The E! Network is home to some of the most notable reality shows, from Keeping Up With The Kardashians to WAGS. Reality shows have been on the rise over the last few decades, particularly after MTV popularized them during the ’80s and ’90s.
While some reality shows may tend to go unnoticed, many have actually managed to take worldwide audiences by storm, such as Duck Dynasty, Honey Boo Boo, and Jersey Shore.
As the popularity of these reality shows has evolved, so has the manner in which the different series were produced. One of the largest complaints about reality shows recently has been how many of them appear to be staged.
In order to bump up the drama of the series, many shows will often fake the events of the episodes rather than filming what actually happens. Unfortunately, reality is not as entertaining as fiction, so simply catching reality on camera isn’t always enough to keep TV ratings up and audiences entertained.
Some shows use the staging technique rather well, often just reenacting different particular moments that the camera may have missed. On the other hand, other shows tend to take the staging in their series too far, sometimes to the point where the entire show becomes an artificial mess.
With that said, here are The 8 Fakest E! Reality Shows (And 7 That Are Totally Real).
15. Fake: I Am Cait
I Am Cait followed the inspiring struggles of Caitlin Jenner as she transitioned into a woman. The series actually had a great and truthful start, showing her struggles as her body transitioned.
However, by the time the series hit its second season, the show started to lose its groove. This was primarily due to the fact that Caitlin’s transition had come to a close, so the showrunners had to start faking scenarios for her to encounter in order to keep audiences entertained.
Unfortunately, this did not improve the show as they had hoped, and it did not get renewed for a third season. The show certainly started realistically, but as the series progressed, it fell into the reality TV trend of making almost everything up.
14. Real: Eric & Jessie: Game On
For the last five years, Eric & Jessie: Game On has gradually become one of E!’s most popular reality shows. The series follows the relationship between singer Jesse James Decker and NFL player Eric Decker.
Eric & Jessie has surprisingly become a refreshing addition to E!’s variety of shows. It doesn’t rely as much on fake scenarios and focuses more on the relationship between its two stars to woe the viewers and the critics.
While the series may have fake moments, such as reenactments, the vast majority of its episodes feel genuine, showing the happiness that Eric and Jessie share together.
13. Fake: Famously Single
Famously Single is one of those shows that looks great on paper, but in action becomes something else. The series is a reality game show that features multiple celebrities who try to date and find love among each other.
Instead of throwing them into “sticky situations” that will require the contestants to work together or grow apart like other game shows, Famously Single tries to stage a large portion of its material.
Only minutes into each episode, it becomes clear how staged and faked the show is. The contestants often don’t even look like they actually care about what they’re doing, and occasionally even speak in monotone due to poor acting.
12. Real: Party Monsters Cabo
In opposition to Famously Single, Party Monsters Cabo was a reality game show that E! had done well. The series put nine contestants, all of whom were party-planners, to the ultimate test when they each had to plan the ultimate party.
Stakes were raised, opportunities were given, and enemies were made as the series progressed.
Unfortunately, Party Monsters Cabo didn’t get the attention from viewers it deserved, leading it to end after only one season. While the series did well in mostly avoiding staging and faking scenarios, it may have avoided it too much, considering audiences’ lack of interest.
11. Fake: Total Bellas
As a spin-off to Total Divas, it wasn’t entirely surprising to see that Total Bellas was just as fake, if not worse. The series follows Brie and Nikki Bella, and their respective partners, Daniel Brian and John Cena. Since the show began two years ago, it has not improved in quality much. However, this is understandable.
While much of the previous series Total Bellas was fake, that appeared to be what drew audiences in. Making the spin-off work exactly the same way was a logical move by the showrunners in order to keep audiences connected.
Had they completely changed the aesthetic and style of Total Bellas to differ from that of Total Divas, the series likely would not have been as successful as it is now, and most fans of Divas would not have switched over to this new show.
10. Real: Botched
In negation to the series’ title, Botched is actually one of E!’s least botched shows. Botched follows Doctors Terry Dubrow and Paul Nassif as they take new cases.
Each case tends to be of a person who previously tried to get plastic surgery, but had an issue in the process, leaving their appearance worse than when the surgery began.
Dubrow and Nassif try their best to “fix” these people in each episode, taking on new challenges and fulfilling the dreams of their patients.
Botched has gradually become one of E!’s top rated shows, bringing in a decent number of viewers for every episode. Not only that, but the quality exceeds most other reality shows, managing to give an inside look at a serious topic without needing to fill each episode with staged nonsense.
9. Fake: Rich Kids Of Beverly Hills
This reality series follows a number of rich young adults, all of whom grew up as millionaires and billionaires. This is a standard reality show idea that isn’t really anything new, which would explain why the showrunners felt the need to provide so much fake content.
By having many instances of the show be staged, Rich Kids Of Beverly Hills managed to become a sufficient source of entertainment for its target audience, and has had a strong run since its premiere 4 years ago.
All in all, Rich Kids of Beverly Hills doesn’t bring much new to the table at E!, simply copying the faking techniques of other shows on the channel. Despite this, it is still a regularly watched series, so it would appear its lack of innovation may have been exactly what viewers wanted.
