14 Reality Shows From 10-20 Years Ago That Would Never — And I Mean NEVER — Air Today

Recently, Reddit user u/lilac_cup asked which TV shows have aged like milk, and there were a lot of reality series I'd forgotten about. Here are 15 reality shows that would never, ever air today.

1.The Swan

<div><p><i>"The Swan</i> was two women who are considered 'ugly ducklings' participating in a pageant against each other after undergoing a three-month transformative process; aka having heaps of plastic surgery."</p><p>—<a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74679X1524629&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.buzzfeed.com%2Fhannahmarder%2Fproblematic-reality-shows&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.reddit.com%2Fr%2FAskReddit%2Fcomments%2Fxo5ahg%2Fcomment%2Fipxs98l%2F%3Futm_source%3Dreddit%26utm_medium%3Dweb2x%26context%3D3&xcust=6320930%7CBF-VERIZON&xs=1" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:u/twozedzed" class="link ">u/twozedzed</a></p><p>"Right?! How were they allowed to do so many procedures in such a short time while completely isolating these women from their families? Making them diet and exercise while healing from a tummy tuck, breast implants, and veneers?! The 'therapy' sessions were a joke and were just for show while these poor women with low self esteem were preyed upon for entertainment. Just out of a safety and medical perspective…wow."</p><p>—<a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74679X1524629&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.buzzfeed.com%2Fhannahmarder%2Fproblematic-reality-shows&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.reddit.com%2Fr%2FAskReddit%2Fcomments%2Fxo5ahg%2Fcomment%2Fipy7zzt%2F%3Futm_source%3Dreddit%26utm_medium%3Dweb2x%26context%3D3&xcust=6320930%7CBF-VERIZON&xs=1" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:u/Snoo-8746" class="link ">u/Snoo-8746</a></p></div><span> Fox</span>

"The Swan was two women who are considered 'ugly ducklings' participating in a pageant against each other after undergoing a three-month transformative process; aka having heaps of plastic surgery."

u/twozedzed

"Right?! How were they allowed to do so many procedures in such a short time while completely isolating these women from their families? Making them diet and exercise while healing from a tummy tuck, breast implants, and veneers?! The 'therapy' sessions were a joke and were just for show while these poor women with low self esteem were preyed upon for entertainment. Just out of a safety and medical perspective…wow."

u/Snoo-8746

Fox

2.Bridalplasty

Screenshots from &quot;Bridalplasty&quot;

"The contestants compete to have plastic surgeries ticked off their wish list, and the winner has all their surgeries and their wedding paid for. But the contestants win challenges and get the surgery during the show, week by week. It’s absolute madness."

u/0dilon

E!

3.Extreme Makeover

Screenshots from &quot;Extreme Makeover&quot;

"I remember watching this show as a kid, and being like, 'Oh wow, they’re fixing all these ugly people with plastic surgery and making them happy.' I just think that caused a whole generation to think they could change their body with money. Show lasted, like, four seasons. Couldn’t imagine that show today."

u/thenightshifters

ABC

4.There's Something About Miriam

Screenshots from &quot;There's Something About Miriam&quot;

Suggested by u/mankindmatt5

There's Something About Miriam was a show where six guys dated 21-year-old model Miriam Rivera. At the very end of the show, Rivera revealed that she was transgender. The contestants ended up suing for defamation, personal injury, and conspiracy to commit sexual assault, and later settled.

Sky1

5.Black. White.

<div><p>"There was a reality show on FX called <i>Black. White.</i> where they put a white family in blackface and a Black family in whiteface. Just reading about it, it turns out the white family wasn't even a real family. They were unrelated actors."</p><p>—<a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74679X1524629&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.buzzfeed.com%2Fhannahmarder%2Fproblematic-reality-shows&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.reddit.com%2Fr%2FAskReddit%2Fcomments%2Fxo5ahg%2Fcomment%2Fipyd7ho%2F%3Futm_source%3Dreddit%26utm_medium%3Dweb2x%26context%3D3&xcust=6320930%7CBF-VERIZON&xs=1" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:MichaelJAwesome" class="link ">MichaelJAwesome</a></p></div><span> FX</span>

"There was a reality show on FX called Black. White. where they put a white family in blackface and a Black family in whiteface. Just reading about it, it turns out the white family wasn't even a real family. They were unrelated actors."

