Reality TV Flashback, 5 Shows Never Forgotten
In a genre that’s always reinventing itself, sometimes it’s nice to take some time and remember the reality shows that helped pave the way for what TV is today.
It’s also nice to recount the shows you were probably too young to watch, where parents would not approve, but you watched anyway.
Below is a list of reality shows that may be off the air, but are not forgotten. It’s time to reflect on TV that was.
1. “Laguna Beach”
MTV introduced us to seven students enjoying their final years in high school in "the real Orange County." Viewers watched breakout stars Lauren Conrad and Kristin Cavallari battle for Stephen Colletti in season one.
In season two, viewers had to choose between Team Kristin or Team Lauren (Team Kristin all the way). They were both brought together however by the player, Jason Wahler.
Season 3 which featured a new cast was a disappointment to many and the spinoff “Newport Harbor” didn’t leave many memorable moments or characters.
2. “The Osbournes”
Heavy-metal rock star Ozzy Osbourne and his family including wife Sharon and kids Kelly and Jack introduced us to the concept of a celebrity family sharing their lives with cameras and all of America.
The belligerent family shared their highs and lows publicly. Viewers watched Sharon battle with cancer, Ozzy’s ATV accident, neighborhood drama, and way too many dogs running around the house.
The Osbourne family remains successful today with Ozzy still selling out arenas, Sharon judging “America’s Got Talent” and co-hosting “The Talk,” and Kelly contributing to E!’s “Fashion Police.”
3. “The Simple Life”
Best friends Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie took to the road, shedding their valuables, credit cards, and lavish lifestyle to explore the country and perform tasks far from their norm.
We watched Hilton and Richie work at Sonic Drive-In, milk cows, and in the end, get fired from every job they were assigned to.
Unfortunately, the series began to disappoint when the two stars began to feud off camera and refuse to shoot together.
Today, they are back to being best friends and the famous, trademarked expression “that’s hot” lives on.
4. “Average Joe”
NBC has had their share of guilty pleasure dating shows.
There was “For Love or Money” and Ryan Seacrest Production’s “Momma’s Boys.” However, the one that beats them all was “Average Joe.”
A beautiful woman thought she was going to have the opportunity to date 16 good looking guys. However, the 16 guys that showed up were considered “Average Joes” because of their weight, nerdy appearance, awkwardness, etc.
It begged the question, did beauty really matter or was personality most important?
The twist when the “hunks” arrived made it the battle of looks vs. charm. In the end, the girl chose the hunks but the relationships didn’t last long off-camera. Surprise, surprise.
5. “Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica”
After Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley pulled out of a similar project for MTV, singers Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson stepped in and chose to profile their marriage on TV.
Jessica became a star as the “dumb blond,” especially during her confusion over whether Chicken of the Sea Tuna was chicken or tuna.
Even through the couple’s bickering, viewers fell in love with them. Unfortunately, many believe the reason the marriage later ended was because of the show and the spotlight put on the two.
Today, both stars are still dating (Nick with Vanessa Minnillo and Jessica with Former NFL star Eric Johnson) and don’t plan on filming a show about their next marriage.
What past reality shows do you miss? Comment below and join the conversation.