The best reality TV shows ever

5. Beauty and the Geek

What’s not to love about Beauty and the Geek? Dweebs who purport to have “never touched a boob” or “never been kissed” get to hang with babes, touch boobs and show everyone how clever they are. At the same time, not-so-sharp ladies get to learn some sweet science facts and prove that they’re not as shallow as their own surgical enhancement would have you believe by letting unattractive dweebs touch their boobs. It’s all about self-discovery and personal growth, you see.

4. Wife Swap

One of the earlier reality shows, Wife Swap was one of the first to cotton to the simple formula of putting polar opposites in a room together and watching the shit hit the fan. The show takes two, very different but equally as crazy families (i.e. devout vegans trade with a family who only eat raw meat) and makes them trade mums/wives for two weeks. FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT!

3. Geordie Shore

Some might say Geordie Shore is crass, tasteless dross. They’d be right, and that’s exactly what propels the series to number three in this list. Geordie Shore is arguably the king of the idiot-reality genre, documenting the lives of a group of young Newcastle “Geordies” (basically a Northern-English turbo-bogan) as they get loose (in every sense of the word). Geordie Shore is significantly better than Jersey Shore because UK TV has a lot less censorship laws, meaning you get much more real sex, boobs, vomit, fights, and creative swearing per episode. Yay, smut!

2. An Idiot Abroad

A reality show following on man on a trip around the Seven Wonders of the World sounds like the premise for a serious travel programme, which it could be if the show’s host, Karl Pilkington, didn’t hate every minute of it. An Idiot Abroad sees Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant send their closed-minded and totally-uninterested-in-travel friend Karl to various third world countries and film him as he recoils at cultural differences, whinges about wanting to go home and shows absolutely no interest in The Pyramids, The Taj Mahal and everything else history can throw at him. As for the Great Wall of China? “You can see it for miles. Like, it goes over hills and stuff…but so does the M6”.

1. Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends and BBC Two Specials

While An Idiot Abroad may be the cream of the crop for hilarious reality shows, everything of the Louis Theroux canon sets itself apart by serving as a reminder of what reality TV is best used for: prying into the lives of weirdos. Throughout Weird Weekends and his series of BBC Two Specials, gonzo journalist extraordinaire Louis Theroux delves into the lives of swingers, neo-Nazis, drug addicts and Thai brides. It’s both awesome and informative!

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