On screen reality is definitely a little distant from real life, but entertaining it most certainly is. There’s something so oddly fascinating about watching other people go about ‘everyday life’ – and I use that term very loosely.
From game show giveaways of the most bizarre kind to reality shows born of trending news. Aussie’s know how to whip up a TV show. In case you’ve forgotten some of the real gems or you’re desperately pining after a cancelled show, here’s the very best. We may not have been avid viewers at the time but these formats are pure gold.
The game that exploits our greatest qualms and seeks only to make the contestants squeamish. Worms, heights, cockroaches and even a mixture of ghastly milkshakes make the show addictively awful. The competitors always start so cocky but jokes on you when you told the producers exactly what scares you to near death.
The Price Is Right
Larry Emdur’s entry into TV land, the fine show of 90’s and early noughties dreams. Guess the price and oh boy you win big. So much better than the Drew Carey version.
Sale of The Century
A weeknight staple, no evening was complete without a little family viewing of this bonanza. The hosts were the real winners, Tony and Jo were part of the fam by the time the show ended in 2001. There’s even a board game in it’s honour.
Off the back of real life romance story Aussie Mary meeting a Danish prince in a bar, the reality show was born. Hosted by none other than Jackie O, it was awfully ridiculous from the outset. But strangely a cult hit.
Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?
Putting adults back in there place were the adorable geniuses of the 5th grader show. Were most people smarter than a 5th grader? Oh no they weren’t. It was hosted by Rove too, so it holds a special spot in our TV hearts.
The singing content to end all singing contests. Before a contestants journey became such lucrative business there was Aus Idol. The greatest robbery of all time occurred on this show in 2003 when Shannon Noll was beaten out by fro-ed winner Guy Sebastian. Quality Andrew G footage before the name change upon rewatching too.
So You Think You Can Dance
A success in the US saw the show pumping out seasons like nobody’s business here in Aus. We have this dance show to thank for Timomatic and that song Hot Summer by winner Rhys. Don’t remember? You’re not missing out on much.
Dating In The Dark
Before the Bachelor hit our shores and Farmer Wants A Wife was on hiatus, there was Dating in The Dark. Men and women were forced onto a group date in pitch black to get to know their personality first. Thank god for night vision camera right.
Just as the A-League was really heating up with Australian football fans, Football Superstar sought to make a couple of rookies big time stars. The winner went on to play a total of one game with Sydney FC before getting injured but it made for some quality viewing along the way.
World’s Strictest Parents
Surely a stitch up by Channel Seven so they had more footage for all of those Today Tonight teenage antics exposes. Nonetheless growing up watching these kids being reprimanded in foreign households was a must watch. Hands up if you knew someone on the show, a badge of honour at school.
Make Me A Supermodel
Before Jen Hawkins was sauntering along the Aus Next Top Model catwalk she hosted a very similar show on Channel Seven. Although you may not remember Rhys (the winner), the show launched Shanina Shaik, Victoria’s Secret model and all round babe.
Australia’s Greatest Athlete
Was it a commercial or was it a show? Still not sure. The little splice between Sunday viewing saw the champions of each sport in Oz go head to head in physical challenges to prove their fitness. Billy Slater kept winning for a couple of seasons before Quade Cooper came along and snatched the crown. Testosterone overload.
Ever wondered where Sophie Monk came from? A little show called Popstars that worked to create the next Spice Girls picked her up. And although Bardot never really hit those heights, Popstars was the business in the ’00’s.
Fusing the money in a box gameshow concept with the mobility of a cab, Cash Cab was the dream of many youngsters. Imagine being picked up and hurled cash instead of taken home the long way. Today it would be Uber Cash but a winning concept all the same.
The Weakest Link
Flame haired host shouting abuse at contestants, the formula for a show so great we don’t even remember the format. Instead all we know is the insulting glare and withering farewell. You are the weakest link. Goodbye.
Image source: Popsugar.