8. Real: Mrs. Eastwood & Company
Mrs. Eastwood & Company was a short-lived reality show that gave us an inside look at the family of movie legend Clint Eastwood.
It primarily follows Dina Ruiz Eastwood, Clint’s wife, but also co-stars their two daughters Francesca and Morgan. The show had potential to be a hit, but unfortunately the series fell flat and didn’t make it past the first 10 episodes.
The primary issue with Mrs. Eastwood & Company was that it was simply not entertaining to most people who watched it. This is an example of a reality show that suffered because it didn’t use much fake or staged content.
The series attempted to show the actual day-to-day life of the Eastwoods without creating or adding any drama to the mix. The result was a bland series that simply failed to entertain. The realism of the series, unfortunately, managed to be its downfall.
7. Fake: Total Divas
Ranging at 7 seasons with 100 episodes, Total Divas has become one of E!’s heaviest hitters. The show gives an inside look at the personal lives of female WWE stars, showing the true drama behind each of their careers and their relationships. The series has earned E! several awards, including a Teen Choice Award, and has raked in millions of viewers.
Like its spin-off Total Bellas, Total Divas managed to become a success due to its style of fake drama. This show is an example of how faking drama can actually be a successful tool for entertainment.
Opposed to Mrs. Eastwood & Company, which avoided fake moments and wasn’t entertaining at all because of it, Total Divas relies heavily on these fake moments and has quickly become one of E!’s most popular shows.
6. Real: Ice Loves Coco
Ice-T started his career as a rap artist, and then started his successful career as an actor. In 2011, he tried his hand as a reality show star with Ice Loves Coco, which gave an inside look at his relationship with his wife Coco Austin. The show was actually a success for quite a bit, lasting for three seasons.
While the show wasn’t 100% real, having numerous staged reenactments, the heart and soul of the show was still realistic. It didn’t try to add drama to Ice-T and Coco’s love– it just showed them for what they were: a happily married couple.
5. Fake: E! True Hollywood Story
Ironically, E! True Hollywood Story is not as true as it makes itself out to be. While some of the stories that are told in each episode may be true or have some true elements at least, a majority of the episodes are over-exaggerated in order to draw in more attention.
The show has been on the air for 22 years now, and was nominated for numerous Emmy’s in its early years. Unfortunately, the show hasn’t received an Emmy nomination in 9 years, which may reflect the show’s decline in quality.
4. Real: Dr. 90210
Dr. 90210 was a popular reality show that aired on E! from 2004 through 2008. This show arguably paved the way for others shows like Botched to become popular, as it too went in depth on surgeries and medical-related topics.
Medical patients would be examined, interviewed, and have their surgery information thoroughly researched in each and every episode. The episode would follow their processes before, during, and after their respective surgeries.
It ended up becoming a very informative series that gave insight into various different peoples’ medical issues, not just focusing on plastic-surgery related problems like Botched. It also didn’t rely on drama or staging in order to entertain, and instead relied on facts, information, and empathy for the patients.
3. Fake: WAGS
With only three seasons, WAGS quickly became one of E!’s most popular shows. The series, like many other reality shows on E!, starred the wives of sports stars and showed the drama in their lives.
Like the other reality shows with similar premises, WAGS relied too heavily on fake moments and artificial drama, which certainly entertained viewers, but also took away from its plausibility.
The original WAGS show took place in Los Angeles, and earned itself two spin-offs. The first spin-off took place in Miami, and the second takes place in Atlanta.
Unfortunately for fans of the show, both the Los Angeles and Miami versions of the show were cancelled in early February 2018. The Atlanta spin-off, however, has been going strong since premiere at the beginning of the year.
2. Real: Mariah’s World
Mariah’s World was an 8-episode mini-series that followed famous singer Mariah Carey as she went on tour and prepared for her upcoming marriage. This ended up becoming one of E!’s best series, despite being so short-lived.
The quality of Mariah’s World came entirely from how real the mini-series was. Instead of relying on fake drama, the show looked into Mariah’s real life as she endured her tour and became ready to start the next part of her life.
Mariah refused to even look at the series like a reality show because she didn’t want it to fall into the common mistakes other series in that genre often fall into.
Instead, she did all she could to show viewers the real parts of her life. Mariah’s World was a breath of fresh air for E!, giving us something truly real and pure to watch rather than the fabricated reality many of their other shows tend to spew.
1. Fake: Keeping Up With The Kardashians (And Every Other Kardashians Show)
For the past 11 years, E!’s biggest hit has been Keeping Up With The Kardashians, which followed the entire Kardashian family as they faced drama and trouble in their personal lives.
The show has become wildly popular, even arguably becoming the face of reality shows across all channels. It’s even managed to earn itself 7 spin-off series, with the possibility of more on the way.
It’s no secret that Keeping Up With The Kardashians relies heavily on staged performances and fake drama in order to gain and maintain viewership. The show has given A-list level fame to some of its stars, such as Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, who in turn bring the fame back to the show, ensuring that its interest is never lost.
Keeping Up With The Kardashians and all of its spin-offs are the powerhouse of E! that prove that even the fakest of reality shows can still be a hit.
Can you think of any other E! reality TV shows that are either real or obviously fake? Sound off in the comment section!
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