Alex's Reality Rant: 5 Decent Shows That Inspired Crappy Reality TV Counterparts

It may not be something you think about while you're marathoning your favorite series, but ideas for TV shows come from a wide variety of sources -- novels, comic books, movies, video games, and more. Inspiration for reality shows specifically is even more, um, "innovative"... sometimes snatching ideas from something as simple as cooking, daily life on the Jersey Shore, or a trashcan (isn't that how The Bad Girls Club was invented?). In fact, some reality shows are even inspired by other shows... and while they're certainly never an "improvement" on the original (well, at least not in most cases...), these reality spawn definitely put an "interesting" spin on the preceding fictional versions. Here are 5 beloved shows that became reality-ized (no, not a real word, but it works), much to the annoyance of fans mostly everywhere. Cue eye-roll:

Original Series: Desperate Housewives

Reality Spawn: The Real Housewives of Orange County

Confession: I never watched "Desperate Housewives," but I am a recent jumper-on-the-bangwagon of The Real Housewives series, and my guess is that it's a tough call, but the latter is more dramatic! Another confession: sometimes I accidentally call it "The Desperate Housewives of (insert town here)"... & I'm not sorry about it.

Original Series: The L Word

Reality Spawn: The Real L Word

Probably the least subtly-titled reality "spin-off," The Real L Word may have a lot to live up to, but so far it seems to be doing pretty well in viewership (not like that's saying much in the quality department, but I have yet to check it out for myself. I mean, it's been almost as popular as Pretty Little Liars in Twitter Trending Topics (okay, not quite, but comparatively well considering some variation of Justin Bieber's name always reigns supreme in that arena)!

Original Series: Nip/Tuck

Reality Spawn: Dr. 90210

Aside from the graphic surgery room scenes, it's hard to imagine anything about Nip/Tuck being real. Enter Dr. 90210, which features a successful, attractive surgeon, not too unlike playboys Christian Troy and Sean MacNamara. Plus it has nearly the same sky-high boob job count -- plus some more similarly off-the-wall surgeries -- from a bit more "realistic" point of view.

Original Series: The O.C.

Reality Spawn: Laguna Beach

Looking back to when the idea for Laguna Beach was first announced by MTV (advertised as The "Real" OC), it seemed like blasphemy to turn the current teen TV staple into a reality show, of all things. Sure enough, it turned out to be an even bigger phenomenon than the original. Of course, this isn't taking into account the later seasons of LB with the younger-classmen who weren't nearly as interesting as LC & Kristin...

Original Series: Sex and the City

Reality Spawn: Downtown Girls

Okay, so the recent (failed) reality series Downtown Girls on MTV may not have been an intentionally direct copy of Sex and the City, but if you've seen any of the episodes, the 5 BFF "characters" clearly think they're the next Carrie & crew for the younger generation. No offense, but I'd rather watch SATC 2 twice in a row than sit through an entire episode of this show... and that's saying a lot.

Do you prefer the original shows, or their reality spin-offs? Weigh in below!


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