TV & Radio
Reality television has extended from talent shows to cooking shows to game shows to basically any topic you can imagine.
So-called reality television is the fast food of visual entertainment: cheap, quick, and unhealthily addictive.
Vogue was blasted for its April cover of reality diva Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, but the magazine's descent from high fashion proved a financially savvy move as the edition was a bestseller.
The fine line between "worst" and "best" reality TV is blurred.
Regardless, do yourself - and society - a favour, and avoid the lot. Especially these:
- The Only Way Is Essex: Dubbed "Towie" - as well as "the worst thing on TV, ever" by The Guardian - this British drama unfolds against a backdrop of nail bars, wine bars, flash cars and designer gear. It's so scripted the show opens with a disclaimer: "The tans you see might be fake but the people are all real, although some of what they do has been set up purely for your entertainment."
- Beauty Class: Too risque to be screened on Chinese television, this show is on YouTube only, and describes its role as to "transform you into a perfect woman". From what I can see, the show's concept of an ideal woman is one who neither eats nor questions the male host. This wouldn't last a minute in New Zealand.
- Rock of Love: Rather than watching this dating game show starring Bret Michaels, I recommend you spend that time listening to his music by Poison instead.
- Ex On The Beach: "Imagine paradise, where eight beautiful singles are looking for love ... " So starts the promo for Ex On The Beach. "Then imagine the look on their loved-up faces when their exes turn up, one by one." With its cast of Playboy bunnies, glamour models, and self-described "Greek gods", this show contains unhealthy and potentially contagious levels of narcissism.
- My super sweet 16: A 14-year-old Jennifer Lawrence got her Hollywood golden ticket, a Screen Actors Guild card, through an MTV promo for this show. But that doesn't make it good.
- The Bachelor: The pivotal misconception projected in this show - that a bunch of pre-selected women would fall in love with one man (especially a man whose descriptive vocab doesn't extend beyond "wow", "amazing", and "beautiful") - is infuriating beyond entertaining.
- Geordie Shore: The British version of those other MTV shows that feature young social climbers dramatising their daily lives. I can sort of see the attraction: The cast is so pitiful, it's confidence-boosting for the viewer.
- Tabatha Takes Over: Tabatha Coffey is to hair and beauty what Gordon Ramsay is to food: an expert with a penchant for swearing and bullying. You know what they says about bullies . . . In fact, Tabatha has revealed she was picked on as a child, because she was "incredibly overweight".
- The Valleys: Based in Wales, apparently this show is about "party-loving hopefuls" who are "easily side-tracked from their big dreams". Essentially, then, this programme - about people who are distracted from doing something decent with their lives - itself distracts people from doing something decent with their lives ... Clever, MTV, very clever.
- Jeremy Kyle Show: Here I'll quote a colleague: "A nasty, trolling, racist, sexist middle England [man] who reduces people to tears, screams at them, etcetera (even though quite a few deserve it)."
What's your favourite "worst" reality TV show?