Reality

Movies & Series From Leading Streaming Services

FEATURED

TERRACE HOUSE TOKYO

Terrace House Tokyo is a reality show where six single housemates move in together with the aim of finding love. Very entertaining and a great insight into Japanese culture.

MAGIC FOR HUMANS

Magician Justin Willman performs astounding street magic for unsuspecting members of the public and with no camera or editing tricks.

NETFLIX REALITY

THE REALITY GENRE

Did you know that Candid Camera (1947) is considered the first reality show ever made? It came from a radio show and by 1960, the show was a mainstay on CBS. The idea of hiding cameras to watch the reaction of the unassuming public as practical jokes and pranks were played on them, is still the basis for some new shows being made today. More recently we had Prank Encounters from Gaten Matarazzo (Stranger Things) where elaborate, high production pranks were played on teenagers.

But as the appetite for pranks ran its course, the dawn of a new form of reality show began. An American Family launched in 1973 and set about capturing the living patterns and life of a fairly typical middle-America household. Complete with drama and marital problems, it is the shoulder on which all other family-based reality shows stand. It may have taken three decades but when The Osbournes hit in 2002, it became the most-viewed series ever on MTV. A blend of Cribs (2000) and An American Family – it brought celebrities, complete with all their chaos and drama, straight into the homes of everyday people.

Starting the trend, there was then a deluge of celebrities ready to hop on the bandwagon, but none has ever achieved the success of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. A cultural phenomenon, the show has turned the family into billionaire superstars as they aired all of their family and personal drama, much to the delight of their fans. The 20th and final season aired in March 2021 and so far, no other celeb has stepped forward to fill the gap it leaves behind.

AMAZON PRIME REALITY

CLASSIC REALITY FILMS

The celebs may be in hiding and unwilling to let the public into their private lives but that hasn't stopped the reality train from chugging along in other areas. Here is where Reality Shows get broken down into two distinct categories – Structured and Unstructured. Structured is the likes of the Kardashians – unscripted but not entirely unplanned. Unstructured TV shows first started with The Real World in 1992.

You basically stick a bunch of strangers into an apartment and let the sparks fly when they all stop being polite and nice to each other. Running for 21 seasons, once producers realised that you could make hit TV at little or no cost, the floodgates opened and even today, reality shows are being knocked out at a rate of knots.

From Big Brother, which started in the Netherlands in 1997 though to Love Island and Too Hot To Handle, beautiful people fighting it out to be the last man standing and win a cash prize has been a staple of reality shows. Bring the drama and the viewers will follow. And if you can throw in some real competition then you really are on to a winner. That's why shows like The Challenge which has run for 36 seasons are still as popular today. Back-stabbing, game-playing, and flirting are all par for the course.

However, not all reality shows need to be amped up to garner a huge following. The Great British Bake Off has been a phenomenal worldwide success, if only because everybody is so darn nice to each other. What's not to love – ordinary people, baking cakes and hoping there's gets them through to the round! Reality TV is here to stay, you just have to find a show you love.

RECENT REALITY REVIEWS

REALITY HIDDEN GEMS