Looking back over the decade there have been many new, and improved reality TV shows, with so many choices how can anyone possibly choose their “Top 10 Reality Shows?” To find out the answer for the best reality shows of the decade I try to answer these questions:
-Did this reality show last through the test of time?
-Did this reality show get better the longer it was on?
-Did my never watching television husband actually take time to watch any of these reality TV shows?
-Were these reality shows DVR worthy?
-Did any of these television reality shows come up with a new “twist” to make me want to start watching them? Or better yet stay tuned?
So, what reality television shows pass my test for the best of the decade? Let’s tune in!
My Picks for Top 10 Reality TV Shows 1999-2009
Amazing Race airs on CBS on Sunday nights. During each season I look forward to watching teams of pairs, from parents and children to those that are dating compete to win a million dollars. These teams travel the world performing tasks that can be frightening, exhilarating, and challenging. Teams are eliminated along the way. What is best about this show? The world travel, how the teams learn to appreciate each other’s talents and the fact that my husband actually sits down to watch this reality television show with me – now that makes it a winner in my book! We DVR it so we never miss an episode and even watch it online.
Project Runway, hosted by Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn show cases up and coming and unknown fashion designers from all over the United States. Formerly aired on BRAVO, it is currently a Lifetime show and I look forward to the next season. Provided with challenges, these fashion designers must show their own look as well as meet the standards of the challenge, normally coming up with something that no “real” person would wear. But the challenges get more and more interesting and Tim Gunn really makes this show zing.
Extreme Home Makeover – The Home Edition hosted by Ty Pennington and his workshop of merry men and women work with a builder, a community and a family to bring about their dream of a home that is safe and healthy. How are these people chosen? Videos are submitted with a day in the life of as well as the history. Those chosen for a new home and a new life have found ways to overcome hardships and serve their community. While of course the human interest in well, interesting, I also like finding out about the new innovations that are incorporated by the design and building team. This year there is a twist. Celebrities join in lending their talents to the hard work. This season Usher, Ashley Tisdale and Clint Black are just a few that have made an appearance. Watch this show Sunday nights on ABC.
Have you ever looked in your closet and wondered “What Not to Wear?” Well maybe more of us should! In this show hosts Stacy London and Clinton Kelly tell every day people what they shouldn’t and shouldn’t wear. Captured on video they go through the wardrobe of their unsuspecting fashion victim, and turn things around with a $5,000.00 shopping spree, hair and face make over. What’s so terrific about this show? It’s real women with real bodies and they look great! It really all is in the attitude and the fit of the clothes you wear. View this show in the Discovery Channels TLC.
What are you afraid of? Though no longer on television, the reality television show Fear Factor made contestants face their fears, whatever they may be from hissing cockroaches to being enclosed in a coffin. Why would anyone do this? For money of course! Episodes are now stored in the NBC vault, but it was actually a show that the whole family (except the babies of course) could watch, enjoy and challenge each other with. We enjoyed it so much was visited it live at Universal Studios.
Next time you wish you had a different spouse, think again and watch an episode of Wife Swap, previously shown on Friday nights on ABC it is gearing up for a whole new season of women switching households and families. The producers love to find the unique and different in these families and sometimes it goes a bit far (are these families really that strange?) but this reality show definitely gets right to the heart of the home – the mother.
The eternal contest, especially now that New Year’s Resolutions are on the horizon, who will win in Man vs. Food? Travel the U.S. with host Adam Richman discovering those unique and different foods and cuisines across the nation. The challenge? Not only does he find great food during his travels but he also takes on the challenge of eating the largest, most unique, spiciest or other “most” of the foods he encounters on his travels. Through Man vs. Food we were introduced to a great Mexican food joint in Austin. Which one you ask? Go watch his episodes on the Travel Channel and the Travel Channel.com to find out for yourself.
E-True Hollywood Stories is a documentary show on E! Entertainment Television where viewers can learn about the past lives and loves as well as the present of their favorite or notorious actors and actresses. Recently hosting their 500th episode this reality show is one of the few “real” ones with pictures, video, and interviews by the friends and family of some of our favorite Hollywood hotties. Recent episodes have included Patrick Swayze, Farrah Faucett, Pink, and Jennifer Lopez. Be sure to visit the episode guide online for upcoming episodes.
No one is a loser on the Biggest Loser. NBC’s hit pulls from everyday people who want to make a change – not only in their weight but in their life but losing weight and getting healthy. Hosted by Ali Sweeney (Days of Our Lives) and personal trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper this reality television show get participants to work hard not only for a weight loss make over but a new way of living life. Empowerment, self confidence and healthy living are the keywords for this show, with a new season beginning Jan. 5th. Surprisingly, a friend of mine applied to be on this show and if chosen I hope to be able to bring you the “inside scoop.”
I don’t know why I keep coming back for more of “The Bachelor.” I can say that I won’t be DVRing any episodes of the next Bachelorette, which astounded me with the level of insanity that occurred on the last go round. Just when I swore off “The Bachelor” too, they brought back “Jake” an airplane pilot and “loser” from the bachelorette. In this show women compete for the affections of our handsome and eligible bachelor and you think that soap operas are full of drama what till you see this. The latest installment airs on Monday, January 4th.
Honorable mentions go to American Idol, Intervention, Super Nanny, Survivor and Dancing with the Stars.
Even this busy mom, wife and writer finds some time to sit back, relax and enjoy a good reality TV show. What are your favorites?