people who exploited their kids for fame and fortune.

Station: TLC

Premise: Follows the lives of Jon and Kate Gosselin and their 8 children that includes a set of septuplets and a set of twins.

Why It’s Stupid: This was a hugely popular show when I was in college as well as one of TLC’s highest rated shows. However, when the Jon and Kate’s marriage began to fall apart and result in their divorce, I kind of got the impression that the two are incredibly awful people who I believe clearly exploited their kids for fame. Criticism and legal inquiry were raised in the children’s participation as to whether or not the children were exploited and under emotional distress. At the time the show filmed, there were no clear laws in Pennsylvania (where the Gosselins resided), regarding a child’s appearance on a reality show. However, PA law does permit kids 7 and up to work in the entertainment industry as long as certain guidelines are followed and a permit is obtained (the kids in the show were about 8 and 5 around the Gosselins’ divorce in 2009, so this law was clearly broken). For instance, kids may not work after 11:30 pm or where there’s alcohol being served. An investigation by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Labor Law Compliance found that, “The activity being filmed was spontaneous. However, children introduced episodes of the television show and transitions. DVDs and other merchandise were sold involving the children’s appearance. Lighting was placed in the home for the show and there was product placement in some episodes.” Thus, under Pennsylvania law, the kids were considered working on the show and the show had to obtain work permits, which it did not do. Nonetheless, both Jon and Kate deny that the show has done any harm on their children even though I most seriously doubt it because a lot of former child stars aren’t known for their well-adjusted lifestyles as adults.

Did it Get Canceled?: It’s still on but as Kate Plus 8.

 

68. Storage Wars

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Storage Wars revolves around a facility buying contents in storage lockers in hopes to turn a profit. However, it’s been subject to lawsuits alleging that the stuff was bought in advance for the show. So yes, there’s a lot staging involved.

Station: A&E

Premise: Follows professional buyers in California who purchase storage locker contents based on a 5 minute inspection of what they can see from the door when it’s opened. The goal is to turn a profit from the merchandise.

Why It’s Stupid: It was subject to a lawsuit by one of the show’s stars Dave Hester in 2012. In it, he claimed being fired after complaining to the network and the production company producing the show that the series is staged. According to him, the items seen in abandoned storage containers that are acquired by the cast are appraised in advance before A&E plants them in the containers. A&E also pays for storage lockers for the “weaker” cast members, scripts the cast member interviews, and stages auctions still on the show. A&E has denied this.

Did it Get Canceled?: No, it’s still on.

 

69. 8 Minutes

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The show 8 minutes follows an ex-cop turned pastor who attempts to rescue sex workers by posing as a john. However, while sex trafficking and prostitution are horrible things, not all sex workers want to be rescued. Besides, unlike what the show may imply, saving sex workers is often a long term and complicated process, not a simple sting operation. Subject to a damaging article by Buzzfeed.

Station: A&E

Premise: Chronicles ex-cop and Pastor Keith Brown meeting sex workers and attempting to convince them to quit their profession within 8 minutes. Each week, Brown would pose as a client in a hotel room. Once she arrived, Brown would try persuading the woman to escape their situation for a better life and promised to help. The “8 minutes” was the maximum amount of time a woman can decide to leave with Brown’s team before her safety was in jeopardy.

Why It’s Stupid: This show has attracted controversy for its storytelling consisting of approaching women with hidden cameras and myths about sex work. Yes, prostitution is a very exploitative business and is a travesty but there’s a reason why there’s a very heated debate over criminalizing it, particularly among feminists and former sex workers. However, this show had Pastor Brown coercing sex workers and sex trafficking victims to leave their trade. Not even Saint Paul would approve of this, because he perfectly understood prostitution was not something sex workers could easily escape from. Instead, Paul simply told men not to buy sex (when he mentions, “fornication” he’s referring to this). Nor would other organizations who are engaged in helping sex workers and human trafficking survivors leave their profession, which is often a long term process involving building strong support networks, accessing economic opportunity, and addressing many obstacles to former employment like childcare and prior criminal records. Sure a lot of prostitutes are victims of circumstance, but you simply can’t “rescue” them, especially if they’re not asking for it. Then there’s the fact this show was subject to an extremely damaging Buzzfeed article in which several of the featured women alleging that after producers promised them to provide professional help and privacy, the show didn’t deliver on either. One woman told the site that producers promised her “medical, dental, housing, and employment” but instead received $200 and radio silence. She would later be forced to return as a sex worker for money and was later arrested on prostitution charges. Another claimed that staffers gave her $400 and she never heard from anyone again. A third woman said her family found out about her job from the show and is now living in a hotel. A fourth claimed the producers told her husband to pose as a pimp.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, and thank God.

 

70. The Bachelor and Bachelorette

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The Bachelor and Bachelorette may be among the most popular reality shows ever made. Yet, the behind the scenes often involved producers coaching the contestants for storylines as well as manipulating emotions for the camera. And it’s been widely acknowledged.

