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Reality TV shows have come a long way, going from entertaining social experiments to empires. They changed the game! See some of the most popular.

Indulge your guilty pleasure with these addicting reality TV shows

Reality TV shows have come a long way; what began as entertaining social experiments in the early 90s have become parts of a full-fledged television empire which has changed entertainment forever. Reality TV shows are often seen as lowbrow drivel, and most of them are, but they’re also fascinating & entertaining.

Guilty pleasures be damned; we love our reality TV shows, and we’re not afraid to say it! There has never been more options for anyone with an appetite for steadicam and poorly hidden scripted direction, and we’ve sifted through the muck to find the most addicting reality TV shows available today. Check out our favorites below.

Ink Master

Successful reality TV shows are nothing without a formula & repetition. 

We’re gently coerced into each episode because we know there’s a schedule of events; a weekly rose ceremony or elimination challenge not only gives viewers something to expect, but also gives producers an easy way to cause drama by throwing a wrench in the otherwise well-oiled gears of the show. Ink Master shines with its formula.

Each episode of Ink Master provides variation on a theme, with new types of tattoos & different critiques getting harder as a season continues. 

Ink Master gives viewers the reality TV personalities they know & love, along with an interesting window into the tattoo world and guaranteed drama when the world’s most insecure tattoo artists get taken down a peg by experts (and Dave Davarro) each week. Bottom line, you’ll see some bad tattoos, and what’s funnier than that?

90 Day Fiancé

We must always put respect on 90 Day Fiancé, as the show is perhaps the crown jewel of all reality TV shows on the air right now. The series follows couples from different parts of the world coming together after long distance jaunts to get married within ninety days. 

90 Day Fiancé not only brings audiences some of the strangest reality TV personalities the entertainment world has ever seen, but also the show provides windows into the fascinating lives of those around the globe, from Nigeria to Moldova, as well as the seedy underbelly of middle America. If you know, you know, and if you don’t – it’s time to head over to TLC right now.

Are You the One

Shows like The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Love Island thrive on the heteronormative, and viewers either watch because their values are in line, or are so different it’s humorous & fascinating. 

Are You the One fell in line with these values when the show aired, until season eight brought audiences the first queer AYTO season with an all bisexual non-gender conforming cast.

Season eight might be queer, but the cast is as vapid as every other season bringing together Instagram influencers, fitness himbos, and wannabe cosmetics models. However, the show’s goofy botched format of contestants seeking out their “perfect match” is as addictive as ever, and season eight is one of the most unique & entertaining seasons of reality TV shows available.

Couples Therapy

Showtime’s Couples Therapy is sort of the anti-reality TV show; while shows like Real Housewives thrive off toxic drama, Couples Therapy is all about healing. The show presents real life therapy sessions from a diverse array of couples in New York City, revealing a level of intimacy rarely shared on reality TV shows.

Couples Therapy harps on our human voyeuristic instincts, and is addictive as a result. We get a window into private sessions from couples young & old, gay & straight, and fresh & years-together. 

Furthermore, we even get to see the couples therapist in therapy, as the theme of healing comes full circle. Season 2 comes as the COVID-19 pandemic forces couples to spend more time together than ever before, and the zoom sessions ensuing leave plenty to unpack.

What’s your favorite reality show? Let us know in the comments below!

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