The Best Reality Shows of 2018 Ranked
Normally I end the year with a reflective piece on the Housewives by ranking each city's respective season to air in the last twelve months, however, Bravo's crown jewel has officially been overshadowed by their more entertaining sister shows whether it's a group of pasta addicted SURvers, the dissolution of Trashley Jacobs, revived fist-pumping Guidos or horny yacht staff being killed by their motorhome and place of work. It makes more sense to look back on and rank the shows which actually entertained us this year rather than the ones we watch out of obligation because we've invested too much time to turn back. Check out Good Tea's ranking of the fourteen reality shows we recapped in 2018:
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14 - Keeping Up With The Kardashians (Season 15)
You know a show is bad when the cast members literally admit (on the show) they are only doing it for money. It's as clear as Kim's fake ass that the family are only going through the motions of filming this show to pay off their kid's school fees and if they don’t care to be a part of it, why the fuck should we care to watch it? The once appointment TV has turned into nobody willing to discuss their reality on camera which causes nothing but boring campy storylines to transpire in an attempt to fill up the episodes to maintain their relevance in the media, and not even the promised Tristan Thompson drama could save this dreadful season. They don't need the money and we don't need the hassle of tuning into to see Scott Disick hanging out with his ex-mother-in-law for a check.
Star Player: Kris Jenner
13 - The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (Season 8)
If anyone needs proof the Housewives franchise is dying a slow and painful death, Beverly Hill's eighth season and LVP's dusty muff are prime examples. Lisa Rinna decided to take a step back and allowed the cash cows of the show to drive the plot and without a messy villain, this already declining show fell apart at the seams. Nobody cared about watching Kyle, LVP and Dorito fight over their fake friendship, see Teddi keep Dorito accountable for her poor time management skills and need to drink out of stemware or have the phrase pretend amnesia reintroduced to our vocabularies. This show sucked and although the ninth season trailer and news of another LVP revolt could save the series, when Dorito's annoying and insufferable behaviour drives an entire season, you know this show sucks.
Star Player: Dorito Kemsley
12 - Shahs Of Sunset (Season 7)
Everybody's favourite Persians are the one group I can normally count on but with the exit of the Persian Pop Priestess and no real source of tension or drama between the mostly cohesive friendship circle, there wasn't much to work with this year, it was good it was just wasn't Shahs best. This was MJ's season. Her dad died, she got married, threw countless bridal events nobody could really understand and announced her pregnancy at the reunion, everybody else was just a supporting character to the voluptuous bride. The reunion managed to save the uneventful season after we finally got authentic interaction between Golnesa and the other OGs which is a foundation the show was missing this season. Although nothing monumental happened aside from another coked up Mike breakdown, MJ's wedding and bachelorette party with forever be some of the best episodes in Bravo history.
Star Player: Mercedes Javid
11 - The Real Housewives of Orange County (Season 13)
When the energy of this show is determined by the storm cloud above Shannon's head, it's hard to be enjoyable. With the combination of Shannon's negative energy, two underwhelming newbies and a truce between the main characters it's no wonder this season was a snooze fest. If Kelly Dodd wasn't calling out twerps, dorks and pussies and sneaking sex jokes into every conversation, what the fuck would we have left? The ropes course, the Tres Amigos vacation, Kelly's fight with the Little Bitch, Shannon's Jamaica breakdown and the reunion were all great moments but their excellence was lost with the boring inbetween episodes about divorcing a phantom husband and Vicki buying a new face. This show's entertainment got sucked into the revolving black hole that is Shannon's self-centred cesspit of sadness, however, just when the show was running out of steam we got a reunion full of cocaine allegations and hulk moments which give me hope the OC has some life left.
Star Player: Kelly Dodd
10 - The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Season 10)
Atlanta had its moments but as a whole, this season felt as disjointed as NeNe’s bun that Marlo had to rebuild. With Kenya reserving her messy ways to fight with the producers rather than her costars due to her off-camera marriage and husband who boycotted Bravo cameras, this show was lacking in the drama department. Kandi and Porsha's RapeGate beef was stagnant, Cynthia's fake boyfriend drama was redundant, Sheree's phone calls with her locked up boo were unsettling and Kim Zolciak’s superior attitude and inability to tell the truth solidified why she left in the first place. Like usual the ladies managed to bring it home for the reunion with RoachGate, the iconic Joggers moment and Wig’s funeral, however, a peachless Marlo being the most entertaining part of this show would be like Tori Spelling winning an Oscar. It's just not acceptable in a show of all-stars.
