Reality or Ridiculous? What Do You Watch When You're Not Reading?

Just when we think we couldn’t possibly see any more reality shows, more pop up every season. And some of them have lasted for years. Because I sometimes wonder about really weird and often pointless things, I recently googled the most-watched reality shows.  I shouldn”t have been surprised to see Judge Judy on the list. She’s had a daily afternoon slot since 1996.

I had no idea what several of these shows were even about. If you know, please fill us in. I didn’t see one of my husband’s faves on the list: Ice Road Truckers. My daughter likes The Bachelor. I used to watch Dog The Bounty Hunter.

I had a good laugh when I encapsulated each show into a one sentence description. I think you’ll laugh too, and you’ll wonder why we get sucked into some of these shows.


I admit to being an American Idol fan. I also enjoy So You Think You Can Dance. Sometimes I catch The Voice if it’s on. I’ve seen Pawn Stars, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch it. I’ve watched Abbey Lee on Dance Moms on occasion. And when they show the entire season of Face Off before the season finale, I record it, because I get a kick out of the costume creation.


So here are the top 50 reality shows.


1.   Duck Dynasty (2012 TV Series)

a Louisiana bayou family living the American dream


2.   Amazing Race (2001 TV series)

multiple teams race around the globe to amazing locations to win a million dollars


3.   American Idol (2002 TV Series)

twelve finalists and future singers selected from America compete


4.   Dancing with the Stars (2005 TV Series)

celebrities partner with professional dancers and compete in weekly elimination rounds


5.   The Voice (2011 TV Series)

four famous musicians search for and mentor singers to become artists


6.   Splash (2013 TV Series)

entertainers jumping into a swimming pool


7.   Survivor (2000 TV Series)

group of contestants stranded in a remote location


8.   Cops (1989 TV Series)

police show follows real-life law enforcement officers

9.   The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (2010 TV Series)

peek into the lives of the fabulously wealthy


10.               The Real World (1992 TV Series)

seven – eight late teens to mid-20s to live together in a major city


11.               Pawn Stars (2009 TV Series)

Harrison family runs a pawn shop on the Las Vegas strip


12.               The Apprentice (2004 TV Series)

contestants compete to be apprenticed to billionaire Donald Trump


13.               Storage Wars (2010 TV Series)

People bid against each other for storage units


  14.  America”s Next Top Model (2003 TV Series)

U.S. women compete to be next “it girl” in the modeling world


15. Kitchen Nightmares (2007 TV Series)

Famous chef helps struggling restaurants


16. Hell”s Kitchen (2005 TV Series)

Famous chef puts aspiring young chefs through rigorous and devastating challenges


17. Project Runway (2004 TV Series)

aspiring fashion designers compete to break into the industry


18. Face Off (2011 TV Series)

competition between aspiring special-effects make-up artists


19. The Devil”s Ride (2012 TV Series)

Wannabe-tough biker guys ride around

20.  Keeping Up with the Kardashians (2007 TV Series)

exploits of Kardashian-Jenner family


21. The Real Housewives of Atlanta (2008 TV Series)


22.  Real Husbands of Hollywood (2013 TV Series )


23. Hardcore Pawn (2009 TV Series)

Les Gold and two children operatea  Detroit”s pawnshop.


24. Fashion Star (2012 TV Series)


25. The Face (2013 TV Series)

contestants are guided through weekly assignments


26. Snooki & JWOWW (2012 TV Series)


27. Dance Moms (2011 TV Series)

notoriously demanding dance instructor clashes with moms


28. Ridiculousness (2011 TV Series)


29. Jersey Shore (2009 TV Series)

New Jersey 20-somethings and their hook-ups.


30. Comic Book Men (2012 TV Series)

neighborhood comic book store and fanboy culture


31. Judge Judy (1996 TV Series)

former judge tackles real-life small claims cases

32. Fast N” Loud (2012 TV Series)

guys cruise for the classic cars


33. Monster Man (2011 TV Series)

Man makes monster and alien props


34. Shark Tank (2009 TV Series)

entrepreneurs compete


35.Stranded (2013 TV Series)

paranormal and psychological experiments


36. The Ultimate Fighter (2005 TV Series)

martial arts fighters compete for a UFC contract


37. Ax Men (2008 TV Series)

logging crews battle the elements to make a living


38. King of the Nerds (2013 TV Series)


39. The Biggest Loser (2004 TV Series)

contestants compete to lose the most weight


40. Kourtney & Kim Take Miami (2009 TV Series)

Two Kardashian sisters open a boutique and party



Teen Mom 2 (2011 TV Series)

challenges teen moms face


42. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo (2012 TV Series)

Crew follows mom and daughter from Toddlers & Tiaras


43. Lizard Lick Towing (2011 TV Series)


44. The Bachelor (2002 TV Series)

single women compete to marry a stranger

45. Dog the Bounty Hunter (2003 TV Series)

real-life bounty hunter  and family chase fugitives in the Hawaiian Islands


46. Diners, Drive-ins and Dives (2006 TV Series)

Food Network”s Guy Fieri visits America”s favorite diners


47. The Taste (2013 TV Series)


48. Geordie Shore (2011 TV Series)


49. 16 and Pregnant (2009 TV Series)


50. The Rachel Zoe Project (2008 TV Series)

celebrity stylist takes her business to the next level


All right, time to confess which ones you’ve seen and which ones you make it a point to watch.



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22 thoughts on “Reality or Ridiculous? What Do You Watch When You're Not Reading?”

