Reality TV Confessions: I can’t tear my eyes away!

By Kitty | May 10 2012 | 45 Comments

Given my allergy to and complete lack of interest in shows like Made in Chelsea, TOWIE and anything that begins with “My Big Fat…”, I’m sure that I’ve sniffily derided reality TV on more than one occasion, saying that I don’t like it as a genre. Not one bit.

How and ever, it turns out that this is a great big lie, considering the rate that I gobble up episodes of America’s Next Top Model and its not-quite-as-glamourous sister, Britain’s Next Top Model. There’s also the fact that I’ve lately become fascinated by two particular categories of reality shows, which I have decided to name “Mystery Box” shows and “Show me the most AMAZING thing you own” shows.

Allow me to explain.


In this category are shows such as Storage Wars, Storage Hunters and Auction Hunters. The show’s producers may not be the most imaginative of people when it comes to names (any day now a show called Auction Wars will be commissioned, just to complete the loop) and all three are about the exact same thing. Each show follows different sets of people attending auctions where the contents of abandoned storage units are sold off to the highest bidder as a single lot. The unit gets opened up and the buyers have five minutes to figure out whether the unit is worth bidding on, without touching anything, opening anything or going inside the unit. See, it’s exciting! It’s a giant MYSTERY BOX! Some of the stuff that’s been discovered on these shows includes a vintage Coca Cola vending machine, 17th century guns, rare baseball cards and even a unit filled with newspapers, which turned out to be worth $60,000 to $90,000 as they were all from the week Elvis died and sure people go mad for that kind of thing.

Utter dickheads
The only problem with most of these shows is that the recurring stars, who are mostly male professional buyers, are by and large, utter dickheads. A married couple are the focus of Storage Hunters and another couple feature heavily in Storage Wars and in both cases, the wives are portrayed like humourless, nagging harpies, the husbands are dismissive, sexist geebags and both couples are generally just awful to each other. After surmising that the cast of both of those shows are about as appealing as a pint of bin juice, I’ve traded up to Auction Hunters, where the finds are still great and the two buyers at the centre of the series are actually likeable and funny dudes that I don’t want to scream at.


These shows take the hassle out of having to root around cluttered storage units and people’s house and goes right to the good stuff. Pawn Stars is compulsive viewing, as the family-run Las Vegas pawn shop that it’s set in sees all manner of amazing stuff brought in to be sold by the owners.

There’s been an Evel Knievel pinball machine, a 1715 Spanish fleet gold coin, a Superbowl ring and a Picasso, among tons of other brilliant bits and pieces. Also, the three generations that run the shop, “The Old Man”, his son Rick and Rick’s son Corey are so much fun to watch, they seem like they’d be great craic and Rick’s laugh is the most contagious thing ever.

Stupid scarf
The other show in this category is Four Rooms on Channel 4, in which people who believe they have an extraordinary or valuable object get the chance to sell it to one of four top dealers. Each dealer is in their own room, so a seller can enter the four dealer’s rooms in any order they choose but if they turn down an offer they can’t go back to that room. People have brought in stuff like the chair that JK Rowling sat in while she wrote the first two Harry Potter books, an antique dildo, a rare early Beatles poster and a Marilyn Monroe self portrait. There’s only a slight speedbump with this show, which is buyer Jeff Salmon. He’s an obnoxious, posturing, rude git and I hate his face and his stupid scarf. To a much lesser extent I also find the new lady buyer, Celia Sawyer (who replaced lovely, weird Emma Hawkins) a bit annoying, as she seems to think she’s Catwoman for somereason.

So those are my reality TV confessions. What are yours?

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45 Replies to "Reality TV Confessions: I can’t tear my eyes away!"

  • Aisling Aisling says:

    Dog the Bounty Hunter is my guilty pleasure. I’m addicted. I LOVE that show!

    My husband is a freak over those auction wars programmes – he knows all the characters, is endlessly fascinated by what might be in the storage units

  • SandyBee says:

    Hi my name is SandyBee and I am addicted to thrash tv. I watch the following: – Real Housewives of…. anywhere – since Diva TV is no more I am suffering withdrawal symptoms, The Amandas, Hoarders, Giuliana & Bill, Jerseylicious – in fact anything on Style Network… I can’t admit to anymore…. hangs my head in shame.

  • LoCo says:

    I got bored of America’s and Britain’s Next Top Model but addicted to Australia’s Next Top Model.

    My guilty secret is I got addicted to watching Miami Ink for months slowly pulled myself out of that one, only to fall into an addiction to Bondi Rescue. Thankfully it hasn’t really been shown lately so I’m coming out of that addictio also.

  • Acat says:

    House building/house buying shows, I will watch them all! Love them.
    Started watching one born every minute recently. It interests and disgusts me in equal measures!
    Love teen mom as well.
    Also the one about people who hoard stuff, great watching!
    And because of himself I will also happily watch deadliest catch, american chopper and sons of guns!

    I am pure nosey and love reality tv for having a gawk into other peoples lives!
    And my nosy neighbour admission- I turn off the light and stand on the sofa if there are people outside house are having a good row so I can have a good look! Rough enough area so its a common occurrence. I love it, comes from growing up in the country with nothing to look out at but sheep!

  • LoCo says:

    SandyBee- I too have become addicted to Giuliana & Bill. End up crying most episodes lately, especially all the cancer and IVF ones.

  • Aisling Aisling says:

    Ooooh Bondi rescue! Also love that!

    But back to DOG

    “I’ll hunt you down cos I’m the DOG” (and as soon as Beth stops bleeding nagging me)

  • EmmaCat says:

    There’s some auction show on Discovery that i actually cannot drag myself away from!! That and America’s next top model. I can’t help myself!

  • daisydaisy says:

    I love LA Ink, The Kardashians (E! are showing old episodes – pre Kim’s alleged nose-job!!).

    I love the idea of those storage war shows. I’ve seen them on the tv guide but just presumed they were people with lots of storage like plastic drawers, understairs storage etc!!!! I think I’ll be tuning in now though….

  • katy says:

    Storage Wars is my one of my favourite programmes on TV. I don’t think Brandi is portrayed too badly, it’s more friendly banter with her and her Husband (Jared – is that his name?). Storage Hunters however, is dreadful. Those people are so rude! It’s really too low a level of trash for me. I just can’t deal with them….also, Shipping Wars may be worth a look, not a mystery box, more “will they break what’s in the box”. American Pickers is quite good too but I feel that often those guys con the people they’re seeing….The other programmes I am addicted to are all American ones on The Food Network – Man Vs Food, Diners Drive ins and Dives, Chopped…the list goes on. My Sky box is FULL of them. (I need to get out more, or get a 9-5 job so i stop missing shows)

    (Also, how come Four Rooms wasn’t on last night? Who the hell wants to watch Foxes Live??? I nearly had to watch Fair City on my day off – it was a total mare.)

  • SandyBee says:

    LoCo – yes very emotional ones lately!

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