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Top 3 Reality TV Shows

Updated on August 21, 2011

When reality TV was brand new, it was pretty intriguing. But then it got totally out of hand and everyone started making reality shows about even the most absurd things imaginable and I quickly began to view all of them with great disdain. There are, however, a few reality TV shows with redeeming qualities that I love to watch, and which I highly recommend you watch as well. These shows actually serve a purpose greater than simply getting ratings. Some of them are not well-known, and others you may already be a huge fan of. Read on for the top three reality shows you really need to see.

Hoarders (A&E)

Hoarders is an amazing show. You get an inside look at a serious mental illness that has snowballed far beyond control for the individuals being profiled. Each episode focuses on two people in the US or Canada who hoard their belongings and/or everything else under the sun. Their houses are impossible to navigate, and in many cases the houses are dangerous because they are full of bodily waste, molds, dust and vermin infestations. Some of these people live alone, and some actually have family and pets living there with them. It is shocking and some scenes are not for the faint of heart, but this is reality and I think everyone can benefit from seeing how people with this mental illness suffer. It's easy to judge them the first time you see the show, but eventually you will come to view it for what it is, an illness that needs treatment. Sometimes the people go the whole nine yards and get their lives back, but sometimes they don't succeed and it is truly heartbreaking. The home makeovers you'll see when they are successful will bring a smile to your face, and you'll find yourself rooting for them and their recovery.

Dirty Jobs (Discovery)

This show is even on in the country I live in, which is really amazing. People all over the world are just fascinated by the world's dirtiest jobs! The host follows people around who do jobs most of us could never imagine doing, and some jobs we've never even heard of. He explains what's going on and how it all gets done, and he's such a great host that you will keep watching some of the most disgusting things you've ever seen just to let him keep on entertaining you! It's hysterical to watch him try these jobs himself, the commentary will make you laugh out loud! The video clip here is a montage of a few of his jobs, and if you're not a fan before you watch it, you'll probably be one by the time it's over.

Extreme Makeover: Home Addition (ABC)

I didn't start watching this show until the 7th season and I know it's a little different now than it was when it started. You've got the host (who can be a little annoying, but he's quite easy on the eyes and you'll learn to ignore the screaming mimi voice!) and a few designers, a couple of guest celebs and a huge number of volunteers who include proper builders and loads of "ordinary" folk who come round to repair or build an entirely new house in one week. During that week the family goes on vacation somewhere, often with a Disney theme. The families are supposed to be those in dire need but also those who have given back to their communities in some way. There is some criticism of the show, with allegations that produces specifically look for people who have tear-jerker stories to increase ratings. Eh, it's probably true, but that doesn't mean the families don't deserve the help. The thing that put this show on my list is that it's all about volunteering and helping other people and giving something back. We are becoming a selfish culture of me, me, me and I think shows like this can really help bring kids and families back to what is important. PS -- when watching this show you will probably need a full box of tissues!


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