Whether we want to admit it or not, we all have a guilty pleasure television series that is absolutely terrible but for some reason we just can’t get enough of it. If so many people didn’t, there wouldn’t be a name for it, right? It’s the show that we cringe at knowing that it’s either bad acting or a terrible spin on reality. But for some reason it’s also likened to an accident that we can’t keep our eyes off of while driving down the street. It might be the show that no one else knows but we love, or we could fangirl hard for it with no shame that it will come up as soon as we log into our Netflix and Hulu accounts.
But we also can’t deny how absolutely terrible these shows are. There’s something about them that is just…ugh. It could be the forced drama of a reality show or the terrible writing of a scripted series. For some reason it’s also described as ones we can’t get enough of (this could be categorized as First World Problems all day). They will probably never win an award, and if they do even their avid viewers will be shocked. Still, some have been able to stand the test of time for ten plus years despite being labeled as a bad show. Even some of the shows that are award-winning still get the side eye when its name is called in front a group of peers. So check out 15 bad television shows that we love… but would never tell anyone.
15. The Bachelor and The Bachelorette
These two are some of the longest running shows on reality television. There’s just something about watching people look for love in all the wrong places. I can’t help but to choose my favorite guy or gal as soon as they step out of the limo. But even Ray Charles could see that these shows aren’t necessarily reality. After all, for the ones who do make it to the finish line and get the final rose, the chance of them actually lasting and being together is pretty slim. But does it really matter? This series has an out of sight, out of mind effect. So who really cares which couples stay together after the season ends? And this doesn’t even begin to touch the surface of the not purposefully hilarious desperation that these guys and girls act out on in hopes of winning over whoever is the prize for that season. It makes us feel a little better about ourselves.
I’m sorry, I love this evening primetime soap opera as much as the next person, but this show is not necessarily a good one. It brings the drama like never before as it follows the Lyon family and all of their sins and family dysfunction that would make anyone cringe. And while the show has been given the green light for a fourth season, it is definitely an acquired taste now more than it was when it first debuted in January of 2015. It might be safe to say that the co-creator and writer, Lee Daniels, saw how much of a hit it was in its premiere season that he and his colleagues decided to amp up the drama. Now, it’s getting to the point where it’s absolutely ridiculous. Who knows when the show will actually take its final bow. But hopefully it’s before it becomes a burden instead of a blessing.
13. America’s Next Top Model
This is another reality television veteran series. Going in cycles instead of seasons, America’s Next Top Model was created by none other than supermodel Tyra Banks. Debuting in 2003, it gave the every day girl a chance to tap into her model status that ended with a modeling contract from some of the biggest companies. While it’s still kicking nearly 25 seasons later, it has gone through some changes that appeared to be methods to keep viewers interested, or simply switch things up a bit. From having the all-star cycle to featuring guys and girls to the new season featuring the return of Banks and other ANTM veterans, it might be safe to say this show has gone full circle. But is it coming to an end? The show was cancelled, then brought back on a new network. Even Banks had to step away and let the likes of Rita Ora and Ashley Graham step in for a cycle. But now she’s back! No word on if this will mark the end of the series for good or not.
Raise your hand if you have no shame in binge watching this series! While I was extremely happy to see Ugly Betty star America Ferrera back on the small screen when Super Store first premiered in 2015, it’s safe to say it definitely goes in the guilty pleasure category because it’s just not considered a great show. Anyone can tell that it comes from the same producer as The Office, except this series tells the secrets of working in retail that nearly anyone can relate to — or at least laugh at while watching. Still, despite the dry comedy, the show has been going strong for nearly two years. It’s something about the satire that keeps viewers hooked. It’s like we can’t get enough of storylines about door busters and terrible training sessions that require at least three cups of coffee. Thankfully, the show isn’t that boring because it looks like it’ll be around for a while.
11. Dance Moms
Oh Abby Lee Miller. It’s such a shame that the outspoken, rude, and alleged bully is the face of the show that features aspiring dancers under 18. I have to say watching this show serves up several cringe worthy moments. Not just because of the awkwardness of reality television that it has, but the idea that Miller gets away with speaking to the children like they are literally nothing, all for the sake of having them as her students. Check, please? And of course the Candy Apples, who are the Abby Lee Dance Company’s arch nemeses, don’t make things better as they bring about a new level of drama that should not happen when children are around. Still, just like the other shows on this list, it’s hard to turn the channel when flipping for something to watch on a weeknight. Her haughty language catches you immediately and you find yourself counting down the days until the next episode.
10. Fuller House
Tons of people were ecstatic when the return of Full House was announced. Yes, it would be on Netflix so it’s safe to say Fuller House wouldn’t be the sitcom that we know and love. And while there were favorites who returned like DJ Tanner, Stephanie Tanner, Kimmy Gibbler, and even Steve, the show just didn’t click like creators and even viewers probably hoped. The interesting thing is that fans could watch the entire season at once thanks to it being on Netflix. I’m willing to bet there’s no way it would have survived if there was an entire week in between episodes. It wasn’t that eye catching. But something about the nostalgia of Full House being back on television can’t be ignored. It was renewed for a second season just after the first aired, but now that season two has come and gone, production for season three has officially began. I’m really rooting for this one!
9. Big Brother
The show has been kicking for 18 seasons and I have to say I’m surprised it’s lasted for this long. For the many who have heard of it but still don’t know what it’s about exactly, Big Brother is a game show, dating show, and reality series all in one. While this might seem like the recipe for a win, it seems more like it’s a recipe for disaster on the small screen. You can only imagine the type of drama that is drummed up on this series, especially considering money is involved as they try to all last in the house with hopes of winning half a million dollars. The show is certainly in the same category as The Bachelor, so it will probably be going strong for even longer than it already has. Despite the awkwardness of the show, it’s no secret that it’s a popular one. Go figure.
