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I'm on season 12 of Hell's Kitchen right now. They're doing Southern specialty foods, and I really can't wait for the results of this one.



Of the reality shows I'm currently watching, here's a ranking by how much I'm liking them so far:
1. Survivor US Season 45 (I really like the cast and how it's playing out)
2. Big Brother UK Season 20 (Brits know how to stage a good show)
3. The Amazing Race Australia Season 7 (I like the cast and Beau Ryan is fun as always)
4. The Amazing Race US Season 35 (still good)
5. Big Brother US Season 25 (Not impressive cast)



I've never missed an episode of Survivor. Have watched every single one with my wife.
I don't think I've ever seen a full episode of any reality television. I don't have plans to change that either, so I'm taking my coat and leaving this thread now
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Can't stand them. Full of the Instagram generation who are obsessed with becoming famous. They are living proof that we are in a global mental health crisis.



I watched the first season of Hell's Kitchen only because I grew up working in a restaurant and the show reminded me of that (plus one of the contestants lived across the street from me!)... but the show started to feel redundant so I stopped watching.

I want to comment on Naked and Afraid. I'm kind of embarrassed to say I watch it, but I do. (Trust me, if a much more "real" survival show like Les Stroud's Survival Man was on, I'd be watching that instead).

But I want to talk about a recent season where they turned the show into a competition called "Last One Standing".

The one thing the show has going for it is; it is not a competition or game show, but rather people attempting a personal challenge. (And I've enjoyed the "Legend" challenges where past participants work together in teams and then the teams come together.)

But this latest competition version took the "Legends" concept and turned the show into a poor-man's Survivor, complete with all the clichés: alliances, back-stabbing, villains, etc.

The whole thing felt more forced & staged than any previous versions. I hope they drop the competition angle and don't repeat it.

(Personally, I'd like to see a "Legends" challenge where they bring together all the WORST participants from the show's history and see how they get along!)



I like a few categories of programming. Shows that are cooking oriented like Masterchef and Chopped. Shows that are business oriented like Shark Tank and the Profit, though I don’t know if those would qualify as competition shows, though they are all competing for investments. I also like the UK version of the Apprentice. I also enjoy shows like Restaurant and Hotel Impossible, though I think those might be outside of the scope of the thread topic. Reality based programming that has the potential to help others or educate the viewer about business principles are the ones I tend to appreciate.



Currently I'm watching Survivor UK Season 3 and Survivor Us Season 45. US version is much more enjoyable, because of great cast, whereas UK has much less impressive cast.



My wife and I watch a few reality shows, but they're always:

1) real-life-skill-based
2) positive rather than negative

For example, my wife and I really liked a show called Face/Off, which was a reality competition between professional movie makeup artists. It wasn't about scheming or social maneuvering, it was a straight skill competition, and the best players almost always made it to the end. And the contestants frequently helped each other out with little things like removing things from molds, or just giving feedback. In other words, little to no contrived drama. Ditto for Lego Masters (the Australian version is way, way better than the US version).

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Off the beaten path a bit, we watch an online-only competition called Jet Lag, where small teams of the same people (mostly, they'll have a rotating guest slot) compete in travel games, like playing "Connect Four" across America by visiting states, or playing "tag" across Europe, or capture the flag across Japan using only the train system. It's lovely, and free. I can't recommend it enough. Here's a recent episode of the last example, to hopefully entice some of you to give it a try:


Other than that, we both loved Cutthroat Kitchen, but that's long gone. We've replaced it with Crime Scene Kitchen which is silly but, again, skill-based, and the wrinkle's kinda fun.



My wife and I watch a few reality shows, but they're always:

1) real-life-skill-based
2) positive rather than negative

For example, my wife and I really liked a show called Face/Off, which was a reality competition between professional movie makeup artists. .
I used to watch Face Off regularly.
Like you said, it was enjoyable because it was a contest of skill & talent.

There was another show many years ago (2010 - 2011). It was called Work of Art: The Next Great Artist.

It only lasted two seasons, but it followed the exact same structure as Face Off.

Having been an art student, I found the show very entertaining, especially since it usually included a couple "avante garde" contestants who would expose themselves as having a grand vocabulary pertaining to the arts, but very little actual artistic skill (like so many students I went to school with who charmed our teachers into handing them good grades due to their ability to use a bunch of buzz words, but who could rarely complete a class project as it was assigned.)

I had hoped this show would've made more episodes, but alas.
(Thus, it was back to watching reruns of Wife Swap!)



My wife and I watch a few reality shows, but they're always:

1) real-life-skill-based
2) positive rather than negative
What is your definition of real life skill based and positive rather than negative? By real life skill based, are you referring to only shows that center around learning or exhibiting a particular skill? Like, would "Shark Tank" be considered skill based since they are being evaluated on their business acumen? Would "The Profit" qualify since they are being evaluated on the health of their business, or no, because they are not "learning" a discrete skill on the show?

What about positive rather than negative? Would something like "Master Chef" or "The Profit" be considered negative because they sometimes criticize the business as not viable or the dish as not up to their standards? Cut Throat Kitchen is also sometimes snarky and they try to screw up the other contestants, so I'd consider that a negative framing, but you listed it as meeting your criteria of being positive? The distinctions are not clear to me.

If what you are talking about is that you don't watch things like "Real Housewives" or "The Bachelor", I understand that and good for you (I don't either), but I'm not sure I fully understand how you are defining your criteria, so it's a little hard for me to determine what kinds of shows you'd watch outside of your examples?



By real life skill based, are you referring to only shows that center around learning or exhibiting a particular skill?
Yes.

