Exposed: 20 Reality Shows That Are Anything But Real
Buckle up, folks, because we’re about to dive into the wild world of reality television…or should I say, “reality” television. Yes, it’s time to uncover the truth behind those shows that make us feel like we’re voyeurs into the lives of others.
Spoiler alert: many of them are about as authentic as a spray tan in a rainstorm. So grab your popcorn, settle in, and get ready to be entertained by the absolute absurdity of these 20 completely fake reality shows.
Now, don’t get us wrong – we love Pawn Stars as much as the next person who enjoys watching middle-aged men bicker over antique typewriters. Let’s be real (or, rather, let’s acknowledge the lack of realness): the show is about as authentic as Fool’s Gold.
Sure, they might occasionally get a genuine piece of rock and roll memorabilia or a rare coin – let’s not forget that most of the show is completely scripted. That shouldn’t stop you from visiting the shop in Vegas, however!
Remember Duck Dynasty, the show that made us all want to grow beards and start talking like we’ve been chewing tobacco since birth? What we don’t remember is actually seeing them catch a duck!
Of course, we have to give credit where credit is due, as the Robertson family managed to turn a duck call business into a multi-million dollar empire. Maybe they’re not the best hunters, but they sure know how to cash in on a fake reality show.
'Love It Or List It'
Love It or List It once made us believe that a couple could have their dream home and afford it, too. If only life were that simple!
But let’s be real – this show is faker than a Kardashian’s spray tan. From the same dilemmas from episode to episode to the “surprise” issues that arise during the renovations, at some point, you almost find yourself saying, “I could write this.”
Who didn’t fall in love with the fist pump and GTL lifestyle in the early 2010s? Of course, from the so-called “hookups” between the cast members to the ridiculous arguments over who would make what for dinner, was all scripted.
With that out there, we’d be lying if we said it didn’t once make us want to spend our summers getting blackout drunk and making bad decisions by the beach. It makes us sad to now know that the over-tanned, over-hyped, and over-the-top cast of the Jersey Shore was nothing but a lie.
'Long Island Medium'
While we’re still not sure if it’s possible to communicate with the dead, Long Island Medium made us believe it was possible. What was funny, however, was that seemingly every person Theresa Caputo talked to had a deceased relative trying to send them a message.
Was the entire population of Long Island just a bunch of ghost whisperers? And how did she possibly know that my great aunt’s cat’s name was Jingles? If you’re looking for a show that makes you question your own sanity, then Long Island Medium is the show for you!
Fixer Upper made us believe that we could turn a run-down house into a dream home with just a few coats of paint and some shiplap. Unfortunately, the only thing that the show fixed up was our expectations.
Fortunately, the couples in this show always managed to find the perfect piece of reclaimed wood to tie the whole room together. If only real-life DIYing was as easy as Fixer Upper.
According to the crew at House Hunters, finding the perfect home is as easy as picking out a flavor of ice cream. The show is more hilarious since every couple has the same unrealistic expectations.
“I want a 5-bedroom, 4-bathroom mansion with a pool and a home theater, all for under $100,000.” Yeah, good luck with that. If you’re looking to watch a fake reality show that will make you question your own home-buying decisions, check out House Hunters.
Throwing on a pair of flannel and growing a beard is all you need to live off the land, apparently. The guys on this show looked like they just stepped out of a GQ photoshoot.
And, who knew that every hike is a near-death experience? “I almost got attacked by a pack of wolves, but luckily I had my trusty knife and was able to fashion a shelter out of pine needles and tree bark.” You got it, Mountain Men!
'Designed to Sell'
With just a few decorative pillows and a fresh coat of paint, you can turn your outdated home into a designer masterpiece. Well, that is, according to Designed to Sell.
We’re not sure in what world a budget of $2,000 can magically turn into a complete home renovation. At least the crew always manages to find the perfect piece of furniture to flip the house on its head!
