Students weigh in: which reality TV shows are worth watching?


Fair Use Images: @agt on Instagram, @dameliosonhulu on Instagram

SHOWSTOPPING. Some reality TV shows include random people or contestants like America’s Got Talent, while others, like The D’Amelio Show, focus on celebrities and their lives. Either way, these shows can be funny, exciting, and full of heartfelt emotion to satisfy an audience.

Reality TV shows are often thought of as cringe-worthy or simply ridiculous because of the nature of their content, but they can also be very entertaining to watch due to the intense competitions, personalization of celebrities, and dramatized storylines. Covering a wide range of topics, these series sometimes feature famous actors, but can also contain random people, making the genre distinctive. With so many reality TV shows out there, it can be tricky to know which ones are actually worth watching, so several Upper School students shared their favorites.

Shark Tank (13+)
Shark Tank invites entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas to “the Sharks,” self-made millionaires and billionaires who have been in their shoes before. Currently, the Sharks consist of Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, and Kevin O’Leary. The goal of these hopeful contestants is to get one of the Sharks to invest money in their plan to help their business dreams come true.
Nora Shaughnessy (10): “My favorite reality TV show at the moment is Shark Tank because it reminds the audience that everyone’s ideas should be heard and shared. I also love watching the Sharks, who decide who gets the cash prize for coming up with the most creative inventions and their reasoning behind the decisions.”
Rio Cox (11): “I would recommend people watch Shark Tank because, in some instances, it can teach you about the business world. It is also very entertaining to see people succeed with their pitches and sometimes fail.”

Ink Master (14+)
Ink Master includes fierce battles between talented tattoo artists hoping to be named the Ink Master and win a cash prize. Hosted by Dave Navarro, artists with unique names such as “Sausage” and “Tatu Baby” face a panel of judges, including Chris Nunez and Oliver Peck, following each challenge to display their work and find out their fate. The winner of season 12 of Ink Master was Ryan Ashley Malarky, while season 13 featured a three-way tie between Bob Jobes, Angel Rose, and Jimmy Snaz due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hadley Dobish (9): “I only started watching this show because I was with some friends and we didn’t know what to watch so we just put it on, but now I love it… With the occasional really good tattoo, it’s both funny and sad to think people are getting stuck with so many mediocre or just bad tattoos.”

The Great British Baking Show (8+)
The Great British Baking Show pits amateur British bakers against one another to see who can create the most delicious concoctions, including pastries, cakes, and breads. With eliminations in each round at the hands of the judges, the show is competitive while still having wholesome moments.
Kate Hanf (10): “I really like The Great British Baking Show whenever I need comfort. Something about baking is very warm and soothing. It’s a great show to watch in stressful times.”

America’s Got Talent (9+)
America’s Got Talent is essentially a large-scale talent show featuring all kinds of performers, from singers to ventriloquists and everything in between. The contestants will fight for the approval of celebrity judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara, and Heidi Klum, and ultimately, the prize of one million dollars.
Ford Reedy (10): “I don’t really watch reality shows a whole lot, but I have enjoyed clips from AGT. I specifically like the comedy bits, but it’s just a talent show, so whether you like dancing, singing, comedy or magic, you could find clips that entertain you.”

The D’Amelio Show (TV-14)
The D’Amelio Show focuses on TikTok sensations Charli and Dixie D’Amelio as well as their parents, and specifically, the effects that a rapid rise to fame has had on the family. Are the challenges of being a social media star too much for them to handle?
Mia Hofmann (12): “I think that everyone should watch The D’Amelio Show because it gives an insider perspective into the hardships of being a TikTok star. In today’s society, social media is so popular, but we often overlook the toll it can take on some of the biggest names in TikTok.”

Reality TV is widely available to watch on streaming platforms like Netflix or Hulu, as well as other sources. With such a diversity of shows out there including intense cooking competitions, raw portrayals of celebrities, and fierce drama, maybe it’s time to take the advice of these students and give one a try.