Star Player: Marlo Hampton
9 - The Real Housewives of Potomac (Season 3)
After two seasons on the air, the Maryland ladies finally found their place as Housewives all thanks to the delusional Karen Huger. With Karen, her wavering hairline and her unwillingness to truthfully show her reality on a reality show, these bitches would have nothing to work with. The season basically consisted of the Green-Eyed Bandits and their messy assistant getting into everybody else's business while Karen had unconvincing answers for questions about her home, husband, finances, business ventures, wigs, Blue Eyes and why the fuck Matt was around. As well as their lying matriarch the ladies also practised the traditional Housewives troupe of accusing their co-star of being an alcoholic which resulted in Robyn (almost) being choked out with an umbrella. Someone getting strangled with an umbrella when it's not even raining automatically marks these bitches up. These ladies finally started playing the Housewives game, even if none of them actually live in Potomac.
Star Player: Karen Huger
9 - The Real Housewives of New Jersey (Season 9)
Like many of its sister cities, Jersey has been on the decline for the last few seasons, however, the producers must've given these bitches the "get messy or get cancelled" talk because the entire cast returned with a shit stirring attitude. The energy is lighter this season and even though the tired Giudice/Gorga feud has been revived for the 78th time due to Teresa's tendency to blame Melissa for anything wrong in her family, it's giving us something. I don't really care to see this family be torn apart again but the tensions rippling through the group by Jackie bringing up Juicy Joe being locked up and causing an immediate enemy in Teresa was delicious and exactly what this city needs: a smart woman who can keep the Queen Bee and her delusions in check. The new girl Jennifer's annoying need to brag about her tacky home, Margaret's new comedic energy and Danielle's subplot of being a bridezilla for her made-for-TV wedding which everybody agrees shouldn't be happening also make this season worth watching. This isn't the best Jersey has been but it's better than what we've had in a long time.
Star Player: Margaret Josephs
7 - Married To Medicine (Season 6)
Bravo's hidden gem and most underrated show delivers every single episode with these medical mistresses. The common trend on the cast is everybody's marriage essentially falling apart whether it's due to cheating, miscommunication or a bitch named Tammy. The way these couples help each other through their issues is REAL stuff, it's definitely the most authentic and raw show Bravo has to offer and gives us a relatable look at how real the struggle really is. Apart from the marriage drama, there's also plenty of petty drama between the women to keep this show going from Mariah saying she has receipts on Heavenly's "Daddy" cheating, CONE-Tessa claiming Toya maliciously hit her newly constructed boob or all the ladies questioning Quad's divorce from Dr Greg and his pinky dick. They also throw shade like nobody's business and while the Atlanta Housewives have been declining, these ladies have been more than picking up the slack. This is the cream of the current Bravo crop and you're a fool if you aren't watching.
Star Player: Mariah Huqq
6 - Jersey Shore Family Vacation (Season 1 & 2)
If there's one show you know will give you funny, feel-good television, it's the Jersey Shore reboot. Something about seeing these Guidos who are pushing 40 fist pump like it's 2009 is so refreshing. After a six-year hiatus, the gang and their somewhat grown-up ways decided to reunite and travel around America to remind us why we fell in love with their drunken ways all those years ago. No notes were written and no heads were rammed into walls but the reboot proved Ronnie is still incapable of having a relationship that isn't as fucked up as his brain cells after he impregnated a Nevada THOT, cheated on her with a French Fry, didn't tell her until the episode aired, was dragged with a car and then continued to sit in a hot tub with Jewish Barbie. Ronnie's bad decision-making skills drive the show as well as Angelina's willingness to do anything to stay on reality TV and the hilarious cast make this show feel like a nostalgic half-hour comedy - but with vodka and sex.
Star Player: Ronnie Ortiz-Magro
5 - The Real Housewives of Dallas (Season 3)
If you're sleeping on Dallas then you are more stupid than Brandi's plan to prove she isn't an alcoholic, by getting blackout drunk on camera. This was a season of transformation, LeeAnne and her bowl vowed not to threaten to kill her costars or call their husband's gay and although we need that energy to drive the show, Brandi and D'Andra spent the whole season trying to bring the carny side out of the show's retired villain which eventually happened. LeeAnne's deep-seated breakdown of her decade-long friendship with D'Andra due to the latter's quest to become the star of the show was dark, however, Kameron's overall neverending personality, Stephanie's transformation to become the show's unapologetic voice of reason and Mama Dee's overwhelming and strong personality which overshadowed her daughter's presence on this show made it worth watching. The ladies trip to Copenhagen was also one of the best episodes in Housewives history and their dysfunctional magic as a cast proved the Housewives franchise isn't completely dead.
