As the era of streaming services marches onwards, more and more shows are designed to be binged watch in a single sitting, offering audiences a new way to experience a familiar form of storytelling. But even with this progress, some networks stick to what they know best. This has worked extremely well for The Learning Channel (TLC), as they continue to make their place in the reality entertainment industry known.
With its varied catalog of different reality shows, it may be hard to pick a TLC show to start with or which ones to avoid. Thankfully, iMDB has that problem sorted out for curious viewers and long-time fans of the reality genre. Here the 10 best-reviewed and rated shows from TLC, according to IMDb.
10 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After? (IMDb Score: 6.7)
One of the TLC’s most popular ongoing shows is 90 Day Fiancé, which follows couples who have 90 days to decide if their marriage is worth pursuing. What makes the featured couples’ love problems unique is that one of them is an immigrant who just applied for a K-1 Visa, hence the 90-day time limit.
Happily Ever After? shows what happened to the couples that chose to get hitched, documenting the ups and downs of their marriage. This sequel to 90 Day Fiancé isn’t only the best reviewed of its spin-offs, but is also rated higher than the original.
9 Coach Charming (IMDb Score: 7.0)
Hosted by Bill Alverson, Coach Charming follows the attorney and father of three who’s best known for his unlikely profession as being the country’s most sought after beauty pageant coach.
Fans cite Bill as the show’s main attraction, as he gives the televised beauty pageant a new perspective. The fact that he’s so well-versed and passionate about the world of beauty competitions – something unexpected of a man in his line of work – also adds to its charm. At worst, some viewers just wish he would tone down the scathing remarks and criticisms.
8 Outrageous 911 (IMDb Score: 7.4)
As its title implies, Outrageous 911 chronicles the strangest 911 calls that operators ever received. Ranging from the most unbelievably absurd situations to some of the pettiest and most pathetic stories ever documented, the show casts an unexpectedly humorous light on the world of the dispatchers.
Some noteworthy emergencies include: a man calling about the theft of his blow-up sex doll, a woman reporting the officer who pulled her over, a trucker who saw Bigfoot, a driver who saw seven naked men push a truck, and a guy who wants the cops to eliminate the flies in his kitchen.
7 Suddenly Royal (IMDb Score: 7.4)
When David Drew Howe discovers that he could actually be of noble descent, he packs up his bags and brings his wife and daughter to the British Isle of Man to claim the throne as his.
For better or worse, Suddenly Royal could be viewed as TLC’s unofficial reality TV remake of The Princess Diaries. The Howes’ hijinks and struggles to prove their royalty are actually the source of the show’s mixed reception, with some enjoying the ensuing hilarity while others cringe at how culturally insensitive David and his family could be.
6 7 Little Johnstons (IMDb Score: 7.4)
Like any other reality TV show, 7 Little Johnstons documents the mundane everyday life of an American family but there’s one catch: all of the Johnstons are little people who were born with dwarfism.
Unlike most reality TV stars, the Johnstons use their fame not to secure a big payday but to hopefully gain acceptance and normalize little peoples’ presence in society. 7 Little Johnstons is regarded as one of the rare wholesome reality TV shows, with most of its controversies having more to do with the producers and networks rather than its core cast.
5 Final Cut (IMDb Score: 7.6)
Hollywood isn’t all glitz and glamor, as the dark stories featured in the investigative documentary series Final Cut show. The series uncovers the seedier side of the filmmaking capital by exposing the stories of hopeful newcomers and industry veterans who met a grim yet mysterious fate.
Noteworthy cases include the death of The Killing Fields star Haing Ngor and Merlin Santana of The Cosby Show fame, the storm of controversy surrounding fashion designer and sex offender Anand Jon, and plastic surgeon Daniel Serrano, who injected low-grade lubricants into his clients’ bodies.
4 Hair Goddess (IMDb Score: 7.9)
Set in the heart of Manhattan, Hair Goddess chronicles Christina Olivia’s rise from small-time business owner to becoming the full-fledged CEO of a budding hair and styling empire.
Though the show’s execution and trappings feel a bit dated (especially since it started airing as recently as 2017), Hair Goddess is still positively regarded among its fans. Considered both inspiring and educational as it explores the intricacies of a potential business empire’s founding, fans can’t help but cheer Olivia on her path to fulfilling her American Dream.
3 A Baby Story (IMDb Score: 8.0)
One of TLC’s longest-running shows is also one of its simplest, as A Baby Story documents how couples deal with a pregnancy before and after the baby is born by just placing a camera in front of them.
The series shows how excited yet anxious the expecting parents are and how the rest of their family reacts to the big news – something many viewers at home were able to relate with. Filled with relatable people and babies, the beloved show is known for its abundance of heartwarming moments.
2 Pappyland (IMDb Score: 8.6)
Long before TLC became synonymous with reality entertainment, the channel lived up to its name by airing edutainment and documentaries. One of their most revered if somewhat forgotten gems from the ‘90s is Pappyland – an art show that encouraged kids to be as creative as possible.
Starring cartoonist Michael Carigilo as Pappy Drew-It (the creator and owner of the titular place) Pappyland taught children how to draw, color, and appreciate art. As time went on, Pappy Drew-It’s adventures were overshadowed by larger edutainment shows but his loyal fans never forgot his fun and colorful lessons.
1 The Healer (IMDb Score: 9.1)
TLC’s best-reviewed show is also one of its more controversial offerings, but it’s possible that said issues helped bolster its ratings and interest in it. The Healer follows the everyday life and work of the self-proclaimed Charlie Goldsmith, who claims that he can heal people by harnessing energies from his body and surroundings.
Regardless of what you may think of energy healers, The Healer presents the profession in an intriguing and fair light, showing Charlie work his magic on grateful patients while also struggling to prove his legitimacy to the scientific community and skeptics.