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!
Premiered: October 14, 2010
Premiered: March 31, 1998
Premiered: January 27, 2009
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.
Premiered: September 9, 2012
Amish in the CityJonas P. Kurtz, Kevan Moezzi
Premiered: March 21, 2012
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.
Premiered: January 11, 2011
Sorority LifeAmanda Hale
Premiered: May 21, 1992
Premiered: December 5, 2006
Premiered: December 3, 2009
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.
Premiered: March 31, 2003
Fraternity LifeTim Kukulka, Earl Altheide
The SalonBrian Dowling