I'm drawing a contrast between skills that exist outside of the game, and skills that mostly just exist inside it. There are lots of little mini skill tests in Survivor, but mostly it's testing your ability to win Survivor. The Bachelor's kinda similar. In both cases there's obviously a sort-of "skill" to all the social maneuvering or even outright manipulation, but it involves an exaggerated level of cunning and posturing that usually only exists when a show has been contrived to test it.

Like, would "Shark Tank" be considered skill based since they are being evaluated on their business acumen?
Honestly, I'm not sure. I think it doesn't fit comfortably in either. Sometimes they invest in someone because they're impressed by their salesmanship or business acumen, but sometimes they just think it's a good product, or an undervalued product, and don't seem to care much about the person pitching it.

I do kinda like Shark Tank (though I haven't seen it in awhile), mostly because it's a constant parade of ideas, and I tend to like any media that just rapid-fires concepts at you. It's hard to be bored by something like that because there's another idea coming down the line every five minutes. I have a soft spot for short story collections or anthologies for the same reason.

What about positive rather than negative? Would something like "Master Chef" or "The Profit" be considered negative because they sometimes criticize the business as not viable or the dish as not up to their standards? Cut Throat Kitchen is also sometimes snarky and they try to screw up the other contestants, so I'd consider that a negative framing, but you listed it as meeting your criteria of being positive? The distinctions are not clear to me.
By positive I mean the contestants are either happy to help one another or at least aren't constantly sabotaging each other. Actually, it's more: shows where each person's fate is primarily down to their performance, so that observable skill mostly wins out. But it just so happens that, when you construct that kind of show, the positivity seems to come with it/is a nice byproduct.

As for Cutthroat Kitchen, there are two things that make it an exception, I think.

First, I don't actually value the "reality" part of it. I like it because it's funny! I like it as a comedy. But I don't think it's a particularly good measure of someone's cooking skill or a good place to observe excellence. It's just technically a reality show that I like, even if I don't like it for that specific reason.

Second, because it's just so damned silly. I'm sure some of the people are actually competitive (though the playful trash talk often feels like something they've been instructed to engage in, which I think is true in lots of reality shows), but it's just too ridiculous to take seriously. I just can't believe anyone on that show is actually mad when there's people frying eggs on bowling pins. I enjoy the show despite disliking negativity in the same way I can dislike violence but still enjoy Wile E. Coyote.

Man, I miss Cutthroat Kitchen. I need to rewatch some of it...



2022 Mofo Fantasy Football Champ
I've never missed an episode of Survivor. Have watched every single one with my wife.
I saw them all into the 30s. Then I just stopped out of nowhere



My wife and I watch a few reality shows, but they're always:

1) real-life-skill-based
2) positive rather than negative
Same. I call my brand of reality TV "nice people being good at things."

Some reality shows I enjoy/have enjoyed in this vein:

1) Making It: A show about crafting! Everyone is very nice. The vibes are great.

2) Face/Off/Glow Up: Both are shows about make-up or special effects. I don't always love the judges, but I love watching the artists work.

3) School of Chocolate: While I found a few of the contestants a little annoying, the guy running the show was so kind with them and clearly very interested in sharing his knowledge. At one point, a contestant makes an off-hand remark about something seeming too hard, and the head chef goes off and comes back 30 minutes later to explain a solution he engineered.

4) Great Pottery Throwdown: The people were really fun, the challenges were cool, and the guy in charge of the kiln has a fantastic depth of knowledge and a zen attitude.

5) Devil's Plan: A group of people work in a mix of collaboration and competition. It's unpredictable who will be eliminated and when, as eliminations depend on winning or losing tokens, and you're out when your tokens are gone. I loved the challenges and how much time they gave the contestants to strategize (alone or with each other). Like, they will explain the rules and then give them 1-2 hours to just think about strategy.

6) Siren: Survive the Island: It would be hard to overstate how much I LOVED this series. It's a South Korean reality show where teams of 4 women from the same profession (stunt women, firefighters, soldiers, police officers, athletes, and bodyguards) compete in an island-wide game of capture the flag. They earn credits by burning calories through exercise that they then use to buy things like hammers, radios, shovels, etc. I really liked all of the teams, but the firefighters (with their team leader who is like a movie character) totally won me over.

7) The Mole: I think both the original series and the recent reboot are really interesting television. Full of surprises and very engaging challenges.

8) Blown Away: A glass-blowing competition. Love the creations and most of the contestants. I got to visit a glass studio after watching the first season, and it was really neat knowing what the different materials and tools were.

9) Dragula: Okay, the people aren't always so nice. But I love the creativity on display in this horror-themed drag competition, the guest judges are great, the main judges have a wonderful sense of humor (including about themselves). It's also really light on the old corporate sponsorship, so when the judges say "$100,000, courtesy of us" I just grin. They just did an episode where they all created kaiju characters and it was fabulous.

There was a metal-working show I had high hopes for, but after a stunningly biased and horrible elimination of a contestant I was done with it.



I'm a fan of a few, but most notably The Amazing Race. I've seen every season except for the last two. Trying to catch up.

I was also a fan of Face Off. Just found out a couple of weeks ago that they brought it back, but haven't been able to catch up with the new stuff.

I really enjoyed History's Top Shot, even though I'm not a gun person. The competitions there were really cool.

Those are the kind of reality competition shows I like. Not a fan of the more "social" reality TV shows.
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We had reality TV shows in the 1960s Candid Camera, and even as a kid I knew it was fake and people were playing up to the camera for entertainment's sake. Haven't watched a reality show sense.



Sorry if I'm rude but I'm right
None. I still have some scraps of honor and taste left.
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Look, I'm not judging you - after all, I'm posting here myself, but maybe, just maybe, if you spent less time here and more time watching films, maybe, and I stress, maybe your taste would be of some value. Just a thought, ya know.