Now That “Scandal” Is On Break: 11 Obscure But Entertaining Shows You’ve Been Sleeping On

April 24, 2014  |  
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Scandal is off. Real Housewives of Atlanta is about to conclude. Walking Dead is dunzo until fall. And I did I mention that I don’t feel like paying for premium cable?

What is a girl to watch?

While I love some serious drama and some hilarious comedies, every now and then I like silly reality TV, cool docu-series and shows that give me  a look into people, places and things near and far, and honestly, a little harmless ratchetry from people of all shades and backgrounds. These reality shows aren’t going to be up for any awards anytime soon, and I’m sure you’ve passed them on your way to the channel or show you really desire, but hey, now that you have some free space in your TV time, I would say that these programs are worth checking out at least once.

Note: A majority of these shows are currently airing new seasons. For those that aren’t, you can easily find past episodes either on Netflix or online.

Discovery Channel

Naked And Afraid

This show just started last year, but it’s already gaining something of a following. Why wouldn’t it? There’s just something very interesting about watching a naive man and woman get dumped in the middle of Bolivia, Tanzania, Costa Rica and more for 21 days to find food and basically survive while naked (ashy) and afraid. So far, I’ve seen someone get bitten by a snake, a tick on someone’s eyeball, maggots in another guy’s butt wound and watched a woman end up with a deadly Dengue fever and have to relearn some of her motor skills. Did I mention NO money is won for all this suffering?

Lifetime

Bring It

Let my good friend and co-worker, Veronica Wells, convince you to watch this new Lifetime reality series:

“I like the competition aspect. The girls so are driven and well mannered but fiercely competitive. The coach is actually invested in their success and while she’s hard on them she makes sure to celebrate and reward them when they’ve done something right.
If you’re one of those people who likes “thrill of victory, agony of defeat” type of sports movies, this is a good show that focuses solely around black women and girls.”
Vh1

Black Ink Crew

Forgive me. I don’t know what it is about this cast of colorful characters on the VH1 show set in Harlem that holds my attention. They literally have the worst judgment ever and spend more time battling with personal issues than bringing in a steady stream of customers in their shop. Folks lose teeth, cheat on camera, face jail time for random offenses and one character, named Oh S**t, is quite possibly the hottest mess I’ve ever seen. It’s like watching a wreck (pick one)…but for some reason, I can’t take my eyes off the screen.

A&E

Beyond Scared Straight

Everybody knows the “Scared Straight” documentary from back in the day, but I don’t know how many people consistently watch this show based on it. An entertaining series on A&E, it reminds me of those old episodes of Maury where rebellious (aka, bad a**) kids act tough until they’re thrown into boot camp and go crying all the way home. But this time around, replace boot camp with an actual county jail, and actual inmates…who might just throw urine on you to get you to to stay out of future trouble.

CNN

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

I’m sure you’ve seen former chef and author Anthony Bourdain’s popular No Reservations show that used to come on the Travel Channel, but I hope you’re not sleeping on his current gem of a program, Parts Unknown, which airs on CNN. This time around, Bourdain focuses on putting a spotlight on areas of the world with cultures unknown to most people, and of course, on their food. The show is currently in its third season.

TLC

Long Island Medium

My boss is a big fan of this show, and I’ve seen a couple episodes. While I’m not 100 percent confident in the idea of a woman (with huge hair) being able to communicate with the dead, there’s something about Theresa Caputo’s personality, as well as her connection with the families/clients she works with that pulls you in on this TLC show.

TLC

Four Weddings

If Say Yes To The Dress wasn’t good enough for you, I would recommend Four Weddings. Because what other way to cultivate the faux wedding planner in you than to judge the weddings of complete strangers, fighting for a lavish honeymoon trip? Hey, if the contestants can do it to each other, you sure can turn your nose up shoeless weddings and buffet receptions from the comforts of your couch.

TLC

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

Feel free to judge me. I found myself stumbling upon this series on a random Saturday afternoon and ended up watching  it like it was a Law and Order SVU marathon. It was probably because I knew very little about the gypsy culture, and then when I saw the dresses (which looked unreal in color, size and rhinestones), I was sucked in. Be prepared for bright hues and hump hairdos that would outdo the old Snooki.

Bravo/HGTV

Million Dollar Listings and House Hunters

I live for house shows, maybe because renting in New York usually leaves you with a tiny box compared to some of the dope places featured on both of these shows. Million Dollar Listing comes on Bravo, and both the LA and NYC versions are good (though the latter keeps my attention solely because of drama-king realtor Fredrik Eklund). House Hunters, an HGTV gem, gives a cool inside look into real estate around the world. I watch and all I’m thinking is, if I can at least have a nice kitchen and a decent-sized closet, I can compromise on whatever else is in the joint…

MSNBC

Lockup

I’m not a big MSNBC fan for most of the hours of the day, but on Saturday nights, I always find myself in somebody’s prison, learning about the sad/crazy circumstances of inmates all over. Just looking at the teeny tiny cells of those inmates makes me want to stop at red lights (including no turn on red), pay my taxes and do whatever else is necessary to keep my behind out of trouble.

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