The Best Lesser Known Reality Shows on Television

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The Best Lesser Known Reality Shows on Television

I have a bizarre relationship with reality TV. Some of the most asinine subjects are the focal point in many of the most popular of these shows, but t

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I have a bizarre relationship with reality TV. Some of the most asinine subjects are the focal point in many of the most popular of these shows, but there are exceptions. My favorite of these programs tend to follow the more obscure. Here is a guide to three of the finest reality shows on television.

Oddities

Broadcasted on both the Discovery and Science channels is one of the most intriguing reality programs in all of television. The show follows Obscura Antiques in Manhattan, chronicling both daily work routines of employees and the extraordinary clientele that walk in on a daily basis. Some of the most fascinating things I’ve seen on the program include a two headed pig fetus, a fossilized mummy phallus (even though it turned out to be a fake) and embalming kits from the 18th century. One of the most memorable characters on the program is a former embalmer and model now gone fashion designer Laura Flook whose kookiness is both intriguing and off putting. She can regularly be seen on the program purchasing morbid items such as surgical tables and pawning off embalming kits from ex-boyfriends.

Obscura embodies everything I like about reality TV. It takes the viewer into world rarely seen while simultaneously being both informative and entertaining. I hope the series continues for many seasons to come.

Ink Master

Found on Spike TV, this reality show hosted by guitar sensation Dave Navarro and follows a competition between tattoo artists to earn the coveted title of Ink Master. The show is new and only in its first season but has a lot of potential for the future, developing a rather large following. Each week, contestants are faced with both a spotlight and elimination challenge. The elimination challenge requires the contestants to actually tattoo designs onto human canvases.

The show suffers somewhat from the quality of contestants who resort to sophomoric insults and talk behind each others’ backs rather consistently. Also, some of the criticisms from the judges seem to be biased. I have not always agreed with the artist the judges have selected to eliminate each week. That being said, most of the participants to in the competition have amazing talent. It is an entertaining program and unique in the content it delivers.

Face Off

Now in its second season on Syfy, Face Off is a custom special effects competition where artists are faced with weekly challenges. The program borrows heavily in the format of Top Chef, of which I am also a huge fan, and contestants are either paired or forced to work solo in their tasks. I have seen some incredible makeup during the competition. This show allows viewers to actually go into the minds of special effects artists and see how they make creatures come to life.

The judging is usually spot on. I tend to agree with who gets eliminated most every week. Also, the guest judges are usually of very high caliber. One area I do not like is how the show is split in half between judging and creation. I wish more time would be spent showing exactly what each contestant is doing. Less time could be spent on the critiques. Other than that, this reality show is one of the finest on television.

I am a college graduate that spends far too much time in front of the television. I like to think I provide keen insight into the media I enjoy and have a unique voice in the retelling of what I have seen and heard.