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: 2009Toddlers & Tiaras (TLC, 2009) is an American reality television series. The series follows the... more
Premiered: 1998True Life (MTV, 1998) is an American documentary television series. Each episode follows a... more
Premiered: 2010The Real Housewives (Bravo, 2010) of Beverly Hills is an American reality television series... more
Premiered: 2012Breaking Amish: LA (TLC, 2012) is an American reality television show. It follows a new group... more
Premiered: 2012Here Comes Honey Boo Boo (TLC, 2012) is an American reality television series. It features the... more
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.
Amish in the CityJonas P. Kurtz, Kevan Moezzi
Premiered: 2004Amish in the City (UPN, 2004) is an American reality television series. The show follows Amish... more
Premiered: 2009Teen Mom (MTV, 2009) is an American reality television series and a spin-off of 16 and... more
Premiered: 1996Airport (BBC One, 1996) is a British documentary television series. The show is a... more
Premiered: 2012Duck Dynasty (A&E, 2012) is an American reality television series. It portrays the lives of... more
Premiered: 1998Airline (ITV, 1998) is a British fly on the wall television program. It showcases the daily... more
Premiered: 1998Bug Juice (Disney Channel, 1998) is an American reality series. The series focuses around 20... more
Premiered: 2002Making the Band 2 (MTV, 2002) is an American reality show and sequel to MTV's Making the Band.... more
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: 2011Teen Mom 2 (MTV, 2011) is an American reality television series. It follows the lives of four... more
Premiered: 2006Bad Girls Club (Oxygen, 2006) is an American reality television series created by Jonathan... more
Premiered: 2009Jersey Shore (MTV, 2009) is an American reality television series created by SallyAnn Salsano.... more
Premiered: 1992The Real World (MTV, 1992) is an American reality television program inspired by the 1973 PBS... more
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.
Sorority LifeAmanda Hale
Premiered: 2002Sorority Life (MTV, 2002) is an American reality television show. The show consists of girls... more
Premiered: 2003American Chopper (Discovery, 2003) is a reality television series. The series centers on Paul... more
Fraternity LifeTim Kukulka, Earl Altheide
Premiered: 2003Fraternity Life (MTV, 2003) is an American reality television show and a spin off of Sorority... more
Premiered: 1995Road Rules (MTV, 1995) is an American reality show created by Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan... more
Premiered: 2003The Restaurant (NBC, 2003) is an American reality show. It follows celebrity chef Rocco... more
The SalonBrian Dowling
Premiered: 2003The Salon (Channel 4, 2003) is a British reality TV show. Various members of the public are... more