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While reality TV is often criticised for dumbing down content, there’s something comforting about escaping into somebody else’s life for a couple of hours. Especially when that somebody’s day-to-day adventures are glamorous and exciting. The best reality shows will give you heroes to root for and villains to despise, properties to drool over and love affairs to envy.
Best enjoyed with a glass of wine and a face mask, these series might not be the epitome of peak TV, but they’re good for the soul. They make us laugh, remind us not to take life so seriously and allow us to get our fill of drama while safe on the sidelines. From fab housewives to regular folks looking for love, reality TV stars come in all shapes and sizes, ensuring there’s a show out there for everyone.
Not convinced? hayu has over 6,000 episodes of addictive and explosive reality TV to choose from. The streaming platform focuses solely on lifestyle and reality shows and has become a must for fans of the genre.
Some series are fast-tracked from the US, so viewers can see fresh episodes as soon as they come out. Others have entire seasons available to binge, making them the ideal pick for a long, lazy weekend.
With so many shows available, which one should you watch next? We have a few suggestions:
A new docuseries from Bravo, Texicanas follows a group of stylish San Antonio socialites, most of them from Mexico, as they balance their busy social lives with the responsibilities associated with raising a family and the pressures of running successful businesses.
The show centres on Penny Ayarzagoitia, who recounts how her friends turned into foes. But between all the melodrama, the group still has time for mariachi parties and afternoon margaritas, making Texicanas a particularly addictive view.
This fresh reality series follows three wealthy families who enjoy all that Mexico City has to offer. They’re connected to each other through a string of personal and professional relationships that go back decades.
At the same time, they challenge stereotypes as they showcase their over-the-top lifestyles and use humour to overcome the many obstacles that come their way. If you were looking for a new series to obsess over, look no more.
Missing the good old days? No worries, The Simple Life box set is available on hayu, meaning you can binge all the episodes of this classic reality series at your leisure. The show follows Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie as they struggle to do manual, low-paying jobs, to viewers’ delight.
The Simple Life aired from 2003 to 2007 and just celebrated its 15 anniversary last year. To mark the occasion, Paris Hilton put it best: “So many fun, amazing and hilarious memories with Nicole. Love that this show is so timeless and iconic. And that it has brought so much happiness and laughter to people around the world.” We tend to agree.
Hosted by Ice-T, this chilling series exposes outrageous tales and shocking true stories – a lot of them involving sex, money, murder or a fatal combination of all three. Stories are told through reenactments, as well as archive footage and interviews.
Moreover, viewers can find out more as family members, friends and detectives recount each case in impressive detail. If you’re into exhilarating crime shows, you can’t miss this one.
The UK’s first bisexual reality dating show, The Bi Life is hosted by Courtney Act. The addictive series follows a group of bisexual and questioning British singletons on an adventure to find love abroad in Barcelona.
The series is all about exploring who you really are and finding people you click with, which makes The Bi Life seem more genuine than other similar dating shows. There’s no prize money: after all, the point is to find love, no matter what your circumstances might be.
Feel like watching an explosive show about wealthy Iranian-Americans living in Los Angeles? You’re in the right place. Shahs of Sunset follows a group of six Persian-American friends as they juggle their demanding social and professional lives, while also struggling to appease their families. As a result, they face a lot of pressure to marry within the community and settle down.
The show wins bonus points for breaking down some stereotypes about the Persian community, while also offering all the reality TV drama you can handle. These people live in a world where image is everything, so it can be difficult to enjoy their active social engagements while also coping with their parents’ constant disappointment. Moreover, it’s inspiring to see how financially successful these families have become despite their difficult beginnings in the US.
This addictive series focuses on a group of yachties whose motto is to “work hard, party harder”. They work aboard luxurious yachts and get a chance to travel the world in style, while also catering to different passengers, which range from ridiculously rich folks to posh friends looking to have a good time.
