Reality Bites: 10 Reality Shows That Deserved to Be Cancelled
We all have our preferences, and opinions, on what counts as “good television.” For me, good television consists of smart characters, witty writing and engaging dialogue. Preferably, these attributes also appear on a scripted show. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know all about the joy of having a guilty pleasure, the kind of show makes you say, “Look, their house is so messy! Ha-ha! Mine doesn’t look so bad now!” Always the optimist, I generally try to always find the good in TV shows as well. However, more often than not, I find that the shows I struggle to understand the popularity of are the really awful reality television shows. We all know the type. The types featuring toddlers traipsing around in crowns, rednecks doing redneck things, teenagers having babies and orange “guido’s” drinking themselves into oblivion. Nothing says high-brow entertainment like real people doing dumb things.
The ratings usually speak for themselves when it comes to reality television shows. Although so many people in real life will exclaim with disgust that they hate reality television and never watch it, the numbers tell a different story. However, there are some reality shows that have been so utterly, horrifically, terrible that even the ‘Jersey Shore’ loving TV addict had to turn away.
These are the kinds of shows that make you wonder how the producers got up in the morning, looked themselves in the mirror, and said, “Yes, this idea is a gold mine! Nothing could possibly go wrong!” Well, let me tell you, so many things could and did go wrong. Here is a list of the worst reality TV shows to ever get cancelled.
10. 'Kid Nation'
Here is how I imagine the creators of this show came up with the idea: “Hey, so you know how everyone likes to watch ‘Survivor’? Throw a bunch of adults together, feed them very little, and make them compete in physically and emotionally demanding challenges. Well, let’s do that, but with children. Here is the catch though, we take away all of the fun or dangerous parts.” ‘Kid Nation’ took 40 kids from around the United States, plopped them in the abandoned Bonanza City, New Mexico, and gave them 40 days to build a society of their own by electing leaders, passing laws and establishing their own economy. The show turned out exactly like you would imagine: a whiny version of ‘Lord of the Flies’ with less murderous tendencies and more ethical dilemmas about child labor laws.
9. 'Are You Hot?: The Search for America's Sexiest People'
‘Are You Hot’ is a reality show that ran for one season on ABC in 2003, and it is perhaps one of the simplest concepts for a reality show on this list. What was it about? Just read the show title. Contestants would literally go on stage in front of a panel of judges, who would rip their appearance apart. If they came to the consensus that you were, indeed, hot, you would move in. If not, sorry, you and your ugly duckling face are out of here. Not only would they pick apart the “ugly” contestants, but they would even find things wrong with the more “hot” ones. Take contestant Sean Cassidy, for example. A guy that in real life would qualify as being in great shape and being attractive is told he looks like a gorilla and that his legs are too small for his body. I really have no idea what everyone involved in making this show was thinking.
8. 'Temptation Island'
When it all boils down, ‘Temptation Island’ was essentially a show that encouraged participants to cheat on their significant others on television. The series places a bunch of good looking couples on a beautiful island, fueled them with alcohol, and paraded in front of them hot single people chosen specifically to tempt them. ‘Temptation Island’ somehow lasted three seasons on the air, with each one doing worse in the ratings than the last.
There is nothing a groom wants more from his wedding than to watch a woman he does not recognize walk down the aisle towards him. ‘Bridalplasty,’ airing on E! network, took 12 happily engaged women and let them compete for the wedding of their dreams. On top of that, each time that they won a challenge for the week, they got to pick one plastic surgery off of their “wish list” to be performed. The final winner would receive their dream wedding, as well as every procedure listed on their plastic surgery wish list. The ultimate twist was that the husband of the soon to be Franken-bride was not allowed to see her transformation until their wedding day. We all know that what is most important on your wedding day, contrary to popular belief, is to look like a plastic Barbie doll walking stiffly down the aisle, not to commit your life to someone you love. The series was cancelled after only one season.
6. 'Superstar USA'
After seeing the success of ‘American Idol,’ The WB decided that it wanted a little bit of that sweet cheddar floating it’s way, too. However, they weren’t going to just do a copy of ‘American Idol’ like a bunch of chumps, no sir, they were going to go in the opposite direction. The result was ‘Superstar USA,’ a show that aimed to find the worst singer in America. Not only was this premise cringe worthy enough on its own, the show actually crossed some extra lines between the realm of “ok” and “dude, totally not ok.” Contestants on ‘Superstar USA’ were told that they had the best voices in the world, and the unlucky people with talent who auditioned were sent home in tears. On top of this, the audience was told that the contestants singing on the reality show were actually terminally ill patients whose one dream in life was to sing. The winner of the show would receive $50,000 for their, erm, talents. I don’t really know what else to say about this, so I will just let this clip speak for itself.
5. 'Survival of the Richest'
Here is another example of why The WB should never have tried its luck at reality television. You know what makes poor people feel better about themselves? It definitely isn’t pairing them in competition with a bunch of rich people, that’s for sure. In 'Survival of the Richest’ seven young adults worth over $3 billion dollars were paired with seven young adults, who had a combined debt of $150,000. These unlikely teams of two had to compete against one another to win a cash prize of $200,000. One of the rich contestants, Hunter, liked to brag about how he would intentionally give waitresses a hard time so that they would cry, and then he would try to sleep with them. The show didn’t accomplish much more than to reinforce negative stereotypes about both rich and poor youth in America.
