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Guilty Pleasures Reality TV Showdown: 'Real World/Road Rules' vs. 'Wipeout'

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Wipeout

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 in the quarterfinals in the Competition category. After you vote, please leave comments about why you love the show you chose.

Quarterfinals, Competition: Real World/Road Rules Challenge vs. Wipeout

Real World/Road Rules Challenge

For people who drink constantly, the contestants on these shows are in frighteningly good shape. Perhaps it’s their bizarre enthusiasm for arbitrary physical exertion, their willingness to eat anything, or their total lack of fear when it comes to jumping off things. If it weren’t for all the fighting, bravado, ridiculous overestimation of how significant some things are, and the incessant use of the term “step up,” this could almost be a sport. Actually… — Margaret Lyons

Wipeout

Wipeout glorifies in everything obscene about reality TV. People run through elaborately geometric obstacle courses, trying and failing to jump across a path of bouncy balls. From offscreen, someone is firing rubber balls at them. Balls, balls, balls everywhere! Meanwhile, announcer John Anderson pretends this is all a real sport, while announcer Jon Henson gives the idiotic contestants nicknames based on some random character trait: “Deputy Hot Stuff” (she’s a cop!), “Hip-hopping headband” (He’s wearing a headband!), “Irish Lad” (He’s Irish!) Sure, it’s dumb. But with Jerry Lewis devoted to charity and Jim Carrey trapped in a serious-actor funk, Wipeout is also practically the last pop cultural refuge for shameless slapstick humor. Just call it Pratfall: The Series! (Or perhaps Ow! My Balls!) — Darren Franich


Photo Credit: RR/RW: MTV; Wipeout: Adam Larkey/ABC

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