The whole thing has a very Downton Abbey feel to it, as viewers get to see both what’s going on in the yachties’ lives and observe their demanding clients. If you’re into watching a bunch of attractive people have the time of their lives, Below Deck should be right up your alley.
People like to make fun of the Kardashians for being famous for basically doing nothing. Instead, we should be giving them credit just for that.
The family know how to take advantage of social media and trends to get ahead of the curve and their reality show is no exception. Their brand is strong and their series ridiculously successful. Love them or hate them, you have to admit they’re doing something right.
Moreover, Keeping Up with the Kardashians wins bonus points for showcasing the complex relationships between the various family members. Kim, Kourtney, Khloé, Kendall and Kylie may frequently be at odds, but they always support each other in the end. And that’s what family is all about.
Keeping Up with the Kardashians debuted back in 2007 and is currently one of the longest-running reality series ever. Catch up with 15 seasons’ worth of drama on hayu.
Bad Girls Club is one of those elusive reality shows that kept its appeal as time went on. That’s mainly because producers understand what viewers want: drama, fights and partying.
What happens when several self-styled “bad girls” live together? Pure chaos. This addictive series follows a group of rebellious girls as they spend several months living in the same house, in an experiment intended to tone down their behaviour.
Participants usually have different backgrounds and personalities, which often leads to altercations and physical confrontations, to viewers’ delight. If you’re a fan of wild series where rowdy women have no filter and get in each other’s face a lot, you’ll have a blast. The show ended after 17 turned-up seasons, all available on hayu.
Follow Lisa Vanderpump as she opens the doors of her sexy restaurant, SUR. Vanderpump, of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fame, balances her motherly instinct with her shrewd business sense to maintain control over the restaurant’s wild group of employees.
Add in the fact that SUR stands for sexy unique restaurant and you can get a taste of what you’ll be getting yourself into. Hint: drama is the word of the day, since SUR employees often have the tendency to date and break up with their colleagues.
Romance, scandals and rumours will keep you on the edge of your seat. The show premiered as a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills spin-off back in 2013. Seven seasons are available to binge.
The world’s most renowned matchmaker and favourite love guru Patti Stanger is helping millionaires find love. She uses every trick in the book to assist her clients in finding Mr or Miss Right, while also struggling to keep her personal life in check. These folks can be very demanding, so buckle up for a wild ride.
Patti’s clients and experts are a “who’s who” of Hollywood, so you might see some familiar faces as you binge deeper. Furthermore, the series also details Stanger’s own difficulty in finding a mate for life.
The Millionaire Matchmaker ended back in 2015, but eight seasons are still available on hayu.
Do you miss following the vapid lives of several New Jersey twenty-somethings? You’re not the only one. In fact, in 2018 the show got a highly anticipated revival.
Mike “The Situation,” Pauly D, JWoww, Ronnie, Vinny, Deena and Snooki reunited in 2018 for MTV’s Jersey Shore: Family Vacation.
The original show followed a group of housemates spending their summer on the Jersey Shore and later expanded to include various locations. Although the series received a lot of controversy and criticism, it succeeded because it managed to create its own world, complete with specialised characters: “guidos” and “guidettes”. It also thrived on romance and conflict, two ingredients that, when done right, will make any reality TV enthusiast come back for more.
Six seasons are available on hayu.
Today’s It-girl can become tomorrow’s supermodel. That’s the basis of this reality series, where former model and television personality Yolanda Hadid coaches aspiring teenage models to succeed both on and off the runway.
The modelling world is a cut-throat industry, so everybody needs a bit of help sometime. With Yolanda, you get the whole package, including guidance from her famous children: Gigi, Bella and Anwar.
Follow Yolanda and her experts as they put the girls and their mothers through an intensive training program that focuses on the mental, emotional and physical wellness it takes to succeed. At the end, only one will win a contract with Yolanda’s company and a potential opportunity to be represented by IMG Models in New York.
Binge the first season on hayu and see who comes out on top.