Station: ABC

Premise: Dating show in which 25 contestants compete for the hand of one eligible bachelor/bachelorette who is expected to select a spouse, mostly at some large estate or some romantic or exotic location. During the course of the season, the bachelor/bachelorette eliminates candidates and proposes marriage in the final selection. However, the shows don’t always follow their designed structure and those variations often provide as source of drama and conflict like an eliminated candidate returning to plead their case, a bachelor/bachelorette distributing fewer or more roses than planned, a bachelor/bachelorette eliminating a contestant outside the normal elimination process like both on a 2 to 1 date, or the bachelor/bachelorette choosing to pursue their relationship with their final selection rather than propose marriage.

Why It’s Stupid: The creator of both shows as well as former contestants have stated that they’re both scripted. Bachelorette Season 4’s winner Jesse Csincsak stated that both series have contestants required to follow producers’ orders and that storylines are fabricated in the editing room. Bachelor Season 13 Participant Megan Parris related, “I don’t think [the producers] showed any real conversation I had with anyone… The viewers fail to realize that editing is what makes the show… You’ll hear someone make one comment and then they’ll show a clip of somebody’s face to make it look like that is their facial reaction to that statement, but really, somebody made that face the day before to something else. It’s just piecing things together to make a story.” She also stated that producers bully and berate contestants into saying specific things that they don’t wish to say. During the 2012 filming of Bachelor Season 16’s Women Tell All episode, what should’ve been a private conversation between contestant Courtney Robertson and one of the show’s producers went public when microphones were accidentally left on during camera takes. The leaked conversation revealed that the producer was encouraging Robertson to fake certain emotions for the camera which she was not feeling. Oh, and both shows’ creator even admitted to developing contestants into characters catering to his audience’s tastes and that they “need [their] fair share of villains every season.” There were even rumors that ABC hired actors to play specific roles on both shows. One Bachelorette cast overtly acted out the show’s written script with the Muppets. If such stuff I’m describing reminds you of Haymitch telling Katniss to fake her feelings for Peeta, it’s certainly no accident because both shows aired before The Hunger Games Trilogy was even written.

Did it Get Canceled?: It’s still on.

They Made a Show Out of This? Stupid Reality TV Shows: Part 6 – My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé to I’m a Celebrity….Get Me Out of Here!

You may notice that I put a lot of reality dating shows in this series. Well, it turns out that a lot of dating shows can be particularly downright horrible for several reasons. For one, a lot of them tend to be built around terrible concepts as you’ve seen in some of the ones involving gays and plus-sized people. Second, many tend to play with people’s emotions as you’ll find out when I get to Tila Tequila, Flavor Flav, and the Bachelor. Sure we’re convinced that what we see on the screen could be real but you can never be sure. And there were even winners known to be upset that their prize to date the center contestant was not to be. Third, some of these shows didn’t use background checks to screen their contestants as you see in Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? and Megan Wants a Millionaire. Fourth, a lot of them tend to tag on unrealistic ideas about relationships. And finally, reality dating shows are notorious for being really demeaning toward women. Anyway, here’s another installment of sleazy reality shows that belong in a garbage fire.

51. My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé

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In My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance, a woman fakes an engagement with a fat jerk in order to get money. And they have to convince her family of their engagement for 12 days. Yes, it’s as bad as you think.

Station: Fox

Premise: Woman is set up by producers and offered $250,000 for herself and $250,000 for the rest of her family if she takes part in a fake engagement to a big fat guy pretending to be a slob (for $250,000 for himself and $250,000 for his family). And the two have to convince the family of their engagement for 12 days and the family members have to attend the wedding without any objection.

Why It’s Stupid: Attractive blond woman willing to do anything for money? Check. Has a family that would do anything similar? Check. Bad fat guy stereotypes? Check.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes.

 

52. Sister Wives

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TLC’s Sister Wives is proof that the network would put on any show for ratings. Even if it’s pertains to a practice that’s illegal and would result in prosecution for the participants.

Station: TLC

Premise: A show that takes a look at a polygamist and his 4 wives and 18 children.

Why It’s Stupid: The guy and his wives said they participated in the show to make the public more aware of polygamist families and to combat societal prejudices. Yes, this was an attempt to show the human side of what is an illegal and outright creepy practice (and there are very good reasons for it). Also, the series led to the family being investigated for prosecution.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, but it ran for 2 years.

 

53. I Want a Famous Face

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I Want a Famous Face depicts people who get plastic surgery in order to look like their favorite celebrities. Yes, you read that right. And yes, this was actually a show. Of course, what these people need is therapy. Still, none of these was Jonathan Brewster who got a famous face anyway since he’d kill if you’d say he looks like Boris Karloff.

Station: MTV

Premise: Young people go through plastic surgery with the goal of looking like a famous person. Also features short spots on how plastic surgery can go wrong from people that have experienced poor health resulting from their attempts at plastic surgery.

Why It’s Stupid: Trying to imitates a celebrity’s hair and makeup is one thing. But having a plastic surgery procedure to look like them, now that’s creepy. Even creepier are the spots on plastic surgery. Also, I don’t think Jonathan Brewster would’ve wanted the famous face he got. I mean that guy practically killed a man who said he looked like Boris Karloff.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, but it ran 2 seasons.

 

54. Living Lohan

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No, Living Lohan doesn’t feature Lindsay, just her folks. However, it does show you why she turned out to be so messed up in the first place. Having a stage mother could do that to you.

