Reality shows are the way to go if you are looking for something fun and ‘real life’. They are exciting and thrilling and always have a huge following. It is therefore not shocking to see many people making a killing just from these shows. But although most shows claim to have a natural flow and are not scripted, some shows are lightly scripted to attract viewers and raise viewership numbers.
Shows like American Idol, The Real Housewives franchise, Big Brother, Keeping up with the Kardashians, Duck Dynasty, and a host of many more successful shows have made a killing over the years due to their reality nature.
In Kenya, reality TV has started to gain traction and people enjoy watching game shows and more interestingly, the personal lives of celebrities. From Tusker Project Fame, to Nairobi Diaries and Being Bahati, to online shows like Yummy Mummy, the WaJesus Family, and the Green Calabash etc, reality shows have proven to not only be entertaining, but also make their creators rich and successful.
I am a lover of reality shows and as I continue to celebrate and root for our very own, I have a host of other shows from around the world that have been great to watch. While some are new, others are old and still rocking our televisions. These include, but definitely not limited to;
Survivor and I have a love-hate relationship. One minute we are hot and steamy, the next we are cold and unbothered. The show features a group of strangers who are placed on an island with no food and shelter for themselves. They then start forming bonds and alliances, perform activities and challenges and try to stay as long as possible because they have to vote each other out. But since season 36, I have been paying more attention because the game has become bigger and better. The contestants are smarter, wittier and play a definite dirty game. Season 40 just concluded 2 weeks ago and the game was the best so far. It featured 20 contestants who were winners from previous seasons. These are people who have already played the game, back to win it. And the cash price, a cool 2 million USD from the usual 1 million. The season was fire to say the least and had an unexpected winner.
The Amazing Race
Who wouldn’t wanna race around the world? I remember watching The Amazing Race when it used to air on KTN back in the days. The show features teams of 2 who are given clues and a certain amount of money to race around the world. It involves legs, challenges and detours and it’s usually anybody’s game and the last to arrive at a destination is usually eliminated. It is fun to watch the contestant’s race, visit new places and experiences new cultures. During recent seasons, we have seen contestants from different shows like Survivor participate while another season featured strangers who were paired up just at the beginning of the race. The show is 31 seasons in and season 32 was to start airing last week but due to Covid-19, it has been placed on hold.
My one and only cook show. I have watched Masterchef US, Top Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, etc. but my all-time favorite is Masterchef Australia. I have watched all 11 seasons and I’m now following the 12th. My favorite judges from season 1-11 have been fired from the show and I felt a bit muddled. I was so used to Matt, George and Gary and I started watching the current season hesitantly. But they knew that viewers like me would have a hard time connecting with new judges so they hooked us by bringing back fan-favorite contestants from previous seasons. They knew for sure we would watch. And we are! I love the new judges by the way. They are great. And the foooood… bruuuuh.. the food is to die for!! The skill and mastery is on another level. I have definitely picked up a few skills over the years. It’s always a treat to watch Masterchef.
Keeping up with the Kardashians
I already see y’all rolling your eyes and judging me from here to the end of the world. I have watched KUWTK ever since it started to air on E!.., and I’m not stopping for y’all. Need I even tell you what it’s about? But for those who might have never heard of it, (major eye roll), it’s KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS boo!! I love the way they love, interact and are always there for each other (although season 18 recently started with Kim and Kourtney getting into a really bad fight where they fought and hurt each other physically). But I adore their work ethic, despite the fact that people say they do not work. Dude, allowing people to follow your personal lives, kids and family with cameras is no easy fete. Most of you wouldn’t allow it. But that is what made them famous, successful and pretty much rich.
I actually bumped into this one while doing deep dive on YouTube. It features some some-what famous black couples that are having trouble in their relationship/marriages. They live together in a house with an in-house therapist who helps them maneuver and handle their problems amicably and respectfully. I love the show because I get to learn a few things on relationships and plus the drama is interesting. The show is one season in.
Well then, here we are again. I see you judging, not that I care, hehe. I love the bachelor for its drama, spitefulness and fights. Who wouldn’t wanna see a bunch of women fighting to win the love of one dude? The show is interesting, what with all the girls, from different backgrounds, races, careers and tastes living in one house trying to get the attention of the bachelor. It sometimes turns bitchy pretty quick. The show usually has its twists and turns and is a sure way to kill your time. The show is currently on it’s 24th season while its female counterpart, The Bachelorette is in season 15.