While these shows have become popular because of the crazy fighting they promote, there’s another reason why fans like to tune in. They offer a fascinating look into a group of privileged women, closely following their interactions as they fight and make up. In the end, it’s all about friendship and forgiveness. The fact they just happen to lead glamorous lives doesn’t hurt one bit.
Watching a Real Housewives show is like reading the tabloids and enjoying all the juicy gossip that comes with that. Plus, escaping into that vapid world is generally more fun than dealing with day-to-day stuff like paying the bills or doing laundry.
Several instalments of the franchise are available on hayu, including The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and the one that started it all, The Real Housewives of Orange County. Just pick your favourite and get bingeing.
Hands up, utensils down! When it comes to cooking shows, few do it as well as Top Chef.
Still going strong after 15 seasons, the series features chefs competing against each other in various culinary challenges. A panel of notable figures from the food and wine industry judges the chefs, with one or more contestants eliminated in each episode.
If you’re a foodie who loves inventive dishes, decadent desserts and fierce competition then this is the show for you. Start from the first season and binge your way to the present, with 16 seasons available on hayu.
Just make sure you have some snacks handy, otherwise you might find yourself running to the fridge every five minutes to satisfy your appetite.
Queer Eye is enjoying a successful comeback thanks to the Netflix reboot. So if you enjoyed that, you’ll definitely love the original. The makeover show follows five gay men as they give straight men advice on fashion, grooming, interior design, food and culture.
What’s compelling about the series is that the makeover isn’t solely physical. In fact, the Fab 5 also offer advice on how participants may want to change their attitude or general demeanour.
It’s a positive show about guys helping each other, which is always fun to watch. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy ran for four seasons, all available on hayu.
The original instalment of the Love & Hip Hop reality franchise chronicles the everyday lives of women working in the male-dominated world of hip hop. While the first seasons only focused on four women, it eventually expanded to also feature talent managers, producers, DJs, radio personalities, stylists, groupies and more.
The show’s success prompted the development of several spin-offs and specials. It’s also the show that gave the world Cardi B, so it definitely deserves a spot in the reality show hall of fame.
While it also gathered a lot of criticism due to the often unnecessary drama, it remains a fascinating look into what goes on behind the hip hop scene.
Eight seasons are streaming on hayu.
Without The Hills there would be no Geordie Shore or Made in Chelsea. The show debuted back in 2006 as a spin-off of Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County and chronicled the lives of young women living in LA. It was such a success that the protagonists went on to become household names, including Lauren Conrad, Heidi Montag, Audrina Patridge and Whitney Port.
The Hills has the look of an aspirational drama, while also claiming to provide a glimpse into the real lives of its protagonists. There was no acknowledgement of cameras and no breaking of the fourth wall, which prompted a lot of criticism of the show for being more scripted than real. Whatever the case, it’s as iconic now as it was when it first launched.
All six seasons are on hayu.
Speaking of Made in Chelsea, the series seems to be more popular than ever. It chronicles the lives of affluent young people in London’s best neighbourhoods, as well as their travels to other fab locations around the globe. In other words, it follows the lives, loves and awks of SW3’s bright young things.
This stylish Brit reality series offers everything from hot hook-ups to glamorous events, but things are more polite and subdued than on a US show. However, fans can still admire the lifestyles of the rich and famous, in a world where fashion is a priority and money doesn’t really matter.
16 seasons are available on hayu.
Tyler Henry isn’t your ordinary young adult. In fact, he’s Hollywood’s go-to medium.
Follow him as he brings some much-needed closure to his celebrity clients and helps them communicate with loved ones they’ve lost. Thanks to his gentle disposition and friendly personality, Henry easily connects with celebs and helps them open up about violent deaths, addiction or relationship problems.
Even if you’re a sceptic, you’ll still find this show extremely entertaining, mainly thanks to Henry’s easy-going nature. However, the show also offers a lot of emotionally compelling moments, as celebrities have to conjure up memories of sad and difficult moments. Four seasons are on hayu.