Station: E!

Premise: Follows the Lohan family in Hollywood.

Why It’s Stupid: While personally I think reality shows are stupid in general, the fact that Lindsay wasn’t in it kind of makes it worse (she refused to take part in it). I mean, if anyone was interested in watching a show about the Lohans, she should’ve been in it. Then again, the fact her mom Dina being a modern Mama Rose might have something to do with it and maybe Lindsay made the right call. Also Anderson Cooper would say, “I cannot believe I’m wasting a minute of my life watching these horrific people.”

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, and after one season.

 

55. Amish Mafia

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While Discovery Channel tries to depict itself as an educational network, Amish Mafia has no educational value since it’s totally fake. How can I tell? Well, one of the guys is holding a machine gun in the promos, obviously. Also, when a noted professor saw previews for it, he thought it was a skit off SNL.

Station: Discovery Channel

Premise: Follows 4 young men in the Amish community who serve as self-appointed fixers which seems to mostly entail harassing people for committing petty crimes.

Why It’s Stupid: Yes, this is a real show, which has been questioned by scholars, local newspapers, and law enforcement, especially when it comes to an unspecified number of “re-enactments.” Also has been subject to accusations being bigoted and defaming Amish people. According to Professor Donald Weaver-Zercher, when he initially saw the trailer from the show, “I thought maybe it was a Saturday Night Live skit on reality television because it was so far-fetched.” He later added, “My sense is this Amish mafia is about as real as the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company in The Office.” Also, there was one scene purported to be shot in Lancaster County but was really shot in Columbia, South Carolina. Not to mention, even the politically corrupt former Governor Tom Corbett called for the show’s cancellation.

Did it Get Canceled?: No, it’s still on, unfortunately.

 

56. Baby Borrowers

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Sure Baby Borrowers seemed to be a show to prevent teen pregnancy by giving babies to teen couples. However, childcare experts wanted the show removed due to concerns over the emotional health of babies and young children. If I want to see a show on baby borrowers, I’d just watch Raising Arizona.

Station: NBC

Premise: Couples between 18 and 20 are lent babies, toddlers, pre-teens, teenagers, and elderly that they have to look after over the course of a month.

Why It’s Stupid: Think of it as a terrible idea to prevent teen pregnancy. The Natural Child Project and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry petitioned to NBC to remove the show over the emotional health of the babies, toddlers, and young children pertaining to attachment and separation anxiety.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes.

 

57. Date My Ex: Jo & Slade

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In Date My Ex: Jo & Slade, 3 guys go on a date with Jo while living at Slade’s house. And Slade gets to watch. Yes, it’s as disturbing as you think. These two don’t have a healthy relationship.

Station: Bravo

Premise: 3 guys are invited to Slade’s house to compete for Jo’s heart. Each day, one of Jo’s friends delivers a red and white polka dot box with a note and a clue hinting at the day’s events. Each of these guys takes Jo out for a unique date but what they don’t know is that Slade is watching their dates. At the end Jo chooses one of the guys in Slade’s house and go on a second date with her while the other guys have to leave.

Why It’s Stupid: Let’s just say having your ex find a new guy for you can be quite awkward. Even creepier that he’s watching the dates. You know what that reminds me of? Uh, something normal guys get restraining orders for.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes.

 

58. Hurl

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The show Hurl brings you to the world of competitive eating and extreme sports. First one to make it without vomiting wins $10,000. However, watching it will probably make you hurl.

Station: G4

Premise: Amateur competitive eaters force as much food into their stomachs as they possibly can before immediately partaking in extreme sports while trying not to vomit. Prize is $10,000.

Why It’s Stupid: For one, this is gross. Second, I don’t think gorging and partaking in extreme sports is a recipe for better health. I honestly don’t.

Did it Get Canceled?: Let’s hope so.

 

59. Sex Box

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The show Sex Box is kind of self-explanatory. It’s a show where couples have sex in a box. And there’s some sex therapy involved, too. For the love of God, I hope this show got cancelled.

Station: WE

Premise: Several couples are brought into the studio (some with relationship issues), where they enter a sound-proof box where they have sex. During this time the hosts will comment on sex, the couple, and the chances that their relationship will survive. After a certain amount of time, the couple exits the box and rejoins the hosts on stage, where they answer questions about themselves and their sex life, based on the theory that the couple will be more likely to be more open and honest in their answers after having sex.

Why It’s Stupid: Okay, I understand that some couples need help on their sex life. But I think this kind of therapy is going way too far. Seriously, if I needed relationship or sex counseling, I’d just see a therapist.

Did it Get Canceled?: Let’s hope so.

 

60. I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Outta Here!

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Now seeing celebrities fight for their lives in the jungle might seem like something you’d fantasize about. Until you have a show like this and don’t know any of the celebrities on it.

Station: ABC and NBC

Premise: 13 celebrities live together a jungle for a few weeks or some months with no luxuries and compete to be crowned king or queen of the jungle.