4. 'The Will'
‘The Will,’ airing for only one single episode on CBS, proved that if you are rich you can torture your friends and family for fun if you want to. On ‘The Will,’ Arizona multi-millionaire Bill Long gathered 10 of his closest family and friends, including his wife, son and a ranch hand, and had them compete for a chance to be left his Kansas ranch in his will. His family may not be able to win his love and respect, but by god, they can win his ranch -- as long as they beat out another eight or so people for it.
3. 'Who’s Your Daddy?'
As light hearted as the title ‘Who’s Your Daddy?’ might sound, this poorly planned FOX reality show was neither fun nor funny. ‘Who’s Your Daddy?’ took a woman who did not know the identity of her birth father, put her in a room of 25 men who all claim to be her dad, and make her guess which one she was actually related to. To up the stakes a little bit, because meeting your real father isn’t life-changing enough, if she picks the right guy she gets $100,000. If not? The actor she chose gets the money. Six episodes were planned to air, but after the first episode failed miserably in the ratings, FOX decided to shelve the idea, indefinitely. It was probably for the best.
2. 'Boy Meets Boy'
Oh great, finally a television show that is committed to showing a little diversity and demonstrating that love comes in all forms…oh wait. ‘Boy Meets Boy’ could have been the very first same-sex dating show of it’s time to break down some walls. Instead, viewers were able to watch gay bachelor James Getzlaff date 15 different men, almost half of whom were only pretending to be gay. Of course, he had no idea that half the men he was trying to build a relationship with were just paid actors and that he was essentially being laughed at for falling for straight men. Ha-ha, what great fun! Bravo took this prank a step further when they made the rule that if in the end James picked one of the straight men as the winner, he would walk away with absolutely nothing and they would win $25,000. The series was cancelled after only one season.
1. 'My Super Sweet 16'
You know what is more infuriating than watching a TV show about bratty teenagers? Watching a TV show about spoiled, rich, bratty teenagers. I think it is safe to say that teenagers are the worst. Even when they are well brought up and responsible, teenagers are teenagers. Hey, we were all there once. However, producers over at MTV (big shock) decided to document the over-the-top lavish and ludicrous birthday parties of teenagers from the United States, Canada and the U.K. In the lives of these young adults, there is nothing more important than having the biggest, best, most important birthday party around. In one case, 16-year-old Audrey’s mother bought her a Lexus for her birthday, effectively ruining her birthday party, nay, her life. Come on, mom! What were you thinking?
Images courtesy of CBS, MTV, ABC, Fox, E!, The WB, Bravo
Level 1 (77%) Points: 7.8 Since: 19/Dec/12
Message Posted On Jan 23rd, 2014, 5:22 am
Ther is just 1 thing wrong with this list, it isn't long enough.
As far as I am concerned all of the reality shows should be stoped imediatly, destroy any unaired episodes and burn all future show ideas.
But in saying that, shows like "Better Homes & Gardens", "Mythbusters" & "Fast N' Loud" should be allowed bacause they arn't just entertaining but are informative too.
People think they can turn there 15 minutes of fame into a career. Out of all the Reallity show people that have been on TV, how many actually have made it continue and not be a big joke. Less than a dozzen, thats how many. So don't fool your selves and become a complete joke localy, nationaly or even Internationaly. Just cancel the dambed things and save us all from the brain rot.
Level 1 (48%) Points: 0.2 Since: 25/Dec/13
Message Posted On Jan 19th, 2014, 10:21 pm
This is a list of the ones canceled. I believe all of them should be canceled. None of it is real. It's all cheapy made crap that brings out the worst in people.
Message Posted On Jan 17th, 2014, 9:55 pm
There is NO reality on TV. You've got scripted, then you got garbage dressed up as something it isn't
Message Posted On Jan 17th, 2014, 6:27 pm
Every single one of them should be shit-canned and more scripted programmes should be created. Reality TV shows are for the easily pleased and those with empty lives who get excited by this voyeuristic shit, the closest these people get to reading a book is browsing through the tv guide.
Face Off is okay. Estate of Panic used to be pretty good.
And Hotel Impossible is good. Lumping in the "young beautiful contestants competing" reality shows in with stuff like those shows is kind of unfair.
Level 1 (4%) Since: 07/Aug/13
Message Posted On Jan 17th, 2014, 7:21 am
I'm glad I don't watch any so called reality shows.
Message Posted On Jan 17th, 2014, 7:00 am
You missed 'The Swan'. A show that took attractive women, gave them more plastic surgery than should ever be performed on any human being, and then paraded them in a 'Beauty Pagent'. I managed 5 minutes before changing the channel.
Message Posted On Jan 16th, 2014, 10:32 pm
All reality shows deserve to be cancelled and the producers of the shows shot.