reality tv

All your fave scripted TV is on hold. Here are 6 reality shows to watch while you wait.

The Hollywood writers’ strike has surpassed 100 days since it began back in May.

This means the demands of the Writers Guild of America have not been met by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. These included increased compensation and contributions to pension and health plans, higher residuals, and improved professional standards and protections for writers. 

Huge shows like Stranger Things, Emily In Paris and The Last of Us are all expected to be delayed, as the series' writers show solidarity with the union's demands. 

So what is expected to fill in the gap? Non-scripted shows like reality TV, of course. 

Former Real Housewives star Bethenny Frankel is imploring reality stars to join the strike to demand residual payments. “During the last strike, we provided all of the entertainment,” Frankel said on Instagram, which she said started "the gold rush of reality TV". 

Bethenny isn't wrong. During the last writers’ strike between November 2007 and February 2008, a slew on new reality shows were green-lit to replace productions on strike, including a little show called Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

So with this strike expected to boost reality TV, and the WGA unlikely to concede anytime soon, we've rounded up some of the best reality TV to fill the hole – and, most importantly, which seasons to watch first.

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City

Image: Bravo. 

Every Housewives series has something special going for it, but most of the variations take a little while to get going and to get, well... good.

But Salt Lake City knocked it right out of the park from day one. 

There's just so much happening each episode for these Utah housewives. Longtime friendships are at breaking point, women are being shunned by their Mormon faith, and that's not even mentioning the allegations of one housewife fronting a cult while another is charged (and later convicted) with wire fraud. It's a lot! 


Where to begin: This series is brilliant from the very beginning so no need to skip to a specific season. Season one is great and season two is phenomenal, exhilarating and jaw-dropping viewing. Sadly, season three doesn't reach the second season's dizzying heights but it's worth sticking with it for the brand new season, which began this month.

Also, a little shoutout for the reboot of The Real Housewives of New York City, which is already competing with the best of the bunch.

Where to watch: Hayu. 

Love Island UK

Image: ITV. 

With each season featuring more than 30 episodes, this is the show you need in your life when your regular TV shows are on strike – it will keep you entertained for hours. There's a reason Love Island  – the show that brings a bunch of horny singles together under one villa – is an institution in the UK. It's known not just for fostering genuine relationships, but also some delicious drama. 

From season five icons Molly Mae Hague and Maura Higgins to season 10 hero Whitney Adebayo, this show launches reality TV personalities like no other. 

Where to begin: I've been training a lifetime for this. As every season is a brand new cast, there's no real need to watch the seasons in order. With this in mind, these are the best seasons in order of which you should watch first: season five is GOD-TIER, then do season three (also incredible), season four, and season two.

If you get through those elite seasons, then do season eight, season seven and finally this year's season 10  – all  were stellar.  

Where to watch: 9Now.

Below Deck Sailing Yacht

Image: Bravo. 


Below Deck is Bravo's most watched reality show and for good reason. The series, which follows a deck crew aboard a luxury yacht, has something for everyone. Yes, there's plenty of drama and love stories, but there's also beautiful scenery to look at and embarrassing rich people to laugh at. 

Below Deck Sailing Yacht is one of the many offshoots, and like Below Deck Mediterranean, it's already proved that it's just as good – if not better – than the series it was based on. This series is pure chaos.

Where to begin: To be brutally honest, season one is a bit of a flop. Skip to season two and keep going from there. You won't be sorry. 

Where to watch: Hayu. 

Vanderpump Rules

Image: Bravo. 

Vanderpump Rules is the greatest reality show of all time. That's just fast facts. 


And no, I didn't just start watching after Scandoval broke, which saw the world stop after it came out that Tom Sandoval had cheated on his partner of nine years, Ariana Maddix, with their costar, Rachel (formerly Raquel) Leviss.

Vanderpump Rules quickly went from reality fans' best-kept secret to a global phenomenon. And no show deserves this kind of glory more. 

For the uninitiated, the series began as a spin-off from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, focusing on Lisa Vanderpump's restaurant, SUR, and a circle of hot and horny young Hollywood wannabes who work there as servers. 

Where to begin: It might feel like a hard slog but season one is canon to understanding the histories and background stories which will resurface throughout the following seasons. This series is a rich tapestry of broken friendships and cheating partners, making it the most incestuous friendship group ever.

So strap in, start with the first season, get ready for BIG DRAMA in season two (which rivals Scandoval), and prepare for your life to change.

Where to watch: Binge and Hayu. 

Summer House

Image: Bravo. 

If you've already seen Vanderpump, then spin-off Summer House is the next logical binge. And this series is, without a doubt, the most underrated reality show on TV. 

The format is simple: a bunch of 20- and 30-something born-and-bred New Yorkers work their butts off all week so they can party it up on the weekend at their summer house in the Hamptons.

Come for chaotic fights but stay for the female friendships. 

Where to begin: The cast changes quite a lot between season one and season three, so if you can't be bothered watching every season, I'd suggest skipping to season three. This is when the show hits its stride as Paige DeSorbo and Hannah Berner enter the house, and chaos ensues. 


From season three onwards, it's absolute carnage. Plus, it's only going to get more hectic as one of the show's most beloved couples just split in real-time – with the breakup allegedly filmed on the show – so the upcoming season promises to be one of the best yet.

Where to watch: Binge and Hayu. 

RuPaul's Drag Race 

Image: Stan. 

Currently sitting at 15 seasons and counting, there's a reason RuPaul's Drag Race has stood the test of time since it first debuted in 2009. It's just so damn iconic.

The reality show that finds America's next drag superstar has it all: spectacular costumes, earth-shattering lip syncs, quirky personalities, and of course, intense yelling fights while the surrounding queens sip fruity cocktails.

This show launched the careers of drag's biggest names, like Bianca Del Rio, Bob The Drag Queen, Alaska, Katya, Trixie Mattel, Kim Chi and national hero, Courtney Act. 

Where to begin: There are a lot of Drag Race seasons which can leave any new viewer overwhelmed. 

RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Season 2 is pure magic but for this season to really pay off, it's best to start with the seasons that birthed most of the all-stars.

Season four, five and six are some of the best seasons of reality TV ever made – it's the staple queens, the fights, the quotable moments that live on forever in meme herstory. If you can get through these seasons and not become a superfan, there's no hope for civilisation. 

Where to watch: Stan. 

Feature image: Bravo + ITV. 

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