Thanks to Catfish, we know that trying to find true love online can potentially mean you’re falling in love with a 65-year-old man from Alabama who likes to impersonate 20-year-old models on the internet. It’s a show that sets people up for disappointment.
Luckily, they often managed to bring the catfish and the victim together for a heartfelt reunion, even if they glossed over the fact that someone was pretending to be someone else for months on end. Happy ending?
With its dramatic music and over-the-top narration, Deadliest Catch made us believe that being a crab fisherman was one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. While it might be semi-true, the show was anything short of legit.
Every wave was a monster wave, and every crab pot was a ticking time bomb. The good thing was that they always managed to catch more crabs than they knew what to do with.
'Beachfront Bargain Hunt'
Can we own a beachfront property for under $200,000? According to Beachfront Bargain Hunt, anything is possible!
Unfortunately, the only thing that the show was selling was a dream. From the “bargains” to the “renovations,” however, at least they always manage to find the perfect beachfront property for their clients, even if they stretched their budget to the breaking point.
Valuable treasures are hiding in plain sight in every old barn and garage in America! Well, there are if they’re already set up by the show’s producers.
From the “negotiations” they do with the sellers to the fact that they always seem to find something interesting to add to their collection, American Pickers is far from true reality TV. If you’re into overpaying for rusty old signs and broken-down motorcycles, American Pickers might be your kind of show.
'HGTV Dream Home Giveaway'
Sorry home renovation lovers, it turns out that HGTV Dream Home Giveaway is as real as the real estate they give away. Out of all the game shows on this list, this one is the ultimate tease.
People get to enjoy all the bells and whistles of the dream home they win, but in reality, they have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than holding onto the house. Only around ten winners have been able to hold onto their homes.
These walking, talking, wedding-obsessed tornados have wreaked havoc on our TVs for multiple seasons. And while there might be bridezillas in real life, there likely nowhere close to as dramatic as these women.
It’s all just a clever ploy by the producers to inject drama into an already stressful situation. We suppose knowing how scripted it makes you feel better about the grooms getting married to them.
'Keeping Up With The Kardashians'
We all know the Kardashians. Their hit show employs a camera crew that follows them 24/7, capturing every moment of their lives in soap opera fashion.
One week the sisters are feuding over who gets to wear a dress to a red carpet event, and the next, they’re suddenly best friends again. It’s clearly a carefully crafted, highly-produced piece of entertainment designed to keep us all entertained and make us feel better about our own mundane lives.
'The Biggest Loser'
The Biggest Loser? More like The Biggest Lie-ster! Okay, that was bad, but when we found out the weigh-in scale was a total sham, it hurt.
Of course, the show deserves the flack a little bit, as they seem to convince us that weight loss was as easy as eating a salad and going for a jog. This fake reality TV show was simply designed to give us all a good laugh and make us feel better about our own flabby bodies.
We should all know that there’s no way that Buddy and his team could create those elaborate cakes in just a few hours. Many high-octane events in Cake Boss are knowingly scripted, and they purposely try to create conflict for the cameras.
It’s a soap opera made of sugar and flour. If your bakery is that chaotic and over-the-top, it probably won’t be in business for long.
From the interviews to the auction, according to legitimate sources, Storage Wars is a fraud. It was a bit heartbreaking, as we were ready to believe there was a treasure trove of valuable items hidden in every storage unit.
One minute some redneck power couple is bidding $1,000 on a pile of old magazines, and the next, they’re dropping $10,000 on a rusty bicycle. At least it’s entertaining.
'Bachelor in Paradise'
Bachelor in Paradise features several beautiful people who happen to end up on a tropical island looking for love. While the show may not be scripted, the producers are definitely behind the scenes pulling strings.
Nobody’s love life is that intense and steamy all the time. Of course, if you’re into ridiculous beach dates and cringeworthy conversations about love, there’s no reason not to indulge in it.