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August 31, 2015

I'm not alone in watching reality TV

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 9th 2008 6:00PM

True ConfessionsThe say that confession is good for the soul, and I can now say that it's true. After sharing with everyone here at TV Squad that I actually watch and like some reality -- unscripted, non-fiction, whatever you want to call it -- television, it turns out that I'm not alone. There are many people who have a guilty pleasure or two out there, a program that they tend to DVR or watch in passing (every week!), but they don't pledge their allegiance to the show in public.

Well, here they are. My friends, ready, willing and able to share their favorites.

Jane: My kids and I love American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, and The Apprentice (although we have a really hard time getting past The Donald's freakish hair every week). It's a lot of fun watching people 1) stare down their fears every week, and 2) make a fool of themselves while staring down their fears every week. I will say that The Apprentice was more fun with real-life people rather than celebrities. We're like, please, get over yourselves. You're not that important. And I used to watch The Bachelor back when it was interesting. It's just so not interesting anymore.

Gallery: Reality TV

The Next Food Network StarI Love New YorkMike RoweThe Amazing RaceThe Amazing RaceSurvivor 2008Big Brother 2008Hell's KitchenIron Chef AmericaOprah's Big GiveThe Bachelor LondonExtreme Makeover Home EditionDancing with the StarsSupernannySo You Think You Can DanceJeff Lewis on Flipping OutIron ChefJon & Kate + EightWorkoutSimon CowellTrading SpacesWhat Not to WearTop ChefThe Celebrity ApprenticeProject RunwayThe Celebrity Apprentice

Considering that I review Dancing With The Stars and So You Think You Can Dance (check out the giveaway), those are a given for my list. They are also just the tip of the iceberg where my reality viewing is concerned. I've never missed an episode of Survivor, and would count that one as my favorite of the genre. I also have a strange prediliction to the cooking based reality shows, Next Food Network Star, Next Iron Chef, Top Chef, Hells Kitchen. The strange part of that sentence makes a lot more sense if you have ever seen me cook. The Ultimate Fighter also makes the list, as do Project Runway, Ultimate Coyote Ugly Search, and Big Brother. I blame Jackie for that last one.

Anna Johns: Most of my reality viewing is on the cable channels such as Discovery and TLC. I have Season Passes on my TiVo for Deadliest Catch, Dirty Jobs, What Not to Wear, and Jon & Kate Plus 8. But, those aren't terribly embarrassing. The ones that I don't talk about as much are America's Next Top Model, My Super Sweet Sixteen, and Underage and Engaged (is that still on?). I could watch marathons for those series on MTV all day long. The allure with ANTM is actually just the photos they take. I like to see what ridiculous situations Jay Manuel can put the girls in. Sweet Sixteen and Engaged just an excuse to be judgmental and to say out loud, "What is happening in this country?!?"

Jackie Schnoop: What? Me watch reality TV? Say it ain't so! Oh, I'd say it's my guilty pleasure. Sure, I like scripted television, too. But with reality television, I get my people watching in. I'm the kind of person who likes to sit in the subway car or at Washington Square Park and just watch people. Maybe I have that outsider looking in kind of mentality, I don't know. I don't like all reality television, but it's certainly a staple in my television viewing habits.

Annie Wu: On one hand, I openly admit to watching programs such as Project Runway because at least that has some sort of artsy merit. However, I must have a subconscious love for self-punishment, because I also watch shows like My Super Sweet Sixteen and I Love New York from time to time. I will sit there in front of the television, fists clenched, teeth gnashing, blood boiling over these sorry excuses for human beings, all the while silently thinking to myself, "Oh, Midget Mac! What other crazy antics will you get into this week?" I will draw the line at American Idol, though. That show is just obscene.

Isabelle Carreau: I love reality TV. Yes, I can admit that it may not be the best TV out there but it's entertaining and I enjoy watching people interact (see how they'll cooperate, back stab one another, etc.). I'm hooked on Big Brother, Survivor, Hell's Kitchen, The Apprentice and The Amazing Race. I especially enjoy TAR because it shows us cool places from around the world and pushes participants to overcome their fears. I also occasionally watch competition shows like Dancing with the Stars, American Idol and Canadian Idol (only the auditions and "hell week" because after that it becomes boring), America's Got Talent (which I'm reviewing for the second summer in a row) but if I need to make space for some scripted shows, they are the first ones to take the boot.

Jason Hughes: I don't watch reality TV. There's no such thing. American Idol is so scripted and fake I don't believe any of it for a second! The same goes for Survivor and The Amazing Race. Survivor's Jonny "Fairplay" is way too much of a tool to be real. In fact, he's just a second generation "Puck," who was an actor on The Real World. Nope, it's all bogus to me. Or as commenters on many boards would say: "Fake ... FAAAKE!" That guy from 30 Days is Morgan Spurlock, the movie star from Super Size Me, and I think we all know that they use daytime soap extras for Big Brother. Nope, from the little people actors on Little People, Big World to the Playboy commercial of The Girls Next Door the only reality show on television that I watch that really is a reality show is Drawn Together. Come on, they're all from different cartoons! It's madness, I say ... madness!

Keith McDuffee: I can't believe that I used to watch Survivor religiously. Before that, I watched the first maybe two seasons of The Real World (God, I feel old). I've dabbled in watching just about every reality show that's existed, but for now the only thing I can't seem to stop from appearing on my TV is American Idol. I call it "research" for my job covering TV here. Yeah, that's it.

Make sure you check out AOL Television's Reality TV Awards and vote for your favorite (and least favorite) shows and "celebrities" from reality shows.

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