9 Reality Shows That Didn’t Last

In recent years, entertainment has been suffering an overload of reality television, most of which is trite and unintelligent. A lot of the programming is still on the air, but a lot of it is now a part of television history no one appreciates. Let’s revisit some of the shows that flopped.

Married By America
In Married By America, viewers voted for pairs of single men and women would be engaged and arranged to be married all within a 5 week span.  The dating pool was originally selected by the suitors’ loved ones. America then voted in to decide which man would propose to which women without even having seen her face or talked to her at all. After the fiances were paired up, they spent five weeks first getting to know the person they were planning to marry. At the end of each episode, so called relationship experts would decide which engagement was going to end. By the final episode, two couples were left to plan their weddings Thankfully, neither of the couples went through with it.  I’m surprised this wasn’t thought of as unethical from the start, but cancelling it after a season was the right call.

Joe Millionaire
Joe Millionaire was dating show about an “Average Joe” struggling to get by on a meager salary who meets women who are told he is a multimillionaire.  It was a version of The Bachelor with a cheap gimmick. Evan Marriot was a reasonably attractive construction worker. It’s not the most tragic story ever. Just the fact that he was able to get on a reality means his life was going to change anyway. This got very repetitive extremely quickly as he struggled to determine “who liked him for him.” This was going to be hard of course, given that he was misrepresenting himself. He and the woman he chose were undeservingly given a million dollars at the end of the show. It was brought back inexplicably for a second season, an international version because they couldn’t recycle the gimmick again in the United States.
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Average Joe
A beautiful woman is asked to choose between a selection of “ordinary looking” or “average” men. Midway through the show, more handsome men enter the mix and she is forced to confront what she values more. This show really seemed to go out of it’s way to exploit men who may be perceived as ugly and pressured the women on the show to pick them for that sole reason.  The show was clearly trying to assert that beauty is only skin deep, but it didn’t work. More often than not, the woman went with the more attractive guy.

Playing It Straight
In  Playing It Straight, a woman dates a group of men, half of them straight and the other half gay. The goal of the show was for the woman to eliminate as many gay men as she can. Of course, she had no real basis for knowing. This show seemed to play right into the stereotypes of gay men. A show like this only furthers the idea that being gay is a bad thing. It seems to teach people that hiding your sexuality is a good thing to do. This was further enforced by a one million dollar prize. If she picked a straight man, they would split it. If she picked a gay man, he would get all of it. The show was thankfully unpopular and cancelled after 3 episodes.

Are You Hot?
Are You Hot? show featured  many men and women with the self-entitled belief that they are “hot”. They were judged by a panel and hooked up to a “hot-o-meter”. This is a stupid premise. It doesn’t go anywhere. Somebody would simply stand on a stage and judges would say yes or no. It went through multiple rounds and the people who lost would get told things like “I’m sorry you are not hot enough to advance.” It was disorganized and laughable. It wasn’t worth being produced and only lasted 5 episodes.

The Swan
Self professed ugly women were given free plastic surgery and a makeover before competing in a beauty pageant. The very premise is extremely counterintuitive as these women needed not to be preoccupied with their looks and have their self-esteem kicked down any more than it already was. A beauty pageant show is bad enough, but to use women who already have insecurities is even worse. This show was very destructive when it came to body image. It’s surprising it lasted two seasons.

Man V. Food
Television personality Adam Richman hosted Man V. Food. This show had Richman go around the country and take on famous eating challenges in various restaurants. There really is no point to finishing a five pound pizza in an hour, but those are the kind of things the show thrived on. Richman may be thinking “There’s no way I’ll be able to do this,” but has to attempt anyway. This show continued in a long tradition of making a fool of oneself for the public’s entertainment. Even though it can leave you thinking “Why am I watching this?,” it could be pretty entertaining at times.

Boiling Points
Boiling Points featured annoying staged scenarios on hidden camera for the purpose of seeing how long it takes for unsuspecting people to get pissed off and leave.  A set amount of time was considered the “boiling point” for each situation. For the people who make it past that point, they are awarded $100. I would’ve hated to be on this show, but I loved watching it. The actors in the scenes were always amusing. Watching someone lose their cool was always fun. I could see why this got cancelled. It wasn’t quality television, but it was fun to watch nonetheless. (Fun Fact: Lady Gaga was on this show before she got famous.)

Rob And Amber: Against the Odds
Rob And Amber:Against The Odds made little sense. After their run on Survivor and The Amazing Race, Rob and Amber Mariano move to Las Vegas so Rob could become a professional poker player. The couple worked hard for their winnings. My first thought was “Why risk losing them?”  Aside from gambling issues, this show included repetitive and uninteresting marital spats that made it hard to root for the couple’s success. It lasted only 8 episodes and I don’t know how far it could have gone if not for The Amazing Race: All Stars, but it didn’t feel right. By doing this show, Rob and Amber lost most of the charm they had on their previous reality show stints.

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Posted on July 14, 2012, in ABC, Cable, CBS, Fox, Network Television, Reality TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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