The Top 10 Reality Series of 2010

timgunnpartystore500.jpgIt's list-listin' time! With the end of the year approaching, Movieline is beginning its review of 2010's finest and lamest moments. We begin on a positive slant -- the 10 best reality series of the year. Some are old favorites, and others are new classics, but all are as thrilling, watchable, and cringe-inducing as any overactive toddler. What's #1? Join us for the countdown.

10. Dancing with the Stars

TV's schmaltziest hour of dance and pseudo-fame is usually worth a couple episodes of actual entertainment, but this year, Bristol Palin's relentless survival turned the show into a musical remake of Network. Fans rioted, ratings boomed, dignity died, and viewer outrage felt as flammable as one of Maksim Chmerkovskiy's leisure suits. Though Jennifer Grey won the season, it was Bristol Palin's weak hoofing and dictatorial reign that made for violently good TV.

9. The Real World: Back to New Orleans

The Real World peaked sometime last decade, but it's hard to dislike its rather innocent format. Upon returning to New Orleans for its 24th season, the Bunim-Murray juggernaut cast its most deplorable housemate since Puck: Ryan Leslie, the sometimes-homophobic, oftentimes-emotional, always self-obsessed imp whose appearance is best describe as "crunkcore." Even if you hated to hate him, Back to New Orleans also served up the lovable Jemmye, Knight, and Eric.

8. Real Housewives Reunion Shows

Bravo has a history of unbelievable reunion shows (dating back to Project Runway's first season), yet its Andy Cohen-hosted Real Housewives reunions deserve recognition as their own sleazy entity. Whether Bethenny's eviscerating Jill Zarin or Dina Manzo is physically pushing Andy Cohen, it's a spectacle worthy of parody -- particularly from Saturday Night Live's lady legends.

7. Work of Art: The Next Great Artist

We weren't treated to many new reality shows of note in 2010, but Bravo's Sarah Jessica Parker-produced Work of Art is a standout. It not only made the art world accessible to the average idiot, but it promoted discussion about vagina symbolism, people who masturbate standing up, and anuses. Best of all: That pretentious ass Miles lost hard.

6. Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains

Though Survivor fans balked at Sandra Diaz-Twine's eventual victory, they were treated to an incredible season of machinations, twists, and betrayals on Heroes Vs. Villains. The scrappy Parvati Shallow deserved victory, but the fact that she outlasted most of a formidable cast is satisfactory enough.

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  • Julie Miller says:

    Louis, I think you messed up here. I don't see "The Arrangement" anywhere on this list.

  • Louis Virtel says:

    Ghetto flower-arrangement TV is so 2011. Until the new year strikes, it's too avant-garde.

  • Julie Miller says:

    Any reality series that enlists its contestants to design funeral arrangements for Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth is timeless.

  • Pat Baldwin says:

    Maksim Chmerkovskiy's lesiure suits? I don't know what show you were watching, but I've never seen him in a lesiure suit...he has dance costumes...but no leisure suits. This guy cleans up great!

  • Louis Virtel says:

    Everything worn on DWTS is either a leisure suit or a feathery Charleston dress made out of old leisure suits.

  • milessilverberg says:

    Sooo agreed on RuPaul's Drag Race. I only wish you made it #1, where it belongs. Because there's nothing out there like it.

  • tms says:

    Glad you put SYTYCD number one. I love reality tv, but that show is far and away the best because it's made with so much supportive love for their art form. Unlike American Idol, you are seeing truly talented people working with even more talented choreographers. Cat is rad. Season 7 was a let down with stupid Mia Michaels (brilliant choreographer, terrible judge), but still had great routines. Totally enjoyable show.

  • TurdBlossom says:

    Is she dead? Or just her famewhoring aspirations?

  • Louis Virtel says:

    She must've given up fame if she went on The Arrangement.

  • That this list does not include The A-List renders it totally illegitimate! What other show revolutionized the way we watch pretty, boring, vapid people the way it did?!? And what about the Rowlf hair?

  • cvguy says:

    You can tell a lot about a people by what they consider "Entertainment". Jersey Shore, Survivor, Dancing with the Stars?
    Enough said I think.

  • Louis Virtel says:

    Bourgie, it needs another season to achieve maximum vapidity. Only then will its Rowlfian pleasures edify the masses.

  • Bart says:

    I can't be the only one who watches that Bad Girls Club trash, right?

  • Kat says:

    I love BGC. Why no mention?
    I do agree on the Parvati comments. She should have won, but she did come in second, which is pretty impressive.

  • The Redemption Island idea seems intriguing. There was a rumor that Boston Rob and Evil Russell will be part of the new Survivor. I thought once I saw them both in the audience that it was true. They certainly didn't bring it up though, so maybe not.

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