As doctors they’re trained to fix almost any situation, but there’s no amount of medicine that can fix these marriages. Married to Medicine follows socialite women who are either doctors themselves or are married to doctors. Fans can watch as they try to juggle their careers with family lives and busy social calendars.
These women are united by medicine, but often struggle to maintain friendships in a world where image is everything. Especially when their wealth enables them to lead a glam lifestyle and attend all sorts of exclusive events. All in all, the perfect show if you enjoy gossipy conversations and petty disagreements.
Five seasons are streaming on hayu.
Million Dollar Listing follows the lives of LA’s hottest and most aggressive real estate magnates as they make a fortune selling multimillion-dollar properties in the most exclusive neighbourhoods: Hollywood, Malibu and Beverly Hills. Expect jaw-dropping homes, tense negotiations and an interesting look at the world of high-priced real estate.
The voyeurism involved in going behind the doors of these luxurious houses can become addictive, while the entire process of selling a house is incredibly suspenseful. And the fact that the stars of the show are very charming doesn’t hurt either.
11 seasons are on hayu. Spin-offs set in New York, Miami and San Francisco are also available to stream.
Year of release: 2007
Cast: Jeff Lewis, Jenni Pulos, Zoila Chavez, Gage Edward
Flipping Out follows Jeff Lewis as he buys, renovates and sells properties in the Los Angeles area. There’s a lot of talk about money and real estate, but we also follow the realtor in his personal life. Not to mention the fact that the luxurious mansions featured in the show make for delicious eye candy.
There’s no shortage of renovation shows out there, but Flipping Out stands out from the crowd due to Jeff’s challenging personality. He demands a lot from his staff, can explode over a tiny detail and often clashes with everyone around. But that’s what makes the show so enthralling.
10 seasons are available on hayu.
Southern Charm reveals a world of exclusivity, wealth and scandal dating back through generations of families in Charleston, South Carolina. Fans can follow several Charleston singles as they go about their lives while trying to preserve their family names and keep up with their busy social calendars.
As hard as the protagonists try to maintain the charm of their centuries-old traditions, that’s not always the case, since drama seems to follow them everywhere. In their southern bubble, money and status matter more than anything and relationships are as fragile as they come.
Six seasons are available to binge.
Welcome to Montauk, the beach town where affluent New Yorkers head during the summer to let loose and have a good time.
Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, a group of friends share a house together on weekends and mayhem ensues. We’re talking bonfires, charity galas and decadent brunches. Of course, drama-filled romances are also a part of the mix.
Summer House is the ideal series for viewers interested in following rich people as they use summer as an excuse to let their guard down and engage in all sorts of shenanigans, while also enjoying a high-end lifestyle. The setting is beautiful and the summer flings can get pretty steamy.
Three seasons are on hayu.
Do you find female killers intriguing? This show will give you the inside scoop on some of their more horrific crimes.
Snapped is a docu-series that focuses on ordinary women who have committed murder, offering in-depth accounts of women’s lives. The show usually includes graphic crime scene photos and interviews with friends or family members.
While clearly sensationalised, there’s no doubt that Snapped knows how to tell a good story. The series profiles women who kill for nefarious reasons like jealousy and greed, but also battered women who have killed their abusers.
If you’re enticed by the premise, 11 seasons are waiting for you on hayu.
The first spin-off of The Real Housewives of Atlanta follows Kim Zolciak, her husband Kroy Biermann and their family. The first season was all about the preparations for the couple’s lavish wedding, while from the second season the series focuses more on Kim’s endeavours after The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
Don’t Be Tardy is a fun look at family life and will make you giggle, but it also gets emotional at times. The couple has six kids, so life is pretty hectic for the clan.
Seven seasons are available on hayu.
Our survey found that 4 in 5 (82%) or 43 million Brits streamed in some capacity over the last year. Of these Brits, 8.9 million illegally streamed TV shows, films and sport over the past 12 months. That's 17% of Brits that have admitted to doing so. This is the sixth most popular streaming activity in the UK. Read more…
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