8. Secrets and Lies
Now, this show would definitely be a page turner if it was a book! After season two, it’s clear that it surrounds a vigilante detective who goes after certain men on various cases. Of course we learn much more about the suspects, their families, and their loved ones than the suspects wanted us to. But leave it to Detective Andrea Cornell to unravel someone’s lives so she can get whatever she needs to solve the case. While it’s addicting, it’s not quite up there with the likes of Law & Order: SVU and other criminal shows such as Blue Bloods and Chicago PD. But it certainly has room to grow into that as season three is underway. Meanwhile, if you haven’t binged this show, you definitely need to. It’s not considered a classic but it’s definitely one worth spending the day with. It just might have you giving all your family and friends the side eye for a bit. No one can be trusted!
7. Married At First Sight
This scientific experiment is definitely one of the reality shows that actually seems real. It’s about relationship experts who not only hook up a couple but have them get married. In fact, the first time they meet one another is at the wedding (hence the name). As for the second portion of the experiment, they have to stay together for six months. In the end, they decide if they want to be together or not. The premise of the show is crazy, but I know I’m not the only one who finds a way to tune in weekly. Of course each season features three couples so it’s only human nature to find one that you like best and root for them to win. Whether you’re single or married, you can’t help but put yourself in that situation and think of how you would respond. Hence the awkward feeling while watching. But there’s no denying that it’s a good guilty pleasure.
6. The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Truly, any of the Real Housewives shows could land itself on the list. But the Atlanta one gets the most attention, and definitely stirs up the most drama. Let’s just say this is the first full season without NeNe Leakes, who was the only original member left standing on the show last year. Now that she’s gone (it’s not clear if it was her choice or Bravo’s), let’s just run down the drama the show has seen this season: Porsha Williams and Kandi Burruss accused one another of being lesbians, Phaedra Parks was called out for lying about her divorce, and Kenya Moore’s latest relationship unraveled yet again. As for Cynthia Bailey, she also was said to have lied about her split with Peter Thomas and Porsha accused Kandi of trying to drug her. The desperation to keep a relevant story line was oozing this season, but for some reason, millions still couldn’t look away.
5. Teen Mom
It’s not clear how much the moms on these shows get paid, but for how long it’s been on television, it definitely looks low budget compared to other shows who have been on just as long (or even some smaller shows). Apart from that, the show got lots of flack because it seemed to glorify teen motherhood. Parental councils and organizations spoke out when the show first aired on MTV back in the early 2000s. But clearly they haven’t been able to make enough noise to make Teen Mom be quiet. Still, the premise of the show isn’t necessarily to discourage or encourage motherhood at an early age. Instead, it is supposed to give a real look into the life of a woman who had a child as a teenager. While the network certainly got the side eye because of it, it’s still going strong as the stars become celebrities in their own right. Hey, even Nicki Minaj has admitted she’s an avid viewer of the show.
This series, also on MTV, exposed those who tried to be someone else on social media. At times some people have even gone as far as pretending to be a hot model, or who can forget the hilarious and now infamous episode when a girl pretended to be rapper/actor Bow Wow in hopes of getting the attention of someone she thought was attractive on Facebook. This show, no matter how bad it is, has received more than enough attention as it is often a trending topic on social media, allowing viewers to interact and share their thoughts. For me, there is definitely some question of how real this show is. I just can’t imagine someone being in a relationship with a stranger for years, never having spoken to them on the phone, or seen them via Skype, FaceTime, Facebook video and all of the other avenues available to them. But for some reason, fans just can’t stop watching and neither can I.
3. Keeping Up With The Kardashians
I know I’m not the only one who is ready for this show to go off the air. Still, no matter how many reports, rumors, and headlines claim that this show is on its way out, it hasn’t happened yet. In fact, it will be celebrating its ten year anniversary this year. The drama this show manufactures is unbelievable. It has been accused of filming scenes way after the family has had the time to process certain levels of drama, despite making it seem like it’s all authentic and right on the spot. Major secrets like Caitlyn Jenner’s transformation, and Kim Kardashian’s pregnancy, as well as even Kourtney Kardashian’s multiple pregnancies, and Khloe Kardashian’s real issues with Lamar Odom have played out on the series. And while it’s definitely something that’s juicy and makes you want to grab your popcorn, even the most intense drama with the Kardashian family has gotten boring.
This is another reality show that has lasted the longest on the small screen. I just have to say it makes me itch seeing people out on islands looking for ways to survive. Of course there is lots of competition added in along with a romance here and there (romance is actually pretty inevitable). But it makes for good television no less. It’s one of the shows that makes you ask, “Okay, who actually watches this?” And yet it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t. It’s safe to say it’s almost like a real-life version of Hunger Games, making the fantasy of only the strong survive a reality. The show is literally in its 34th season, and shows no signs of slowing down sooner than later. So apparently, people are definitely still watching.
1. Rich Kids of Beverly Hills
This show has given spoiled kids in Los Angeles a new platform like never before. But we all know the lifestyle of the rich and famous is one that’s a fascinating one, which is probably why this show lasted much longer than many anticipated it would. It followed the lives of those who have rich parents and have no problem proving that they had to do little to nothing to receive the things that viewers could only hope of achieving one day. While it sounds like a modern day real-life version of Clueless, it lasted for an entire four seasons, so clearly enough people were tuning in in its early days. And there’s no telling how many actually binge watch the entire series after it officially came to an end nearly a year ago. But while it was still going strong, it made its mark! There’s no doubt about that.