Star Player: Stephanie Hollman
4 - Below Deck (Season 6)
This was my first season watching the nautical Bravo show and I can officially say, I'm more obsessed than Ashton is with fucking anybody with a hole in sight. The first half of the season was plagued with the inefficacy of Caroline, who made children bleed, dragged her infected foot around for three charters and had more ailments than are known to man, and Chandler who dropped charter guests, slept all day, ate ice cream and ran the deck crew into the ground. They both sucked and although their incompetency drove the plot of the show, their replacements fucked their way through the remaining crew members while the new Candian third stew started a feud with Kate Chastain and her bitchy ways which are the real reasons we watch reality TV: for fucking and fighting. Apart from shitty workers and spit being swapped between the crew, Ashton almost died after being dragged behind the yacht and if a near-death experience in the open sea doesn't get them into fourth place I don't know what will. Below Deck is effortlessly brilliant and it's no surprise it's currently Bravo's leading show.
Star Player: Kate Chastain
3 - Southern Charm (Season 5)
No show had more help with promotion off-camera than Southern Charm, between T-Rape's sexual assault charges and Trashley's unhinged crazy social media behaviour, there was more than enough driving people to watch. In a cast where the large majority of people get along, they needed Thomas' latest sugar baby Trashley Jacobs to step in and bring the drama by calling Kathryn a bad mother (and doubling down for an entire season) which angered America and fuelled a feud which will go down in reality TV history. I'm still recovering from their finale showdown. The newly liberated women of the cast formed the Pussy Power Pack to stand up to their gross exes and the human sperm whale known as JD Madison, which was a welcomed surprise in the traditionally patriarchal show. Queen Patricia's southern regalness and Craig's ability to fuck up everything he does were also delightful subplots which only added to the "best season ever" vibe. Craig may sew like a challenged fourth grader but at least he's never put his penis inside a woman without her consent, and we can't say that for all the men on this show.
Star Player: Trashley Jacobs
2 - Vanderpump Rules (Season 6)
If there is one word to describe season six it would be pasta. Whether it means cocaine or fettuccine we'll never really know but we do know air isn't the only thing going up these SURvers nostrils. The overall theme of this season was cheating from Jax having sex with Faith in an adjacent bed to an elderly woman, Schwartz getting blackout drunk and sticking his tongue down (another) girl's throat, James potentially having gay relations with his best friend or Kristen fucking James as evidenced through rearranged pillows. They have grown up but nobody on this cast can keep it in their pants. Apart from the wide range of infidelity, Jax became the most hated man in America once again, Brittany stayed for the fame, Lala became our generation's Gloria Steinem through her pussy power campaign, Scheana tortured us with her Fatal Attraction-esque relationship with Rob and the scripted TomTom drama was also there. This was one of the definitive best seasons in the history of reality TV and it elevated the alcoholics in training to the top of the Bravo rankings.
Star Player: Jax Taylor
1 - The Real Housewives of New York City (Season 10)
The only show which could have possibly topped the stellar standards Southern Charm and Vanderpump Rules set for us was RHONY. While the other Housewives have become more complacent and boring than a vaginal rejuvenation storyline, New York proved that the best casts consist of single women pushing 50 who have an affinity for vodka and give zero fucks. Whether it was Tinsley crying over frozen eggs in a wedding dress, Bobby Zarin's funeral, Drunk Dorinda slurring in an unlikeable way, her weird feuds with Sonja, Ramona finally having a leg to stand on in her long-standing war with Bethenny, the entire cast almost dying at sea and the now infamous Bethenny vs Carole feud which divided the fandom, this season just didn't fucking stop.
It doesn't matter whose side you are on everybody can admit this was an exceptional season of reality TV and that didn't even include the Countess getting arrested in Palm Beach for having sex in a hotel room that was not hers and threatening to kill a police officer. That sentence alone justifies the ladies taking out the top spot. The crazy dynamics in the group ensure there's always something happening on this show whether it's laughing, fighting or Ramona shitting on the hotel floor.
Star Player: Luann de Lesseps
Do you agree with this ranking? Sound off in the comments!