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    Updated on Nov 18, 2019. Posted on Nov 17, 2019

    17 Ridiculous TV Shows That I Can't Believe Actually Aired

    A show with the tagline "trapped inside of every white girl is a strong black woman ready to bust out" was never going to be good...

    1. Shattered, the competition where contestants were challenged to stay awake for seven days straight to win £100k.

    Channel 4

    Think Big Brother, but if anyone closed their eyes for longer than 10 seconds, a grand was deducted from the prize fund. Before you say, "Psssh, I could easily stay up for a week," you should know that lots of the contenders ended up hallucinating — one guy even believed he was the Australian Prime Minister. Unsurprisingly, the show only aired for one season, back in 2004.

    2. Boy Meets Boy, a dating show where one guy was on a search for the man of his dreams, but little did he know, some of his suitors were straight.

    Bravo

    The main contender had no idea that some of his potential dates weren't gay, and if he chose one that wasn't, he'd lose out on the prize money. The producers said this twist gave the show a chance to explore sociological issues, but to me it just feels like a meaner version of The Bachelor. Despite its controversial popularity, the show was kind of a one-trick pony and only aired for one series in 2003.

    3. And in a similar theme, Playing It Straight was a dating game where a woman had to eliminate contestants that she thought were secretly gay.

    E4

    It went like this: A single woman lives on a ranch with a bunch of guys, and through a series of cowboy-themed challenges, has to try and couple up with a straight guy to win £100k. Despite its many layers of problematicness, the show had US, UK, Australian, and Dutch editions, and the British version even had a second series in 2012!

    4. Release The Hounds was a game show where contestants were literally chased by dogs for cash prizes.

    ITV2

    There's not really much to this one — the contestants got chased by dogs, and if they got caught, they lose their money. That's the entire premise. It's not controversial, but what's the point? This may sound like I totally made this one up, but this ridiculous show aired as recently as 2018.

    5. In an extreme take on the whole "less is more" thing, there was Life Stripped Bare – a documentary that involved participants temporarily giving up all of their worldly possessions, including their knickers and socks.

    Channel 4

    It should be noted that there was no prize to be won in this one-off doc from 2016, and most of it revolved around the participants getting into many a sticky situation, mainly involving public nudity. I get what the show was trying to do, but watching a naked person sleep in their empty bathtub is a bit dire.

    6. The show that literally no one asked for, but we got anyway: Dogs Might Fly – a series where abandoned dogs tried to pilot planes.

    Sky One

    Spoiler alert: The end of this six (yes, six) part series actually saw some of the dogs successfully flying the planes. So it turns out that dogs might fly, but the question is: Why do we want them to?! I guess it makes for fun lighthearted watching, but 2016 was an ~interesting~ year for TV.

    7. Proof that sometimes producers come up with a witty show name first and worry about the details later: Game Of Clones — where the contestant had to choose which version of their dream person to date.

    Channel 4

    The singleton "put together" their dream partner, then had to eliminate the prospective "clones" until they're left with one to date. For anyone that's wondering, they're not actual clones, just a bunch of people in the exact same outfit (this doesn't make it any less creepy). That being said, people must like this one, because it's even been adapted into a current MTV series.

    8. Sex Box: the ideal show for anyone who's ever wanted to have sex on TV, and then talk about it right after.

    Channel 4 / WE TV

    It went like this: Said couples talk us through the sex thing they've been wanting to try out for a while, they then go into the sex box, do their thing, and then come out and have a post-match discussion. I mean, what better place to be sexperimental than on national TV? This little gem last aired in the UK 2016. What a year.

    9. Who’s Your Daddy? was as weird it sounded, maybe even weirder. The aim of the game was for people who were put up for adoption to try to correctly guess their biological father out of a lineup for a $100k prize.

    Fox

    The contestants had to choose between 25 men, and if they guessed incorrectly, the prize money would go to the random man they chose. The show was (unsurprisingly) canceled after the first episode aired back in 2005, but you'd think someone on the production team would've pointed out how wrong this is.

    10. Kid Nation was the Lord Of The Flies of reality TV, where a bunch of 8- to 15-year-olds had to set up a functioning society without input from adults.

    CBS

    There were adults on the TV crew, but the kids were pretty much left to it, and there was a lot of drama. There was even one episode where they had to KILL a chicken, which is quite a harsh way to learn about the life cycle, if you ask me. The show was canceled back in 2007 after it was called out for its dodgy ethics, particularly the possible breach of child labour laws, and the fact that some of the kids were injured during filming.

    11. A game show set in the delivery room, where parents compete to win a college scholarship for their soon-to-be-born baby isn't an episode of Black Mirror, it's Labor Games.

    TLC

    Parents have to answer trivia questions (between contractions) to win prizes like nappies and cleaning services before getting to the jackpot of the college fund. Can you believe this is a real show that's still running?!

    12. Girlfriend Intervention was a makeover show starring four black women, and to be honest I can only describe it as what Queer Eye would be if it was incredibly problematic.

    WOW Presents

    I'd be all for a makeover show with great representation, but let me elaborate – the "girlfriends" were giving makeovers to white women, and the tagline of the show was, "Trapped inside of every white girl is a strong black woman ready to bust out." 😬The show aired for one season back in 2014, and it got a lottt of backlash.

    13. Joe Millionaire: A dating show where a "millionaire" wined and dined prospective daters, except he's not a millionaire, he's a working-class construction worker.

    Fox

    The big catch was that if the woman decided to stick with the guy after the big reveal, the pair would be given a million dollars. To be honest, if this aired today, I'd tune in, but it wasn't the most repeatable format, and hasn't been on TV since 2003.

    14. A dating show where contestants were vying for the hand in marriage of a real-life British monarch was something I thought we'd all watch, but I Wanna Marry "Harry" was anything but that.

    Fox

    Prince Harry had nothing to do with this 2014 dating show, obviously. What's most ridiculous about it is that the Prince Harry lookalike is actually presented to the contestants as the real deal. It was canceled after four episodes aired, which is the only thing about this show that makes sense.

    15. The Moment Of Truth had a great premise — contestants answered a bunch of cringey questions, while hooked up to a lie detector test, but the questions became increasingly more personal.

    Fox

    The show, which last aired in 2009 seemed like fun and games, but there were more than a handful of times where things took a dark turn. The episode where a woman confessed to stealing from her job, cheating on her husband, and still lost out on the prize money remains one of the most shocking things I've ever seen on TV.

    16. Naked Attraction: The dating show where you judge people by their bits before even seeing their face. Contestants have to eliminate people based on their bare bodies, until they're left with just one naked date.

    Channel 4

    Literally every single episode of this show is shocking – full-frontal nudity just isn't something anyone's used to seeing on TV. The show must be doing something right though, because it's still going strong after four years on the air.

    17. And finally, There's Something About Miriam — a dating show where six men tried to woo a model who was revealed to be transgender in the final episode.

    Sky1

    The recruitment ad for the show 2004 show promised the guys "the adventure of a lifetime" with a £10,000 prize. But after the "big reveal," the contestants filed a lawsuit for psychological and personal damage. The program was (obviously) met with outrage from viewers, reviewers, and transgender groups.

    Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments!

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