Worst Reality Show of All Time?

Big Brother, oh brother, mix a bunch of navel gazing emotionally stunted pretty boys and girls together and watch them watch themselves whine, plot, reveal their prejudices while vying for some cash prize based on bullying, deception, secrets, gaslighting.

I saw one episode so I know how it goes.

Anna Nicole Smith had her own version of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”. I accidentally found it flipping through the channels. It was supposed to be a " day in the life " type show, but she sounded like she was (very badly) reading a script.

I watched one episode of Honey Boo-Boo. You could tell immediately that it took the worst of directors putting them in situations, and editors pulling the worst things to create a “let’s laugh at the stupid red necks” show.

I was little at the time, but I recall lots of sobbing women. It seems like there were a lot of mink stoles awarded.

Question: What distinguishes a reality show from a game show?

And as I recall, the winner got to wear an ermine stole, along with a crown and scepter. Bear in mind, these women were homeless or abused or had terminal diseases or dead husbands or seriously sick kids. And the audience voted on who was the most pathetic. The mind boggles.

In the case of Queen for a Day, I think it would be because it wasn’t an actual competition, but people talking about their real lives.

On the other hand, I’ve never understood why something like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was classed as a reality show. According to Wiki:

Queen for a Day was thought of as a game show in its time. The genre “reality show” didn’t exist, albeit, I think it’s fair to say it straddles the line now that the genre does exist. The audience chose the winner-- I think by applause-meter.


I’ve mentioned before that my late mother-in-law was a winning contestant on that show in, probably 1956. Got a bunch of Braille books for kaylasmom, for later on, when she learned to read. Also an Amana refrigerator-freezer. Probably a few other things, but those details are lost in the mists of time.

I know a couple of people who were involved in a reality show. I didn’t realize how far from reality they are. Obviously editing can make things look completely different from what really happened. It’s worse than that. Many of them are like Christoper Guest films if no one involved had any talent. The situations were all scripted but the dialogue was improvised. I was also stunned at how little money they made to look like assholes. Unless you are on a big network show or one that goes viral the money is not worth it.

How cool that your MIL was on and won!

I remember the ermine-trimmed cape and the crown, but I seem to recall that in addition to getting awarded whatever it was they needed, the women got other prizes, too, including (sometimes) mink stoles. I’m sorry to report that I used to beg my mother to go on to win me a swing set. We weren’t poor or disadvantaged; I just really, really wanted a swing set. In my defense, I was only 3 or 4 at the time.

There was a show about 15 years ago called Pirate Master that should have been good. It ran on CBS, was created by Mark Burnett (who was also responsible for Survivor) and took place on a sailing ship in the Caribbean.

It was awful, in addition to the usual cliques and backstabbing, the actual game strategy made no sense. Teams were drawn at random for each episode; there was no rationale to vote off a weak or a strong player because you didn’t know who you’d be working with or against in the next challenge. One of the contestants committed suicide not long after filming. The show was cancelled before it completed its run.

I knew some people working behind the scenes of the show, so I was hoping it would be good, but even I didn’t bother to watch it to the end.

On “I Survived a Japanese Game Show,” nothing.

This was a summer series that combined the contestant elimination format of “Survivor” with contests from a Japanese game show (tamed for Americans), which we found entertaining.

Of course “we” were a family with kids ages 12-6 at the time, so the “wackiness” was appealing and IIRC it was on just after Kids Nation which we also enjoyed together, tingeing my memories.

The only other reality shows we watched were Win a Date with Brett Michaels and Celebrity Apprentice so I obviously have poor judgment of this genre.

I dunno. Some of the things done to the Dionne quints were pretty unforgiveable.

I’m actually of an age that I saw an episode or two of Queen for a Day (probably one of its last few), and I’d dispute it was a reality show. More of a competition show than anything else. I watch competitve reality (Top Chef or Project Runway), but I can’t take any of the other ones. I can’t suspend my disbelief long enough to be entertained. Just too fake.

Sorry! Should have read the whole thread. Old news.

Re Queen For A Day

I cannot remember if I saw the segment on that show on the web or on tv. Regardless, it included the inventor of the applause meter admitting that at least sometimes they would rig the results.

One of my favorite You Tube channels is a married couple who are full-time homesteaders, and some people have said, “You should go on PBS or the DIY channel.” Nope, nope, nope. Being on You Tube means they have total control, within YT guidelines, and can show or not show whatever they want, on their schedule, and make the videos as long or short as they wish.

I nominate Who’s Your Daddy?—a show where an adult who had been put up for adoption as an infant was placed in a room with 25 men, one of whom was their biological father. If the contestant could correctly pick out who was their father, the contestant would win $100,000. If they chose incorrectly, the person that they incorrectly selected would get the $100,000, although the contestant would still be reunited with his or her father.

Only the pilot of the show aired as a TV special—Fox canceled after outrage from adoption activist organizations.

OP is short for Opening Post(er). It’s an acronym spanning 2 words therefore both letters should be capitalised. In your mod notes you keep referring to “Ops” which would only be correct if it was a shortening of a single word.

I am surprised no one has yet mentioned Bridalplasty

It was a competition among 12 engaged women who were competing to win their personal ‘wishlist’ of plastic surgery procedures before their wedding day. Because. obviously, you can’t be happily married if you don’t have lipo and botox before the Big Day.

I remember looking at some social media comments about the show. Half were from people who were outraged that this show existed, the other half were from people who really wanted to be on season 2, which thankfully never took place.

It’s probably not as bad as others mentioned in this thread (I say probably because I’ll turn off the TV before watching the others), but I was very disappointed at the Forged in Fire spin-off Knife or Death.

Forged in Fire managed to keep it light and steered clear of nonsense, in my uninformed opinion. I mean, it’s creepy enough to be stabbing ballistics dummies and whatnot, and that dour Jason what’s-his-name judge is creepy in his own way, but the spin-off seems to embrace all kinds of macho bullshit. Really, really stupid, in my opinon.

I enjoyed Knife or Death’s first season when it was literally “people bring literally any cutting implement into the competition” leading to people bringing chef’s knifes and mall ninja katanas. The second season though it’s obvious people are playing to win because every single knife is either a kukri or hybrid machete making each match fairly boring to watch.