PopWatch is on a quest to determine the Greatest Guilty Pleasure Reality TV Show of All Time. We have 32 seeded contestants in four categories (see full bracket here), and we’re moving on to the Celeb-Reality category (much like questioning the “realness” of the “Real” Lives category, we know that the Kardashians are only a certain level of celebrity). After you vote, please leave comments about why you love the show you chose.
Quarterfinals, Celeb-Reality: Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica vs. Britney & Kevin: Chaotic
Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica
Back when “celebreality” was shiny and new and we believed that if someone called his brother to help move in oversized furniture it was his idea and not a producer’s, MTV cameras followed the union of Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson and we were shocked to find ourselves invested. We had conversations about what a normal, decent guy Nick was and how he seemed to genuinely appreciate his wife, who genuinely didn’t know if Chicken of the Sea was fish or fowl. That’s why we were genuinely sad when the show went from, as we called it, “a light, Kate Hudson-style romantic comedy into a painful, John Cassavetes-esque portrait of a marriage on the brink.” But, of course, we still watched. – Mandi Bierly
Britney & Kevin: Chaotic
Only five episodes for posterity, Britney & Kevin: Chaotic might be the single most destructive reality show ever. Before Chaotic, Britney Spears was the perfect American pop creation: a virginal sexpot, a bubblegum confection spiked with Euro-techno joy juice. This show ended all that. Composed mainly of home video footage shot by her and then-hubby Kevin Federline (the opening credits: “Starring Britney and Kevin. Cinematography by Britney and Kevin. Produced by Britney and Kevin.), Chaotic shows a cigarette-smoking, champagne-swilling, sex-talking Britney, often in deeply unflattering Blair Witch close-ups. (It’s like a sex tape without any sex.) Britney and Kevin’s aimless, elliptical conversations, combined with the ever-shifting background of lavish hotel rooms, plays like an accidental faux-gritty remake of Last Year at Marienbad. And Chaotic is even more addictive in hindsight: the spouses constantly claim that you’re seeing how they fell in love, but all you can see now is how utterly wrong they are for each other. — Darren Franich