The Great Kenyan Bake Off
Inspired by the great British Bake off, I watched its first season and thoroughly enjoyed it. It promoted Kenyan cooking with a Kenyan touch and what more would you want? I learnt a lot of recipes, tricks and hacks especially because it is more relatable as the ingredients are readily available to us. It was amazing to watch and I can’t wait to start season 2 and celebrate the great Kenyan chefs out there.
I bumped into this series on Netflix when I was looking to pass time. But after episode one, I was hooked! I know, I know, these shows are vain but very entertaining. I can’t help myself. The show is about a group of strangers living in different apartments in the same building but only interacting with each other online. From catfishes, to people lying about their age, gender, occupation etc., the show highlights what people do on social media in real life! The lies, the scheming and manipulation that go in to trying to impress and get people to like you is on another level. But do they always get away with it? Be the judge. Watch it!
Although it’s been a minute since I caught up with the voice, I love to watch it as there is pure and raw talent being nurtured. The show purely focuses on the contestants voice who when selected, gets to join the teams of 4 famous musicians. You do not get judged by how you look, your gender, or your age. The show, in its 18th season, has seen some great singers make it big.
Americas Got Talent
If you want to get your dose of love, laughter, tears, awe and amazing talent, then this is the show for you. It allows everyone with any form of talent to audition and showcase. From singers, dancers, magicians, comedians etc., the show appreciates and promotes all kind of abilities. We also get to learn the individual lives of the contestants which give us a more personal touch. Season 15 just started and I highly recommend you get watching.
I owe my little business acumen to shark tank. It’s a show about millionaire, better known as sharks, investing into potential businesses with great business ideas, for a stake in those companies. From crazy out of the world ideas to really cool ideas, the millionaires get to choose the companies/ideas they would want to invest in. While in its 11th season, the show has enabled a lot of small businesses thrive and make it big while still entertaining. In Kenya, we have our very own ‘Lion’s Den’ which follows the same format.
Too Hot to Handle
Hehe.. I donno how I ended up watching this show to be honest! I was having one of those rough nights that I was unable to sleep and instead of letting my mind wonder into the unknown, I perused through the TV and bumped into this vain show that I ended up binge watching. It is a group of young sexy and vibrant strangers who are brought to an island and share a house. They think they are there to hook up and have a good time. But as they all start to get comfy, there are soon notified that they can get to know each other and make bonds and relationships but they are not allowed to have sex or any kind of intimate touching. This is hard for them because they are all into the hooking up lifestyles and don’t really care about relationships. A cash price is set that they will all win if they all abstain and form meaningful relationships. If anyone indulges in intimate touching like kissing or have’s sex, the amount of money reduces.
Before you lead me to the stake and burn me, hear me out. There was a time that I actually didn’t mind Trump. (Ask my friend Foi, we watched it together) That was during his apprentice time! I loved the apprentice because it involved real people looking to make it big into the business world. It involved groups of strangers participating in challenges that were fun and educative and even featured celebrities who played for charity. It was great to watch and I always enjoyed the way Trump told the contestants “You’re fired” while pointing his index finger. Right now I wish someone would fire him from his current job. But what do I know?
America’s Next Top Model
Probably one of my most feel good reality shows I ever watched, ATM showed us to be fierce and amazing and be comfortable in our skins. Although some things that the contestants were made to do wouldn’t pass today, the show made for great TV and always made you feel confident and live in a bubble where you also saw yourself as a supermodel. I actually wouldn’t mind repeating this show.
Just started watching
Labor of Love
I just started watching this show due to FOMO especially after the mixed reactions and criticism it received a few days ago when it started airing. It is a dating show which features a woman, in her 40’s, who is unlucky in love and looking to settle down with someone serious and start a family. The 15 male contestants who are also in their 40’s and above have never been married before, are also looking for someone to start a life with. The show was interesting as the guys had to give a semen sample to measure their sperm count right off the bat. They are not playing. The show is one episode in and I can’t wait to see how it goes.
Go on, tell me what your favorite reality TV show is!