I'd like to say that I don't watch reality TV. Sometimes I'll even make that claim but really I'm only talking about reality contest shows and those stupid housewives-jersey-bimbo-look-at-me-I'm-so-special shows. I watch the ones that will impart some interesting facts or are good for a laugh.
I'm not all that much of a car girl, but that hasn't stopped me from enjoying this show. Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond are three lovable (well, somewhat lovable) misfits who are all about cars. Besides reviewing various new cars, most of which aren't affordable for the average person or aren't available in America, they take on hilarious challenges from their producers. Some days I think their producers are trying to do them all in. For example, this weekend I enjoyed a repeat of the amphibious vehicle challenge where they had to modify their cars from the previous amphibious vehicle challenge (Jeremy: motorboat truck; Richard: camper van; James: convertible sailboat) and cross the English channel. It's amazing the hijinks that ensue. I've spent many an episode laughing so hard there were tears pouring down my face.
In my house, we're divided on which channel is better: HGTV or DIY. I watch DIY primarily, but BISis got me hooked on Holmes on Homes which, of course, segued into being hooked on Holmes Inspection. The premise of the show revolves around construction guru Mike Holmes inspecting houses that had good pre-purchase inspections but 'developed' problems soon after the sale. His foreman, Damon Bennett, then comes in to fix whatever issues were found. It's shocking how what looks like something small can balloon into something major. One older house had had renovations done before the sale to create an open floor plan which compromised the structural integrity of the building. It ended up requiring a complete gut and rebuild including the foundation. It was shown over 2 episodes and was insane.
Who you gonna call?
Okay, I couldn't resist that line. The show started with two plumbers and a few friends that investigated possible hauntings in their spare time. It has since skyrocketed them into high popularity. Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson begin investigations looking to debunk as many parts of the supposed haunting as they can. One of the things I've enjoyed most (well, besides Steve freaking out over spiders) is how they rarely claim a place is haunted without solid proof. Ghost Hunters has two spinoff shows: Ghost Hunters International, which investigates claims outside the U.S.; and Ghost Hunters Academy, which trains new investigators such as Adam Berry who now hunts with the team.
You can see a few episodes online at the link above. If you find any of their lighthouse episodes, you should watch them. They have pretty good luck with odd happenings at lighthouses.
Do you know the breaking point of duct tape or how to make a lead balloon? Well, these guys do. Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage (along with co-hosts Kari, Grant and Tory) put myths to the test on this Discovery channel favorite. At some point in every episode, you know someone will get hurt, usually Adam or Tory. Their sense of humor keeps them in the saddle though (or once in Tory's case, drug behind it). Mythbusters is geek culture for the masses. Afterall, how can you not love a show that has done 2 duct tape and countless movie specials?
This show is also very responsive to fans who challenge how a myth was tested or suggest new myths to test. You can make suggestions on the community section through the link above.
Like monsters, ghosts, and drawled one liners?
You're going to love Destination Truth then. Josh Gates and crew travel the world investigating legends of monsters and spirits. I, admittedly, don't watch with the expectation of their finding proof. I watch for the humor and camaraderie. Even when things are bad, someone will have a wry comment. DT also has a few horror movie-like moments where you'll find yourself shouting at the screen, "No don't...(wander on the cliffside at night/traipse through the African wilderness in the dark unarmed/cross the frigid creek in the dark/etc)." How everyone survives relatively intact every time is occasionally a mystery to me. It's still a funny and exciting show though.
Check out other BIS Top 5 lists here.