Why It’s Stupid: Actually I don’t think the premise is stupid at all. I’m sure there are plenty of people who’d want to see celebrities struggle to survive in the wilderness. However, what is stupid about this show is that most of the celebrities in question are has-beens or famous people you tend to forget about after a certain amount of time. If I had any say in this show, it would be to have celebrities viewers would want to see trying to survive in the jungle like Donald Trump, Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Tim Tebow, Jenny McCarthy, and others. Okay, now I feel pretty guilty here. See how reality television can bring out the worst in people?

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes.

They Made a Show Out of This? Stupid Reality TV Shows: Part 5 – Gay, Straight, or Taken? to Megan Wants a Millionaire

Now we’re halfway through with my series on reality show disasters. But whether we see it as a groundbreaking form of entertainment or a steaming pile of garbage as I do, you can’t deny it has made an impact on our culture. Plenty of reality TV stars have become celebrities who’ve graced magazine covers. Take for example Kim Kardashian. Sure her dad was an attorney for O.J. Simpson. But until Keeping Up with the Kardashians, you’ve probably never heard of her. And now her name is everywhere like she’s famous for being famous. Seriously, what has she done to warrant her fame? Nothing! However, she is one of the few celebrities in reality TV whose name will live forever even when her show gets cancelled. Many reality TV show contestants are often seen as “Z-List celebrities” who’ve done nothing much to warrant their 15 minutes of fame but have used it nevertheless. And yes, many get lampooned for it, too. But anyway, enough with the celebrity stuff, and let’s go on with another installment of awful reality show TV has ever aired.

41. Gay, Straight, or Taken?

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In Lifetime’s Gay, Straight, or Taken? a woman goes on a date with 3 guys and has to decide which one is gay, which one has a girlfriend, and which guy is straight and available. If she’s wrong, she’ll certainly be humiliated in the fact she can’t find a man.

Station: Lifetime

Premise: A female contestant goes on a group date with 3 men and then has to decide which one of them is gay, which one is in a relationship with a woman, and which one is straight and available.

Why It’s Stupid: Brought to you by the network for women who love men but hate women, this show basically served to humiliate women like “ha, ha, you’ll never find a man and even when you do, he’ll probably be gay, ha, ha.” Also, you have to feel bad for the gay boyfriend and the girlfriend of a couple of the guys who’s basically going out with another woman on television.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes.

 

42. Millionaire Matchmaker

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In Millionaire Matchmaker, a woman finds compatible dates for rich people. However, her rules are said to be sexist, outdated, and horrible, and tends to treat people like shit.

Station: Bravo

Premise: Follows Patty Stanger, owner of Beverly Hills based, “Millionaire’s Club” dating service where she matches single, wealthy people with closely compatible dates.

Why It’s Stupid: According to Beamly, she’s a monster who rules her dating service with an iron fist, throwing around insults and barking orders at anyone who will listen. Her rules for love are said to be outdated, sexist, and all around horrible. It’s said to be a trainwreck.

Did it Get Canceled?: No, and it’s been on the air since 2008.

 

43. Momma’s Boys

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In Momma’s Boys, 32 single women live in a mansion with 3 bachelors who they’re competing for and their mothers. And the women have to complete a series of tasks, too. I know what you’re thinking.

Station: NBC

Premise: 3 bachelors live in a house with 32 single women, all vying for their affection. The guys also bring their mothers who do their best to influence their son’s decisions. Throughout the series, the female contestants participate in competitions and are selected by the men for dates, with some of the contestants being eliminated at various intervals. Each woman receives a text message of “yes” if any of the men want to keep her in contention or “no” if none of them want to keep her in contention. If the men are undecided, they send a text message for the woman to meet them at the house’s swimming pool, where the men have an additional opportunity to talk to her before deciding whether she should stay or go.

Why It’s Stupid: If I wanted to see a show about some guy’s mom doing her best to influence her son’s decisions, I’d rather watch The Manchurian Candidate. Also, some of the women had been models for Playboy and Penthouse.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes.

 

44. More to Love

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More to Love was a show on Fox about a guy looking for love among a group of plus sized women. And he ended up choosing the skinniest one. Still, I’m sure there are plenty of men who’d go for these women since they’re all extraordinarily gorgeous.

Station: Fox

Premise: It’s like The Bachelor but the contestants are plus-sized women with the single guy promising them that he won’t judge them by their size.

Why It’s Stupid: Well, despite his promise ring not to judge the ladies by their size, he proceeded to choose the skinniest one of the bunch as the winner. Obviously. Way to go with hurting women’s self-esteem. Also, those women seemed to look quite unrealistically gorgeous, plus-sized or not.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes.

 

45. Mr. Personality

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I have to admit, though dating a guy in a creepy mask might seem awkward, it kind of makes a great Halloween costume. It also shares the irony of it being hosted by Monica Lewinsky. You read that right.

Station: Fox

Premise: It’s like The Bachelorette with one woman having to choose among 20 suitors. But they all wear creepy gray luchador masks the entire time so she’d judge them based on their personality alone.

Why It’s Stupid: For one, this show tends to infer that women are notorious for judging men only by their looks (and not the other way around). Was also hosted by Monica Lewinsky, yes, that Monica Lewinsky. Not to mention, why the hell was there no Ms. Personality?

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes.

