Over the past decade, reality shows have taken over the airwaves. Some are genuine and engaging. Others are exploitative and sink to new lows never experienced previously on television. In honor of More To Love, FOX’s new big person dating show, we’ve put together a list of reality shows that have pushed the boundaries of good taste whether with their content or their marketing. Take a look at the tastless, mean, and misunderstood.
WHO’S YOUR DADDY?
The premise: A woman who was adopted as a child meets 25 men, one of whom is her biological father. If she correctly identifies the baby daddy, she will win $100,000. If she is wrong however, the man that she incorrectly selected will walk away with the money.
The controversy: Adoption groups were in an uproar over the callous presentation of the show and due to low ratings it was shelved after only one episode.
That’s sad. The poor little show that nobody wanted.
The premise: A handsome and rich young man is searching for the woman with who he will spend his life. He romances a group of contestants in exotic locales, eliminating one per episode. The twist however is that he doesn’t have a dime to his name.
The controversy: The woman aren’t exactly painted in the most favorable light. Many of whom come off as greedy and shallow to the viewing audience.
The show made waves when it aired what was believed to be the first reality show blow-job (later debunked). Besides everyone knows that the real first blowie happened on Bug Juice.
The premise: In order to test the strength of their relationships, several couples live in a tropical paradise with single members of the opposite sex. The singles of course are smoking hot and hired to try to break up the couples.
The controversy: The show’s producers essentially hired whores to try to break up the contestants.
Probably the only show where you’ll hear the phrase, "Hey Honey, I just met the nicest hooker out there in that jungle."
The premise: A woman must choose a husband from a group of men who are all wearing masks that make them look like they’re about to reveal magic’s greatest secrets. The line of thought being that she will base her decision upon their personalities and not their looks.
The controversy: It presupposes that all woman are shallow and that ugly people are not capable of finding meaningful relationships in life.
Hosted by Monica Lewinsky, a woman who would have fit in perfectly on Joe Millionaire.
THE LITTLEST GROOM
The premise: A 4’5" bachelor tries to find the perfect woman for himself amongst a group of both dwarf and average-sized women.
The controversy: Though the producers insist that they were celebrating the diversity of their contestants, the show sparked outcry from little people. It’s a complicated issue as the show could have either a damaging or positive effect on the public perception.
Personally I find it offensive that this show was a contest built around dwarfism. If the producers really wanted to create a dialogue they would simply cast people of all different shapes and sizes in their non-themed dating shows like The Bachelor. And I Love New York doesn’t count because a.) that show is a circus and b.) they named the character "Midget Mac". Why can’t he just be named Mac?
The premise: Less-than-attractive women work with plastic surgeons in order to win a beauty pageant.
The controversy: The show was lambasted for being devoid of ethics and a commercial for plastic surgery that promoted an unhealthy view of beauty which preyed upon the weak-minded.
Question: Once the ladies got super-sexy did they all quit their jobs at the grocery store?
DANCE YOUR ASS OFF
The premise: Overweight contestants team up with professional dancers to win the competition-based show and lose weight in the process.
The controversy: Though the intention of the show is to help people improve their health and sick-ass dance moves, it is presented in a somewhat exploitative way with many of the laughs being based around the humorous appearance of a plus-sized person dropping it like its hot.
This show is the equivalent of chasing a Twinkie on a treadmill.
BRITNEY AND KEVIN: CHAOTIC
The premise: A look into the private lives of then-couple Britney Spears and Kevin Federline.
The controversy: This was the first glimpse of crazy Britney. The Britney that would shave her head and bring an umbrella to a car fight.
If memory serves she was talking about her experiences with aliens on the show. And I don’t mean the ones that empty her ashtrays and pick up after her around the house.
The premise: Cheating lovers and spouses are caught in the act by investigative camera crews.
The controversy: The show often leads to violence. Including one time where the host was stabbed on camera by a man caught in the act. Usually you need to turn on Telemundo to see something like that.
Another time the host was attacked with a katana replica. To think, someone who owns a katana replica actually found two mates.
The premise: A wealthy land developer held a competition to decide which member of his family would win his abundant inheritance.
The controversy: I don’t really see a controversy. I mean, it’s gross but not anything to get up in arms about.
When I’m old and rich I’m not going to buy people I am going to hunt them for sport. Run for your life, Letter Carrier!