Reality TV The Best Current Reality Shows That Make You A Better Person  

Ranker TV
138 votes 43 voters 19 items

List Rules Vote up the reality series that make you a more educated, open, accepting, and thoughtful person.

While traditionally pigeonholed as a trashy genre, there is plenty of current reality TV with substance. Whether it's learning a new trade, understanding a complicated topic, or gaining a more nuanced perspective of the lives of others, the reality shows below truly teach you something. For every Real Housewives, there's a Who Do You Think You Are
 

Many current thought provoking reality TV series do not shy away from controversy. Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath explores shocking stories of people who escaped Scientology and does not hesitate to challenge the religion as a whole. Inspirational reality series shine light on traditionally marginalized groups. RuPaul's Drag Race focuses on the LGBT community and Little People, Big World shows the every day struggles of little people. Such programs prove reality TV scandal and exploitation are not the defining factors of the genre. 
 

What is the most thoughtful current reality TV series? Vote up the best programs below!  

list ordered by

1
14 1
RuPaul's Drag Race is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Current Reality Shows That Make You A Better Person

What you learn: Celebrate uniqueness, love yourself, work it girl

RuPaul's Drag Race is an American reality competition television series produced by World of Wonder for Logo. RuPaul plays the roles of host, mentor, and source of inspiration for this series, ...more

2
7 0
Shark Tank is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Current Reality Shows That Make You A Better Person

What you learn: Be prepared, know your value, learn from your mistakes

Shark Tank (ABC, 2009) is an American reality television series created by Mark Burnett, and a franchise of Dragons' Den. Aspiring entrepreneur-contestants pitch their business idea to a panel ...more

3
6 0
Little People, Big World is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Current Reality Shows That Make You A Better Person

What you learn: Celebrating uniqueness, family values, overcoming adversity

Little People, Big World is an American reality television series that premiered on March 4, 2006, and airs on TLC. The series chronicles the lives of the six-member Roloff family farm near ...more

4
9 1
Undercover Boss is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Current Reality Shows That Make You A Better Person

What you learn: Communication skills, good customer service, the importance of mutual respect

Undercover Boss is an American reality television series, based on the British series of the same name and produced by Studio Lambert in both countries. Each episode depicts a person who has an ...more

5
7 1
Born This Way is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Current Reality Shows That Make You A Better Person

What you learn: How to empathize more with adults with cognitive disabilities 

Born This Way (A&E, 2015) is an Emmy Award-winning American reality television series. It features seven adults with Down Syndrome who work hard to achieve goals and overcome obstacles.

6
10 4
Who Do You Think You Are? is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Current Reality Shows That Make You A Better Person

What you learn: It's a small world, family trees have deep roots, ancestry is interesting

Who Do You Think You Are? is a British genealogy documentary series that has aired on the BBC since 2004. It is made by the production company Wall to Wall. In each episode, a celebrity goes on ...more

7
6 1
The Amazing Race is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Current Reality Shows That Make You A Better Person

What you learn: Teamwork, basic geography, and how to read instructions carefully

The Amazing Race is a reality television game show in which teams of two people, who have some form of a preexisting personal relationship, race around the world in competition with other teams. ...more

8
7 4
MasterChef is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Current Reality Shows That Make You A Better Person

What you learn: How to be resourceful, act under pressure, and engage in teamwork 

MasterChef (Fox, 2010) is an American competitive cooking reality show based on the original British series. A nationwide search for the best home cooks in America where one of 50 hopefuls will ...more

9
3 2
Pit Bulls & Parolees is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Current Reality Shows That Make You A Better Person

What you learn: Everyone deserves a second chance, the power of redemption, don't judge a book by its cover

Pit Bulls & Parolees is an American reality television series on Animal Planet which confronts the misunderstandings of the Pit Bull breed. The series debuted on October 30, 2009. It ...more

10
2 1
MasterChef Junior is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Current Reality Shows That Make You A Better Person
MasterChef Junior (Fox, 2013) is an American cooking competition. 24 of the best junior home cooks in the country between the ages of eight and 13 will compete in the first audition round and ...more

11
2 1
This Old House is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Current Reality Shows That Make You A Better Person

What you learn: DIY skills, how to locate a stud, when to call an expert

This Old House is an American home improvement media brand with television shows, a magazine and a website, ThisOldHouse.com. The television series airs on the American television station Public ...more

12
5 5
America's Got Talent is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Current Reality Shows That Make You A Better Person

What you learn: Go for your dreams, overcome obstacles, share talent

America's Got Talent is an American reality television series on the NBC television network, and part of the global British Got Talent franchise. It is a talent show that features singers, ...more

13
4 4
Leah Remini: Scientology and t... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Current Reality Shows That Make You A Better Person

What you learn: How to adopt a nuanced, informed perspective on religion and the abuse of power

Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath (A&E, 2016) is a documentary series presented by Leah Remini and Mike Rinder. Each episode features former members of the church describing their ...more

14
2 2
The Great British Bake Off is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Current Reality Shows That Make You A Better Person

What you learn: Baking tips, teamwork, British phrases 

The fourth series of The Great British Bake Off began airing on 20 August 2013. Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins again presented the show and Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood returned as judges. As ...more

15
1 1
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknow... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Current Reality Shows That Make You A Better Person

What you learn: Different is good and food highlights culture 

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown is an American travel and food show on CNN which premiered on April 14, 2013. In the show, Anthony Bourdain travels the world uncovering lesser known places and ...more

16
1 1
How It's Made is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Current Reality Shows That Make You A Better Person

What you learn: How stuff is made, the magic of manufacturing, practical science is cool

How It's Made is a documentary television series that premiered on January 6, 2001 on Discovery Channel in Canada, and Science in the U.S. It's also being aired on Discovery Family. The program ...more

17
4 5
True Life is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Current Reality Shows That Make You A Better Person

What you learn: A nuanced perspective of those of whose lives deviate form the norm 

True Life is an American documentary television series that has been airing on MTV since March 31, 1998. Each episode follows a particular topic, such as heroin addiction as in the first episode ...more

18
0 1
Iron Chef America is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Current Reality Shows That Make You A Better Person

What you learn: Gourmet cooking techniques, how to perform under pressure, creativity 

Iron Chef America: The Series is an American cooking show based on Fuji Television's Iron Chef, and is the second American adaptation of the series, following the failed Iron Chef USA. The show ...more

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0 1
Running Wild with Bear Grylls is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Current Reality Shows That Make You A Better Person

What you learn: Survival skills, how to be prepared, the importance of mental strength

Running Wild with Bear Grylls is a survival skills reality television series starring Bear Grylls. In each episode, Grylls brings a different celebrity along on his adventures. Celebrities such ...more