 

46. Parental Control

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Parental Control is the MTV show in which parents try to get their kid to break up with their boyfriend/girlfriend they don’t like and set them up with someone knew. Or something that rich Victorian parents did all the time by threatening to take their kids’ inheritance away from them.

Station: MTV

Premise: Parents who hate their kid’s current squeeze interview and set them up with 2 other options. Kid dates those people and then has to decide whether to keep their current relationship, stay single, or choose one of the 2 new options.

Why It’s Stupid: It’s one thing for parents not to like who their kids might be dating. And sometimes there might be good reasons for it. But parents trying to control their kids’ love lives on reality television? That just sounds like torture. This is especially since 90% of the time the kid decided to stay in their current relationship.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, but it ran 5 years.

 

47. Playing It Straight

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Playing It Straight is a show in which a woman spends time on a ranch which 14 different men she has to distinguish between which ones were gay and which were straight. It’s built on the idea that a woman can’t find a guy because the nicer ones are gay. Yet, she chose the straight one anyway.

Station: Fox

Premise: It’s like The Bachelorette. One woman dates 14 bachelors. However, some of these guys are gay. And each week she eliminates guys she doesn’t have a connection with as well as guys she thinks are gay. At the end, if the guy she picks is straight, they split the prize. If a gay guy is picked, he gets all the prize money and the woman receives nothing.

Why It’s Stupid: Well, this is playing on the idea that women can’t find a nice guy because they’re gay. Nevertheless, the woman went with a straight guy in the end.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes.

 

48. Room Raiders

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You have to hand it to MTV to make a show around privacy invasion of potential dates. Now that’s just messed up, if not, then probably illegal. Yet, it went on for 5 years.

Station: MTV

Premise: A contestant must search the contents of their 3 suitors’ bedrooms and then choose which one to date based solely on said contents.

Why It’s Stupid: Not only is this gross and a total invasion of privacy (as well as a form of stalking which is illegal), it’s bound to make any date very awkward. It’s bad enough to get into your significant other’s stuff. But raiding the bedroom of a total stranger you’re thinking of dating, that’s messed up.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, but it ran 5 years.

 

49. 16 and Pregnant

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Look, teen pregnancy is a terrible problem in this country that shouldn’t be encouraged. But a show like 16 and Pregnant tends to glamorize it. No, kids, you don’t want to have a baby as a teenager. This show makes me want to throw up.

Station: MTV

Premise: Follows the stories of pregnant teenage girls in high school dealing with the hardships of their pregnancies.

Why It’s Stupid: To be fair, it’s said to that the show has generate a 4.3% in teen births. However, I’m sure the possibility of getting knocked up and being offered money and fame is really preventing teenagers from unprotected sex (sarcasm). And it really doesn’t match the reality that most real teen mothers go through like poverty, lack of career options, and domestic instability. Oh, and the fact their children may end up just like them. Same goes for Teen Mom.

Did it Get Canceled?: No, it’s still on.

 

50. Megan Wants a Millionaire

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In Megan Wants a Millionaire, a bunch of rich guys compete to become Megan Hauseman’s sugar daddy. Too bad one of these guys was suspected for killing his wife.

Station: Vh1

Premise: A bunch of rich guys with a net worth of $1 million vie to be Megan Hauseman’s sugar daddy.

Why It’s Stupid: For one, this woman is an obvious gold digger aspiring to become a trophy wife, which doesn’t set a great example for girls to aspire to. Second, it was suspended after airing its third episode in 2009 when it was announced that contestant Ryan Jenkins was being sought by police for questioning for the connection to the murder of his wife, swimsuit model Jessica Fiore. A few days and an arrest warrant later, he was found dead in British Columbia, having hanged himself. The series was canceled the next day.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, and at quick notice, too.

They Made a Show Out of This? Stupid Reality TV Shows: Part 4 – Average Joe to Frank the Entertainer in a Basement Affair

Reality TV has such a presence in our culture that you have to be under a rock no to have any exposure to it at some level. Unfortunately, I believe that a lot of it tends to appeal to the lowest common denominator. But perhaps it might explain why The Hunger Games is so popular since a lot of the stuff you see in the books and movies are what you see in reality shows. This is especially the case when Katniss has to fake a romance with Peeta during the course of the competition. But at least Katniss had a good excuse since the Hunger Games is a teenage death match. Yet, she did toy with Peeta’s emotions in the process which devastated him at the end of the first book. In world of reality shows, you have production crews meddling in people’s lives all the time. They have writers who craft story lines and scenarios for the participants to follow. Sure it’s not scripted but that doesn’t mean participants are being coached. You also have a lot of deceptive editing, too. So we can’t say that what’s presented in reality TV is necessarily real. Nevertheless, for your reading displeasure I bring you another installment of terrible reality shows with the same appeal as a train derailment.

31. Average Joe

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On Average Joe a bunch of normal guys compete for the hand of a unrealistically beautiful woman. Sure these guys don’t look half-bad. But c’mon, why didn’t they have one with average looking women competing for a beefcake?

Station: NBC

Premise: A bunch of normal looking guys compete to win the affection of a gorgeous woman. Halfway through there are some hot guys thrown in as well, just in case she starts falling for some of them based on their personalities.