  1. Aww, one of my faves isn’t on the list…Ru Paul’s Drag Race.

    I gave up on Idol this year–for me the judges are not a draw. I do watch Dancing with the Stars off and on. Love Face Off, and things like worse cook in America. Guess I’d say I prefer the competition reality rather than following some people around in their daily lives (like shows with families with an over abundance of children.) American Pickers is fun. Oh, and America Ninja Warriors. Oh, there was this show–Full Metal Jousting.

    Gee, I’d better stop now. I watch more than I care to admit. 😉

  2. I really don’t like reality shows and the only one I watch is Dancing With the Stars. That’s because I live in the L.A. area and have first hand knowledge on how reality shows have hurt the industry, especially script writers. I keep hoping (praying) their popularity will die off. But they’re cheap to produce and as long as people keep watching them, we’re stuck.

  3. I don’t watch reality shows at all. My dh loves AX Men, Ice-Road Truckers, and Swamp People and one about moonshiners. I catch glimpses of those when I’m strolling through our family room to do something else. I’d rather watch shows that are well written and are interesting to watch with intriguing characters.

  4. I LOVE American Pickers!! Along with The Pioneer Woman’s cooking show on the Food Network, it’s the only show I watch regularly.

    Mike Wolfe . . . be still my heart. He’s so cute!

  5. Fun blog, Cheryl. I ignore most reality shows, especially the “real life” ones.
    However, I love dancing, so I watch DWTS and my favorite, “So You Think You Can Dance.”
    And every season I swear I’m not going to watch “The Bachelor (or Bachelorette), and then I end up watching. Sigh.

  6. My number one is Duck Dynasty. We even watch the rerun marathon every time it is on. Great family entertainment and family values. And I am from the south, so I “know” these people. LOL Absolutely LOVE it!

    Off and on – DWTS, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, American Pickers and Storage Wars.

  7. I have a few faves that I will admit to watching. The Amazing Race is my top show, probably because I secretly dream of going on the show with my hubby. Hard to do with kids and day jobs, but it’s nice to dream. I also watch Survivor, and I like several of the cooking competition shows like Iron Chef America, Chopped, and Master Chef. I’ve watched Duck Dynasty once, and I have to admit those characters made me laugh. My favorite line from the show I saw was “More fun that throwing rocks at a sign.” Ha! I love that they are Christians as well and incorporate their faith into their crazy show.

  8. I watch
    American Idol
    The Voice
    Say Yes to The Dress was not on the list, but I watch it every Friday night… Both the New York and Atlanta versions. And also Say Yes to the Dress Bridesmaids..
    Drive Inn, Diners and Dives (on occasion)
    Thank God for my PVR…

  9. I love watching Dancing with the stars, Project Runway, Biggest Loser, The Voice and something my husband and I watch together is Gator Boys and American Gun.

  10. Cher, I’m not big on reality shows, but I do watch Dancing With the Stars. And sometimes when there’s nothing else on and need to fill the time I catch Pawn Stars. Sometimes they share historical tidbits about some item a customer brings in and I find that interesting. I hate how reality shows have taken over TV. Like Margaret said, the glut has hurt script writers and that’s sad.

  11. Out of those you had listed,I watch a few occasionly,none on a regular basis,,,I have watched a few episodes of Duck dynasty,,Cops,,Dog the bounty hunter an oneyou didnt have listed is 19 kids an counting,,,that would be my fave of any of them,,but I think we have gone reality stupid,,some of those are the just insulting to the brain

  12. Duck Dynasty has captivated me since my critique partner asked me to watch one of the shows to see what his part of the world looks like – he lives in the next town. I also like Pawn Stars and American pickers. I get ideas for my historical from some of the items they show. The rest don’t interest me.

  13. Well I rarely watch TV, but do watch it weekly when The Voice comes on, mostly cause I have a crush on Adam and Blake. My husband is hooked on Pawn Stars and Pickers, I’m surprised that one is not on the list!

  14. I guess I have to admit watching some of these…and am proud of it. But I don’t watch zany stuff..I like talent shows. Therefore, the only ones I watch are American Idol, The Voice and Dancing With the Stars. I guess you can’t really call Celebrity Apprentice a talent show, but somehow I got hooked on that. And I only watched this season of the Bachelor, because of the Harlequin cover shoot everyone was talking about. Now, Sean Lowe is on DWTS. A better bachelor than dancer but he’s holding his own.

    I hadn’t heard of many on the list! Wow, didn’t realize there were so many!!

  15. I watch Antique Roadshow, The Amazing Race, Project Runway and Top Chef. I also watch Top Shot on the History Channel when I can find it – I thought sure Tracy Garrett would watch that one!

  16. Cher, I love Pawn Stars. I always learn something new. We visited the shop in Las Vegas and saw the old man. I ached to buy something but couldn’t find anything that tickled my fancy, more’s the pity. xox

  17. Hi Cher, reality shows are a guilty pleasure of mine, though I don’t watch every episode every week. I like Project Runway, Design Star and Face off. And a lot of the cooking ones – Top Chef, Cupcake Wars, Chopped, Food Network Stars, etc. Oh and I just discovered Flea Market Flip – fun show.

  18. After I bought the World of Warcraft battle chest, I downloaded both World of Warcraft and The Burning Crusade but after downloading both I still don’t have the two new races that I want. I updated my account and it even says that I have the burning crusade so what should I do?.

  19. Oh my, I haven’t even heard of most of them, but then hubby and I are probably in the minority of avoiding all so-called reality shows. However, I enjoyed reading your one sentence teasers, Cheryl. 😉

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