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5 of the Most Educational Reality Shows

The most prominent form of television used to be the type of show where a character and setting were meticulously developed before being unleashed into the public sphere. Nowadays, with the creation a

The most prominent form of television used to be the type of show where a character and setting were meticulously developed before being unleashed into the public sphere. Nowadays, with the creation and popularized rise of reality shows like The Real World and Big Brother in the 1990’s, television has taken on a whole new form from networks like National Geographic and Travel Channel that really gave rise to first form of the genre.

While the genre has certainly given way to programs that can be both educational and entertaining, it has also led to shows that are more exploitative in nature like The Real Housewives franchise and Duck Dynasty, which garner attention through the often ridiculous antics of the main characters, and have become even more scripted in recent years to trump up drama and create more controversy. With the spate of reality television that’s become largely commonplace, it can be easy to write off the genre as a one without any redeeming qualities, but there are a few that can serve as educational tools and go beyond mere superficial entertainment.

While The Real World has become glamorized in recent years, it started out as a social experiment that brought different groups of people together and could serve as an education for both participants and viewers. Likewise, with nearly 30 seasons under its belt, Survivor may be a social game but it can also inadvertently teach people many things about the dynamics of a group and the survival skills necessary in the pseudo-wilderness. Though reality television shows that are educational might be hard to find, the following can at least provide a bit of a brief on the trials and tribulations of real life.

5 The Real World

4 Project Runway

3 The Biggest Loser

2 2.Survivor

1 The Amazing Race

Created by Elise Doganieri and Bertram van Munster, the Amazing Race takes both participants and viewers on a fast-paced journey around the world that offers up a host of interesting travel tips, international history and an exploration of relationships in the reality format. Premiered on September 5, 2001 in the United States, The Amazing Race follows eleven duos on a scavenger hunt style contest that takes them to “Pit Stops” in many different countries as they race for the chance to win a grand prize of one million dollars. Whether the duo happens to include family members, friends or a couple, the teams have the opportunity to learn much about the countries they are travelling to along the way, including new languages, national symbols and many of the local customs. While The Amazing Race certainly fits into the reality television genre, its educational and international bent has made it the winner of thirteen Primetime Emmy Awards since 2001 for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program. As a result of its success, it has also led to spin-offs in many other countries including China, Israel, Norway and Vietnam.

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5 of the Most Educational Reality Shows