Why It’s Stupid: Let me put it this way, would anyone be willing to do a reality show pertaining to a group of normal looking women vying for an incredibly gorgeous guy?

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, but it went on for a few seasons.

32. Chains of Love

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In Chains of Love, contestants are chained together in order to compete for the love of the person in the middle. They also live in a mansion where they eat and sleep together. Hope they don’t bathe, dress, and go to the bathroom together. For God’s sake, you have to wonder about these things.

Station: UPN

Premise: Dating show where contestants are chained to 4 suitors of the opposite sex, sometimes for days where they eat together and sleep together. Each suitor represents a quality they look for in a potential mate. After a couple of days, one “chain gang” member is cut by the person in the middle and is given some of a $10,000 purse. At the end they’ll have to choose a winner who will get them and the rest of the $10,000 purse.

Why It’s Stupid: Uh, being literally chained to suitors isn’t really a lot of fun. Also, you have to wonder how these people even bathe, dress themselves, or go to the bathroom. Or whether the person in the middle has sex with any suitors or if the others watch it. It’s a miracle that no one on this show was murdered at all. One person called it, “a S&M Party gone horribly wrong.”

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, and so did the network.

 

33. Change of Heart

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In Change of Heart, couples go see other people before deciding to whether to stay together. If you and your partner are on this show, you might want to evaluate your relationship. Seriously, this is messed up.

Station: Syndication

Premise: 2 couples go on dates with other people and decide whether they want to stay together.

Why It’s Stupid: Seriously, this show takes the “seeing other people” thing a bit too far. When someone said that they want to see other people, it should mean they want to break up with them. Not going on dates with other people and wanting to stay together.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, but ran for 5 seasons.

 

34. Conveyor Belt of Love

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Conveyor Belt of Love was a show on ABC where women look at guys on a conveyor belt before deciding to date them. Here one guy takes off his shirt to reveal his washboard abs.

Station: ABC

Premise: 5 women check out 30 men who pass them by on a giant conveyor belt who only have 60 seconds to impress them. If a woman is interested in someone, that man will step aside and wait as the rest of the men go by. But if another man comes by on the belt who seems better than that woman’s first choice, then she can swap out the man waiting off of the belt as many times she wants until the last man has passed by. If 2 or more of the women are interested in the same man, the man on the conveyor belt gets to choose which one he’d have to wait for. After all 30 men made it through the belt, each woman is left with her final choice as she embarks on a date in the hope of finding a true connection.

Why It’s Stupid: Oh, there’s nothing romantic like checking out guys like they’re cars just off the assembly line (sarcasm).

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, after one season.

 

35. Date My Mom

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In Date My Mom, a single dater goes out with 3 moms who try to convince them to date their kids. Yes, I know it’s kind of like the Graduate and it’s creepy but that’s beside the point. No, I don’t know if there was any Mrs. Robinson contestant.

Station: MTV

Premise: Single dater goes out with 3 moms who try to convince them to date their kids. The dater chooses which of these they want to date.

Why It’s Stupid: Have anyone of you have ever seen The Graduate? When it comes to dating, you might want to skip on dating somebody’s kid after going on a date with their parents. Let’s just say Thanksgiving going to be awkward. It would’ve been more ironic had they used “Mrs. Robinson” as a theme song. Creepy.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, but it ran 2 years.

 

36. Dating in the Dark

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Hey, I don’t mind meeting a guy on a blind date. But I’d rather be able to see him when I meet him. But this isn’t what these daters get in Dating in the Dark. Yes, it’s stupid.

Station: ABC

Premise: 3 single women and 3 single men move into a house getting to know each other and form bonds in total darkness.

Why It’s Stupid: Going on a blind date is one thing. But dating a stranger in total darkness? Sorry, but I think it might be better to date somebody in a way I could actually see what they look like such as on the Internet (in some ways). Let’s just say, while looks aren’t everything, it could be a very disappointing experience to know that the person you dated in the dark didn’t look like you’d imagine them. And yes, the contestants are judged by their looks at the end.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, but it ran 2 years.

 

37. EX-treme Dating

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If you’re a girl who’d like to meet a new guy but doesn’t mind your ex stalking you and give you advice, then EX-treme Dating is the show for you. Or as I call it EX-treme Stalking. Because that’s what it is.

Station: Syndication

Premise: Two people go on a blind date chaperoned by their exes who talk to the daters through earpieces, guiding the conversation topic. At the end of the date, a limo shows up. If the dater is in there, the two go on a second date. If the ex is in there, they win a prize.

Why It’s Stupid: Hmmm….people going out on a date while being watched by their exes. In many situations, it’s called EX-treme stalking.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, but it ran 3 years.

 

38. ElimiDate

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In ElimiDate, one contestant is paired with 4 of the opposite sex for a date. And as it goes on, things get sexier and sexier. Guess one has been elimidated so far.

Station: Syndication

Premise: One contestant dates 4 other contestants at the same time and eliminates them one by one. Think of it as a poor man’s version of The Bachelor.

