reality TV reviews and news

What are the best reality shows? Start with these.

Many of the reality shows on this list will make you feel this joyous and happy. (Photo by MI PHAM/Unsplash)

Earlier this year, I mentioned that one of my all-time favorite reality series was available to stream, and heard from a friend who’d watched it and loved it—and recommended listing other shows available to stream.

That’s a daunting and ever-changing task, but it also made me realize that some of my all-time favorite shows are still available, and worth highlighting.

So, I created a list: The Best Reality TV Shows Ever.

That is not meant to be clickbait hyperbole, but the opposite: a permanent list of the truly best examples of our beloved genre. I’m grateful for their existence.

If someone asks me about great reality TV—or is skeptical that reality shows can be excellent—this is where I’ll send them to start their quest. And I hope it’ll be an equally valuable resource for you.

Although there are many shows that I love watching, only 10 made the cut. One goal for this first version was to choose series that are still easily watchable and accessible—some more easily than others (streaming on Netflix versus buying episodes on Amazon or iTunes), but accessible nevertheless.

I intend to revisit this list from time to time, both to update ways of watching and to add shows. Everything on this list is more than two years old, an attempt to avoid recency bias—though you’ll notice several that are still airing new seasons and feel recent and fresh.

If you notice a classic show has become available to stream or buy, or have suggestions, let me know. And I hope you enjoy watching these shows and/or sharing this list.