The best docusoaps mix reality television and documentary to offer an unscripted look into a world. While some docusoaps follow the exploits of a unique family, other docusoaps examine the difficulties of specific professions and subcultures. Many different kinds of reality series offer documentary-style drama, letting audiences behind the scenes and letting the plot occur more naturally, offering a more realistic sense of story.
From MTV's True Life, which follows people involved in different subjects each episode, to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, which has many spin-offs and long, ongoing stories - docusoaps offer the audience a stronger feeling of authenticity. That's not to say documentary reality series aren't edited to up the tension or tighten a story, just that the plot arcs in reality documentary series such as Toddlers & Tiaras or Duck Dynasty feel as much like a docuseries as they do a reality show.
Vote up the best docusoaps and documentary reality series and vote down the shows that don't bring the drama!
- 1True Life (MTV, 1998) is an American documentary television series. Each episode follows a... moreSerena Altschul
- 2Toddlers & Tiaras (TLC, 2009) is an American reality television series. The series follows the... moreAlana Thompson, Eden Wood
- 3Breaking Amish: LA (TLC, 2012) is an American reality television show. It follows a new group... moreKate Stoltz, Rebecca Byler
- 4The Real Housewives (Bravo, 2010) of Beverly Hills is an American reality television series... moreYolanda Hadid, Kim Richards
Up SeriesBruce Balden, Jackie Bassett
Up (ITV 1963) is a documentary film series. It follows the lives of fourteen British children since 1964, with one episode being made every seven years—thus spanning 56 years.
- 6Amish in the City (UPN, 2004) is an American reality television series. The show follows Amish... more
Amish in the CityJonas P. Kurtz, Kevan Moezzi
- 7Teen Mom (MTV, 2009) is an American reality television series and a spin-off of 16 and... moreFarrah Abraham, Maci Bookout
- 8Here Comes Honey Boo Boo (TLC, 2012) is an American reality television series. It features the... moreAlana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson, Jessica "Chubbs" Shannon
- 9Duck Dynasty (A&E, 2012) is an American reality television series. It portrays the lives of... morePhil Robertson, Si Robertson
- 10Airport (BBC One, 1996) is a British documentary television series. The show is a... moreJohn Nettles, Liza Tarbuck
- 11Teen Mom 2 (MTV, 2011) is an American reality television series. It follows the lives of four... moreJenelle Evans, Chelsea Houska
- 12Airline (ITV, 1998) is a British fly on the wall television program. It showcases the daily... moreCaharlie Higson, Tony Robinson
- 13Bug Juice (Disney Channel, 1998) is an American reality series. The series focuses around 20... moreJon Adler, Rhett Bachner
- 14The Real World (MTV, 1992) is an American reality television program inspired by the 1973 PBS... moreJamie Chung, Steven Hill
- 15Making the Band 2 (MTV, 2002) is an American reality show and sequel to MTV's Making the Band.... moreFonzworth Bentley
U8TV: The LoftersTrevor Smith, Arisa Cox
U8TV: The Lofters (U8TV.com, 2001) is a Canadian reality web series. The show followed the lives of eight Canadians in their 20s who lived together in a Toronto loft for a one-year period, while at the same time producing and hosting their own television programs for Life Network or other cable TV networks, and for the website U8TV.com.
- 17Sorority Life (MTV, 2002) is an American reality television show. The show consists of girls... more
Sorority LifeAmanda Hale
- 18Bad Girls Club (Oxygen, 2006) is an American reality television series created by Jonathan... moreTanisha Thomas, Neveen Ismael
- 19Jersey Shore (MTV, 2009) is an American reality television series created by SallyAnn Salsano.... moreRonnie Ortiz-Magro, Vinny Guadagnino
Jamie's KitchenMark Halliley, Jamie Oliver
Jamie's Kitchen (Channel 4, 2002) is a British documentary TV series. It follows chef Jamie Oliver as he attempts to train a group of 15 disadvantaged youth, who will—if they complete the course—be offered jobs at Oliver's new restaurant Fifteen.
- 21The Salon (Channel 4, 2003) is a British reality TV show. Various members of the public are... more
The SalonBrian Dowling
- 22American Chopper (Discovery, 2003) is a reality television series. The series centers on Paul... morePaul Teutul Sr., Paul Teutul Jr.
- 23Fraternity Life (MTV, 2003) is an American reality television show and a spin off of Sorority... more
Fraternity LifeTim Kukulka, Earl Altheide
- 24Road Rules (MTV, 1995) is an American reality show created by Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan... moreCara Zavaleta, Veronica Portillo
Cheer PerfectionAlisha Dunlap, Cassadee
Cheer Perfection (TLC, 2012) is a reality sports television show. It follows a group of young cheerleaders at Cheer Time Revolution, located in Sherwood, Arkansas, as they endure the world of competitive cheerleading.