Why It’s Stupid: Other than going on date with a few other people, the dates tend to get sexier and sexier. For instance, it would start in the park. But when it comes down to the final two, they’d be in a hot tub. Let’s just say, if I was one of the suitors to make it to the hot tub scene, I’d be glad to get eliminadated by that point.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, but it ran for 5 years.

 

39. For Love or Money

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Sure love should always trump money in the real world. But on For Love Or Money, if a suitor be chosen, they should’ve always chose money. Because a lot of reality show relationships don’t last.

Station: NBC

Premise: It’s like The Bachelor with one contestant with 15 suitors to choose from. However, the chosen suitor always has the opportunity to start a relationship with the central contestant or taking home a cash prize while not being permitted any further contact. Eliminated contestants are forced to rip up their checks that represented the money they could’ve won.

Why It’s Stupid: Yes, I do think that love should trump money in the real world. However, in the world of Reality TV where plenty of relationships die after the credits roll, always go with the money.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, but not after 4 seasons.

 

40. Frank the Entertainer in a Basement Affair

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In Frank the Entertainer: A Basement Affair, a bunch of beautiful women compete for a man who lives in his parents’ basement. And they have to move in for a time, too. Yes, it’s a true basement affair.

Station: Vh1

Premise: Another poor man version of The Bachelor. Here, 15 women contestants move in with Frank “The Entertainer” Maresca and his parents. And yes, it’s a true basement affair.

Why It’s Stupid: Yes, there are plenty of 30 something men who live in their parents’ basement and still rely on them. However, we usually never want to talk about it. Nor do we really want to watch an entire show about it. Also, if I were a contestant, I’d probably glad to be eliminated on this show.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes.

They Made a Show Out of This? Stupid Reality TV Shows: Part 3 – Hell Date to Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

As you look through the stupid reality TV shows, you can see why I try to avoid them. There are a lot of criticisms of this genre that state how it’s dumbing down the populace and corrupting society. But don’t worry, because the United States isn’t the only country with reality shows. Because yes, foreign countries have their own, too. After all, you can find the lowest common denominator almost everywhere. But what was particularly bad for me is the fact reality shows are particularly popular among teenagers. And as someone growing up in the 2000s, I had to deal with classmates talking about this garbage, especially in college. I had a roommate who loved The Hills while a lot of people in my pod watched Jon and Kat Plus 8. But shows like Tila Tequila and Cribs were particularly popular students at my high school. You can say reality TV was a bane of my adolescence. Still, studies have shown that young people emulate behavior displayed on these programs, gathering much of their knowledge of the social world, particularly about consumer practices from TV. And it doesn’t help that many of these shows teens watch contain questionable role models, particularly the representation of sexually objectified women. Or the depiction of women as shallow, materialistic gold diggers. So for your reading pleasure or lack of it, I bring you another installment of terrible reality shows that would make you feel worse for watching them.

21. Hell Date

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Hell Date is a dating show in which people are on a blind date with one acting like a total asshole. And there’s a devil in it, too.

Station: BET

Premise: It’s a typical dating show with single people looking for love. Only difference is that the potential mate is an actor paid to be the most annoying pain in the ass any person could be forced to go on a date with. Also has a little person in a devil costume for the big reveal.

Why It’s Stupid: The people at Madame Noire thought this was entertaining. However, this is pretty terrible if you think about it. It’s bad enough to date a genuine asshole, let alone be forced to date one. Yet, to date someone pretending to be an asshole, that’s just awful. Even has as dwarf in a devil costume saying, “You on Hell Date!”

Did it Get Canceled?: Not sure.

 

22. Joe Millionaire

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So let me get this straight, this is a show about a guy who’s trying to get a girl by pretending to be rich. Like Aladdin. But at least Aladdin had a lot of good songs and a wisecracking genie which I’d rather watch anyway than this garbage.

Station: Fox

Premise: Ordinary construction worker poses as a multi-millionaire heir looking for love as he takes a group of women to exotic, luxurious locations. But none of the women are aware of the ruse until it’s revealed to the last remaining woman. If she chooses to stay anyway, they’d receive $1 million.

Why It’s Stupid: Well, it was built on the idea whether money can buy love. But while “love” prevailed, it wasn’t long until the two went their separate ways, only $500,000 richer. Kind of a let down if you think about it but not surprising.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, after 2 seasons but the first season was wildly popular.

 

23. Bridalplasty

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Bridalplasty is one of those horrible shows in which women compete for the plastic surgery makeover and wedding of their dreams. But the winning bride’s groom didn’t see her until their wedding day. Yeah, I know it’s very exploitative and made women seem vapid and superficial.

Station: E!

Premise: 12 engaged or already married women compete in a series of challenges for the wedding of their dreams and their dream plastic surgery makeover. Each woman had a plastic surgery wishlist and the winner of each week’s wedding challenge would win one plastic surgery procedure from her list. The winner received the wedding of her dreams and her entire wish list fulfilled. But the groom didn’t see his bride until she revealed her new look on their wedding day.

Why It’s Stupid: This show is downright deplorable in regard’s for women’s self-image. Also made women seem vapid and superficial. Makes Bridezillas seem like a feminist show in comparison.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, and there was much rejoicing.

