Good Reality TV shows. (Probably a very short thread).

I will admit to watching some reality TV. Any of the hoarder type shows. They are excellent viewing when getting ready to clean house. I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant-- for the comedy. Babies being born in toilets never gets old. But I wouldn’t call them good reality TV shows.

However, there is one show that I stop to watch whenever I flick by it. The Magnificent Dr. Pol. He’s a vet of creatures both great and small. I like his crowded, cramped office and his overworked staff. I even like his son, not the sharpest scapel in the kit but he sure does try.

What reality shows do you consider good?

The Amazing Race.

It’s had good seasons and bad but I love seeing different parts of the world and people from all walks of life reacting to them.

Holmes on Homes - Mike Holmes shows what real renovation looks like, and how to the job right!

I like American Pickers and Pawn Stars. I am sure some of it is staged in a way but they are both entertaining and sometimes educational. I love I Shouldn’t Be Alive for the survival against all odds stories.

Add Counting Cars and American Restoration and you have my Reality Tivo list.

Animal Cops. I watch for the mostly happy endings, seeing neglected animals happy in new homes. There’s also some educational value, especially for new pet people.

Missed the edit: I’d also add Vegas Strip to the list. It’s Cops in Las Vegas. Watching what those guys have to deal with on the Strip every night is borderline hysterical.

I like Pawn Stars for the history lessons.

I like American Restoration. It’s cool to see a piece of junk turn into a pretty shiny thing.

I like Pimp My Ride and other car restoration shows. I don’t care about cars it’s just nice to see crappy cars turned into cool ones.

Does Top Gear count? Again, not a car guy, I like the guys and their stunts and goofing on each other and the celebrity guests.

One I’ve just started seeing on BBC America is James May’s Toy Stories. He built a house out of legos. That was really fun to watch. I wish that episode would have been another hour.

One I just saw over the weekend:

That was a lot of fun to watch because a lot of neighborhood kids got involved in building the track. Also since the track was so long they had a bunch of different drivers so they had to cooperate.

*Scalextric is pretty much slot car racing to us in the US.

Don’t hate, But I like Top Chef.

It hasn’t been on in years, but I used to love Overhaulin’. A deserving person’s neglected car would be “stolen” with the assistance of a family member or friend and car designer Chip Foose and crew would re-build into the car of their dreams in a week. I didn’t have much use for the fake theft part of the show, the main reason to watch was to see Foose, a genius at design, grab his pencils and pens and produce a rendering of what he wants to create, then making it real. And the pay-off, when the car owner showed up to retrieve their car, was undiluted emotional porn. The owners usually had planned to do something awesome themselves, but had to give up the dream to care for an ill parent, etc.

I agree with both of these, as well as Holmes more recent series, Holmes Inspection.

I enjoy almost all of the cooking shows, and they have taught me a lot of cooking techniques / short cuts. Like rolling a lemon and/or putting it in the microwave for a few seconds to get more juice out of it, the best way to dice onions and bell peppers, how to get the seeds out of a hot pepper, etc.

I will agree with this.

I also like Chopped on the Food Network but not sure if that is a Reality Show.

PBS had some shows where a family had to live like in the past (Pioneer House, 1940s House, etc). Some were better than others, but most (all?) were OK.

I relly like the Nova where they built a trebuchet. Most of the practical archeaology shows are preety good.

Pumpkin Chuck’n is also a favorite.


I am thinking *Joe Schmo *is not going to make the list.

I won’t admit this in public, but the first two episodes of Season 3 aired on Tuesday on SPIKETV. And I laughed almost the entire time.

There was a deaf girl who was doing ventriloquy. There was Lorenzo Lamas pimping EuropeanCasualPouch dot com while wearing a very skimpy speedo. There were random challenges for no good reason including exploding die bombs. “Lady Justice, May I enter you”

It is truly brainless TV and there is no way that I would admit watching to My Real life friends. If you are going to be the least bit judgmental, don’t watch it, you won’t like it.

But if you like Beavis and Butthead brainless humor, give it a try, you might like it. And I still haven’t figured out who is getting punked, the Joe Schmo or the actors who think they are punking Joe Schmo.


Fantastic show! Can’t wait for the next episode.Reality TV at it’s best, IMO.

No love for Survivor?

I consider Survivor a game show, not a reality show. There is some overlap, but in my book if you are competing with others for a prize, it’s a game show, no matter how “real” the competition is.

Ok,never thought of it like that,but makes sense.Still like it tho and am looking forward to the next season.

So Amazing Race, and Pumpkin Chuck’n would fit the same description?

I like 48 Hours, as I like to see how real homicide detectives do their jobs.

How do they do their jobs? They talk to a lot of people, and they do a lot of legwork. Then they go back and they talk to the same people again, pushing them out of their comfort zone. They wait for telephone tips.

It’s just a bit discouraging that most of the murders can be chalked up to a small handful of basic motives: money, drugs, control, sexual jealousy. The complex, entangled murder in your average murder mystery just doesn’t happen, at least not on these detectives’ beats.

Iron Chef Japan, the first few seasons of The Real World, Intervention, What Not to Wear, Blind Date and Elimidate (I’m completely embarrassed by admitting to those last two.)