MichaelJAwesome

FX

6.The Moment of Truth

Screenshots from &quot;The Moment of Truth&quot;

Suggested by TasteSensation

The Moment of Truth was a show where contestants answered 21 sensitive and personal questions, the truth of which had been proven or denied by a lie detector test. Several contestants answered questions that would clearly ruin their relationship with partners and family members, such as Lauren Cleri (above), who admitted to sleeping with at least one of her husband's friends.

Fox

7.My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé

Screenshots from &quot;My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé&quot;

Suggested by TasteSensation

My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé was not only offensive to its only real contestant and her family, but extremely fatphobic. Basically, schoolteacher Randi had to convince her family she was actually going to marry someone who was "fat and obnoxious," who (unbeknownst to her) was actually an actor trying to sabotage her.

Fox

8.Playing It Straight

Screenshots from &quot;Playing It Straight&quot;

"One girl has to couple up with one out of 10 or 15 guys, half of which are gay. If she picks a straight [man], they split the money and ride off into the sunset. If a gay [man] could convince her they were straight, they’d win all the money."

u/heshecowboy

Fox

9.And similarly, Boy Meets Boy

Screenshots from &quot;Boy Meets Boy&quot;

The dating series followed James Getzlaff, a gay man, on his quest to find love — except many of the contestants were actually straight men pretending to be gay. Besides this concept just being manipulative and mean to Getzlaff, it also prompted gay caricatures from the "straight" contestants, and laughs based purely on the fact that a straight man had to pretend to be gay.

Bravo

10.The Pickup Artist

Screenshots from &quot;The Pickup Artist&quot;

"Short-lived MTV show from the '00s capitalizing on the popularity on the 'seduction community' and interest in pickup artist culture. Honestly, though, I remember seeing a few episodes back during its run and already thinking that it felt kinda ick and cringe at the time."

u/ottodidakt

"Turned out the whole thing was staged (big surprise), and the nerdy contestants were all struggling actors."

u/DudebroggieHouser

VH1

11.Supersize Vs Superskinny

Screenshot from &quot;Supersize Vs Superskinny&quot;

"For those unfamiliar, it took a bunch of...obese people and a bunch of dangerously thin people and made them swap diets for several days. I used to watch it religiously to motivate myself at the gym, but actually, it's incredibly harmful when you think about it. Let's take a bunch of people with problematic eating, and scare and bully them into doing better."

u/poppingcandylights

Channel 4

12.Joe Millionaire

Screenshots from &quot;Joe Millionaire&quot;

Suggested by u/TasteSensation

Joe Millionaire misled women into believing they were dating a wealthy heir, only to reveal in the end that the bachelor was working-class. While this is certainly not the worst entry on this list, misleading women with the intention of making them look vain and materialistic on-air is not a good look. A version of the show does still air today, called Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer, where 20 women date two men — one of whom is a millionaire and one who isn't. So...I suppose we can't say it wouldn't air today, but at least the women in the new show know one of the men isn't rich.

Fox

13.Average Joe

Screenshots from &quot;Average Joe&quot;

Average Joe followed Miss Missouri USA in her search for a partner — but she was to choose between "average" men (which was not told to her prior to filming). Halfway through, "attractive" men were added — and one of them ended up winning. The whole thing was a mess, from lying to Melana, to embarrassing the men, to the ultimate message that beauty does matter more in the end.

NBC

14.I Wanna Marry "Harry"

Screenshots from &quot;I Wanna Marry 'Harry'&quot;

Let's end on one more show where women were misled — this time, into thinking they were dating Prince Harry. While this may seem laughable, as the above lookalike is obviously not Harry, the contestants were essentially subject to gaslighting and what the winner called "brainwashing," which included having production team members whisper that the Royal family wasn't happy with the show while the girls were supposed to be asleep (but production knew they weren't from the microphones/cameras), and having a "therapist" (who was actually just another member of the production staff) speak to the women who were in doubt and tell them, “You have to learn how to trust your mind. I understand that you’re in a different country, and you don’t know what’s going on, but you have to trust the people here. It’s not good for you to keep questioning.”

Fox

What reality show can you not believe aired? Let us know in the comments below!