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Wednesday March 1, 2006 8:25 pm

Real Winners: A Look At The Best In Reality TV

SupernannyReality television…you can’t escape it. The shows are everywhere, on every night, demanding our attention and often, our obsession. TV Envy is proud to offer a salute to the best in the genre. Of course, it’s important to be balanced, so tune in tomorrow for our look at the worst of reality shows. Without further ado, our picks for the Top 5 (after the jump).



1. Made, MTV. Great entertainment not only amuses; it inspires. This delightful show, which allows teen to transform themselves into something they always wanted to be, does just that. Whether football players want to become figure skaters or wallflowers want to become beauty queens, the teens never fail to gain self-esteem and appreciation of their worth in the process. For this, Made earns our #1 spot.

Just one thing bugs us: when will they come out with an adult version? We want to be Made!

2. Beauty and the Geek, the WB. Great title, even better concept: pairing together socially awkward men and socially confident women is original and entertaining. The only thing we don’t like is the way the women are marketed as being stupid. Luckily, that stopped with the promos. The men and women are shown in equally triumphant and embarrassing situations, with everyone in the same light. Everyone seems to change for the better, thanks to the help from their ‘opposite’ partner. This is absolutely the sweetest reality show on television, and we love it for that.

3. Wife Swap, ABC. First of all, that name…so naughty! And where do they find these families? Always entertaining, the show provides a peek into the best and worst of family life, with constant heartbreak and laughter resulting from invariably choosing two wives who are as different as possible each week. The husbands always prove to be the most entertaining, as they usually spend most of the episode in states of stupor. Although it seems like a guilty pleasure, Wife Swap somehow manages to affect us emotionally each week.

4. Supernanny, ABC. Admit it: there are few things more satisfying than seeing a bratty kid get a virtual smackdown. How many times have you wanted to throttle a screaming kid in a grocery store? Of course, no smacking or throttling takes place on this show. Expert Supernanny Jo Frost comes to the rescue with patience and innovation, repairing families across the globe. The show does misrepresent itself a bit; Jo actually spends two weeks with the family rather than the three days the show portrays, but the apparent miracles she works are always inspiring. And with less than stellar parenting so rampant now, this show seems necessary.

Of course, if it’s that easy for Jo to completely transform out of control children…it makes the parents look like real idiots.

5. America’s Next Top Model, UPN. We had to have a least one show on the list with absolutely no redeeming social value. Insults, barbs, and cruelty fly each week…and that’s just from the judges. Wonderfully melodramatic, gloriously tacky, the catwalks and catty behavior never fail to give us a vicarious thrill.

Which shows make your list? Be sure to share your picks in the comments section!

Gallery: Real Winners: A Look At The Best In Reality TV

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None of my favorites made the list! :( In my top 3 lie:

1) The Apprentice
2) American Idol
3) The Amazing Race


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