10 Addictive Reality Shows

There’s a good reason Bravo seems to have umpteen iterations of its Real Housewives franchise. Those shows are addictive. So are The Voice, Dancing With the Stars, America’s Got Talent and other talent competition series that spur viewers to participate by voting for their favorite contestants. But there are a lot of other reality series that are equally addictive, but for entirely different reasons. Here are a few you might want to check out.


  1. Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, Netflix—One of the newest entries in the reality arena, this series already has fans tidying their homes, asking if their belongings spark interest, and using Kondo’s name as a verb. Kondo-izing is an addiction that just might improve a few lives.
  2. The Incredible Dr. Pol, Nat Geo WILD—There’s a reason a show following a rural Michigan veterinarian is in its 14th season: viewers love watching Dr. Pol and the team at his small veterinary clinic interact with, care for, and treat animals large and small.
  3. MasterChef Junior, Fox—It’s always fun watching potty-mouthed chef Gordon Ramsey—best known for verbally berating contestants on MasterChef—donning crazy costumes, being the butt of jokes, and showing his softer side with the young cheftestants. The food looks good, too.
  4. RuPaul’s Drag Race, VH1—A decade in and this series is just hitting its stride. While the drag queen contestants can get catty at times, Mama Ru’s compassion and warmth always win out. Viewers and contestants all sashay away as winners.
  5. Love it or List It, HGTV—This show has a bit of everything. It’s one-part home renovation, one-part house hunting, and one-part competition. As Hilary and David work against each other to persuade homeowners to stay in their renovated homes or move, viewers grow almost as invested in the final decision as the homeowners do.
  6. American Pickers, History—Who doesn’t wish Mike & Frank would crawl through their basement, attic, or garage and offer big money for a cobweb-covered relic they didn’t even know they had? Learning a bit about antiques and their places in history only makes the show cooler.
  7. Shark Tank, ABC—Lots of people dream of inventing a product or launching a company, but few have the business skills to do it. Watching the sharks debate whether something is worth investing their money, expertise, and time is almost as good as seeing updates on how well past contestants are doing.
  8. American Ninja Warrior, NBC—Witnessing athletes tackle seemingly insurmountable obstacles is inspiring to viewers of all ages. Learning about their backgrounds and issues they’ve overcome in their daily lives only makes you root harder for them to complete the course.
  9. Queer Eye, Netflix—This update of Bravo’s landmark series reveals more of the new Fab Five’s personal stories than the original Five did. That created an instant bond with the audience, and proved that a reality show can be just as binge-able as a scripted series.
  10. The Great British Baking Show, PBS—You will probably get hungry watching talented home bakers create edible works of art that need to be well-baked, attractive, and delicious. While knives are often wielded, there’s never any back-stabbing among the bakers.



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