 

24. Superstar USA

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Seeing the success of American Idol, those at the WB thought it would be great to have a singing competition show of their own. But instead of picking great singers, Superstar USA did the opposite.

Station: The WB

Premise: It’s like American Idol except they’re trying to find the worst singer in America. Contestants who couldn’t hold a tune were told they were the best singers around. Those who had the best voices were eliminated. Audience members were told the singers were terminally ill and that a charitable organization had made their dreams come true. Winner leaves with $50,000.

Why It’s Stupid: If it was a parody, it would be understandable. But it wasn’t. So it’s ridiculous.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, and so did the network.

 

25. Survival of the Richest

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Survival of the Richest paired a rich kid and a poor kid for a major cash prize of $200,000. I’m sure the winners split the prize money. Probably not.

Station: The WB

Premise: Seven kids worth over $3 billion are paired with seven kids with a combined debt of $150,000. The pairs had to compete to win $200,000.

Why It’s Stupid: Casting only reinforced typical stereotypes between rich and poor. And I know dividing the prize money went quite well (sarcasm).

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, and so did the network.

 

26. I Know My Kid’s a Star

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I Know My Kid’s a Star is a show where moms try to live vicariously through their kids by trying to put them into show biz. Of course, many will succeed in putting their kids into a lifetime of therapy.

Station: Vh1

Premise: Parents and kids are in an elimination style competition in which each week the kid was given tasks to try and advance their show-biz career.

Why It’s Stupid: Parents exploiting their kids? Check. Parents getting into fights with other parents saying that their kid is the next big thing in Hollywood? Check. If I want to see something like that, I’ll just tune into Gypsy. At least Mama Rose has some great songs.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes.

 

27. My Super Sweet 16

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My Super Sweet 16 was a very popular show when I was growing up to my chagrin. This one covered a lot of spoiled rich girls who had to have the most lavish 16th birthday party ever. By the way, this is a promo featuring Jennifer Lawrence. Best thing to straighten her out is to have her little sister picked for the Hunger Games.

Station: MTV

Premise: Spoiled rich teenagers were given a party of their lifetime, all to celebrate their 16th birthday. Parties featured popular singers, lavish gifts, and expensive locations.

Why It’s Stupid: It basically featured rich kids as complete brats lashing out at their parents for getting a small detail of their party right. Not only that, but this series was on when I was a teenager and had to hear other kids talk about it at school almost all the time.

Did it Get Canceled?: Not sure.

 

28. Keeping Up with the Kardashians

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Yes, I know this show is immensely popular. But seriously, these people may be accomplished in their own right. But they seem to become the faces of undeserved celebrity since they’re more like celebrity groupies. Famous for being famous indeed.

Station: E!

Premise: Documents the lives of the Kardashians whose patriarch was once a defense lawyer for O. J. Simpson. The stepdad-turned stepmom was a famous Olympian. Then there’s athlete Lamar Odom and rapper Kanye West.

Why It’s Stupid: Because when it comes to celebrity reality shows, at least they did something in their lives to earn some celebrity status. Other than the spouses, most of the family is just famous for their reality show or being celebrity groupies (Kim was a stylist and personal shopper to Lindsay Lohan as well as dated a lot of celebrities as well. Was also married to Kris Humphries for 72 days and their marriage was certainly a publicity stunt). It’s also made the Kardashian sisters into icons, particularly Kim which I think is a travesty. Still, they’re probably good people as you can see by their relationship with Lamar Odom. But that doesn’t mean they deserve to be famous.

Did it Get Canceled?: No, it’s still on and it’s still a hit. There have also been spinoffs.

 

29. Toddlers and Tiaras

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Personally, I can’t think of anything so exploitative and detrimental to children as child beauty pageants. But a show covering them is beyond the pale. Seriously,

Station: TLC

Premise: Documents parents (mostly moms) lavishing makeup on their 4-6 year old children, giving them big hairdos, dressing them in outrageous clothes, and entering them into beauty pageants.

Why It’s Stupid: It’s about parents exploiting their kids through entering them into child beauty pageants, which horribly sexualize young girls and teach them that their looks are the only thing that matter. Not to mention, they force these girls to conform to unrealistic beauty standards with hooker makeup and high heeled shoes. Sounds what evil people would do in secret. Can someone call Child Services on these parents? Hope these pint sized pageant queens get some prize money, because they’re going to need it for years of therapy.

Did it Get Canceled?: Ended in 2013.

 

30. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

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Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is a spin-off of Toddlers and Tiaras which covers this girl’s family. Yes, I know it reflected people in her area quite badly. But thank God it was cancelled.

Station: TLC

Premise: Basically, it’s a spin-off of Toddlers and Tiaras but it takes a look into the family and life of Alana Thompson.

Why It’s Stupid: For one, this is a show about a girl in a child beauty pageants. Second, it’s filled with offensive stereotypes of poor, rural whites. Third, fellow town residents felt the show reflected badly on everyone living there like no one had any manners. Fourth, Mama June giving her child “go-go juice” really should’ve had people calling child services since it contains Mountain Dew and Red Bull.

Did it Get Canceled?: Yes, in 2014, but not without scandal. Nevertheless, it was highly popular, unfortunately.