Cast your minds back to the late ‘00s and you’ll remember the world’s first makeunder show, Snog, Marry, Avoid. It was a British reality tv staple, with some pretty shocking transformations and a catty little robot called P.O.D (personal overhaul device) with a hatred for piercings, fake tan, hair extensions and bright clothes. Basically, any form of self-expression. If that wasn’t bad enough, the P.O.D would ask members of the public if they would snog, marry or avoid the participant receiving the makeunder, both before the transformation and after…
Yeah, it hasn’t aged well, but we felt obliged to at least explain how our Snog, Marry, Avoid mini-series got its name.
This week, we’re discussing the best and worst of reality tv, and by worst, we mean the shows we’re not about to cancel plans to watch but that we’ll gladly allow to consume our lives anyway. Because this genre really goes like that. Does bad really even exist when it comes to trash tv?
From the trailblazing series that spawned the vajazzle and the GC to the Hulu greats that entertain us whatever mood we’re in, here’s a look at the real-life shows that gave us some kind of feels.
Snog – Geordie Shore
This is ultimate comfort watching. They’re all just absolutely mad, I’ve watched every episode probably twice. It’s just a group of young people living together having the time of their lives and getting drunk every day. It’s absolutely outrageous and dramatic at parts but you really get to know the people and can see that there is no acting involved, they are genuinely just all completely out there. It’s funny and sad and real life and I love it. When I was younger I always wanted to go in the house but I don’t think I could hack it now.
Marry – I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here
Absolutely nothing compares. I watch old I’m a celeb moments on repeat. A personal favourite is Stuart and Gino’s 2009 slip and slide, I urge you to YouTube it if you haven’t seen it! The show is hilarious and wholesome and dramatic and I can’t get enough. I would do anything to go on that show if there was a normal people version. I love seeing celebs in a completely different setting and getting an insight into their personality we rarely see. The challenges are hilarious and Ant and Dec are just the best. I even like the adverts in between where stick insects are speaking to each other.
Avoid – Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
I am an avid follower of all the Kardashians on Instagram and find them so interesting but I just don’t get the hype with the show. There are sooo many series and it’s just the same thing over and over again. And the drama just all seems a little fake to me as well as being drama over the tiniest thing. People have real issues. That being said, the snippets I see of Scott Disick make me want to watch. If Scott had his own show I would definitely watch!
Snog – Selling Sunset
My snog has to go to Selling Sunset as I’m currently waiting – rather impatiently – for the latest series. It combines hot bitchy females, fashion, and insane property in ol’ Hollywood land herself. Watching them fight for real estate whilst dressed to the nines and crying about their relationship issues, it’s reality TV heaven. Each episode feels like it has a pretty well-rounded plotline that leads into the next making it the ultimate binge-able trash. I saw Mindy Kaling bumped into one of the shows ‘villains’ Christine Quinn the other day and she put on her IG “It’s my favourite show on TV and not in like a ‘guilty pleasure’ way” and I couldn’t agree more.
Marry – Keeping up with the Kardashians
Does the show even need an introduction? We all know what’s up, they’re hot and hilarious and I love seeing what they get up to in their ludicrous lives. I think the format of the drama going down on social media and then airing on the show 6 months later was always iconic, their full-on catfights as middle-aged women never ceased to amaze me, the number of balloons and flowers they had for birthdays was always mind-blowing, and I’m going to miss it SO much. I’m actually tempted to start from season 1 just for the mems.
Avoid – Real Housewives
This is a bit of a cop-out answer as I’ve never invested any time in watching any real housewives, it’s more that I’ve managed to avoid it for so many versions and seasons. I would love to be addicted to the show it’s right up my alley (rich, hot people struggles) but I don’t know where I’d begin at this point. Atlanta looks iconic but Beverley Hills has everyone talking, would I start from the beginning or can you just pick up on the latest series? These are the questions that keep me avoiding the show, but if someone can answer them for me I’ll be diving right in!
Snog – It has to be The Only Way Is Essex
Whilst the golden age of TOWIE has been and gone – yes sometimes I go back and watch old eps for the nostalgia – it’s still a perennial reality tv great in my eyes. I mean, it gave us the GC. We’d be utterly meme-less without her. I love that it’s an easy watch and its formula has pretty much stayed the same since 2010. It paved the way for shows like Made In Chelsea and spawned a whole new wave of celebrities including Joey Essex. With Keeping Up With The Kardashians going into retirement after 14 years and 20 seasons, it’s only going to be a matter of time before the long-standing OGs like TOWIE and MIC bow out, so I’m going to carry on enjoying this ridiculous but undeniably iconic show whilst I still can.
Marry – Gogglebox
Who knew watching other people watch tv could be this entertaining, especially when they’re watching Naked Attraction. It’s one of the few tv shows I can guarantee will make me cry with laughter every time. The Jenny and Lee face mask debacle lives in my head rent-free. I love their friendship. The cast are all brilliant in their own right but the Nutties (Giles and Mary) are my absolute favourites, sat in their armchairs winding each other up – it’s the dry sense of humour for me. Tv GOLD.
Avoid – The Circle
I really don’t get the hype. I’m not sure if it’s one of those shows you have to watch from the beginning to get fully invested in, or whether I’m just missing a trick but I just don’t love the formula. Shouting their text messages at the tv all the time is annoying as well haha. So, to sum up… it’s a hard pass from me.
Snog – Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Reality TV (almost) doesn’t get any better than this, I love the real housewives of Beverly Hills, the cast is so good, and the drama is intense to say the least. Of course, my ultimate Beverly Hills queen is Lisa Vanderpump and that is the reason I cannot marry this series because when she left it was never the same again. She made the show and actually I enjoyed watching her spin off Vanderpump Rules for more of my Lisa fix ha! I’m sure so many people have watched this series before but if you haven’t and you like reality TV you HAVE to watch it!
Marry – Made in Chelsea
I have to marry Made in Chelsea because I have been a committed fan since it began, I’ve watched every series and enjoyed them all the same. It just never gets boring! Even with a lot of changes in the cast there’s still some entertaining OG’s like Jamie Laing, Mark Francis and Ollie Locke. Must admit I do miss the Spencer Matthews and Millie Mackintosh era; Spencer was a savage on that show and the drama was always veryyyy wild. I also just think I quite enjoy watching people living their best lives in Chelsea (one can dream ha).
Avoid – The Only Way Is Essex
I was a big fan of TOWIE when it was the iconic era of Lauren Goodger and Mark Wright, oh the drama of it all I absolutely loved it. Amy Childs too, I miss you!! Of course, Gemma Collins too made that show for me alongside Bobby Norris, but I just don’t love it anymore. I know reality TV is fake, but TOWIE just seems SO fake and set up it’s like watching a really bad acted soap (sorry). It’s still so impressive how long it’s been going on for it practically kick-started reality TV in the UK, but I feel it’s lost its spark!