Trashy TV you’ll love to hate this break

Katie Fitzgerald

With the holidays quickly approaching, it is time to get ready for good ol’ fashion family bonding…and time to start thinking of how to avoid it. What better way to sneak off from the fam and have a nice break than catching up on some trashy television?

As much as it is denied, everyone loves reality shows; it’s the reason why shows like “Jerry Springer,” “The Real World” and “The Bachelorette” dominate the ratings. They may not be shows you want to watch with your grandmother, but they are nothing short of entertaining.

Luckily, with the changing of television seasons, television networks have provided us with a new batch of great new reality shows to enjoy, just in time for the holidays.

Vh1’s new lineup is a great way to satisfy your reality show cravings. Airing on Monday nights at 9 p.m., Ray J is back for his second shot at love. Ray J is a singer, record producer and actor, but he is probably most known for his scandalous sex tape with Kim Kardashian that was leaked in 2007.

In early February, Vh1 and Ray J collaborated on a new reality dating show titled “For the Love of Ray J.” This show followed the normal reality dating show criteria – weekly eliminations, absurd challenges and, of course, drama. With the ending of the season in April, Ray J thought he had found the love of his life, but with the second season’s premier in November, this was clearly not the case.

“For the Love of Ray J 2” is very similar to other Vh1 dating shows – 19 contestants, each with their own distinct personalities, living in one house competing for the attention of one man.

What makes this show stand apart from the others, however, is Ray J himself. Though the challenges are ridiculous and hardly realistic, Ray J’s relationship with the girls and his experiences with their drama are extremely relatable and genuine. His reactions are what truly make this show entertaining, his most notable being the episode in which contestant Luscious supposedly “smashed a homie.”

“For the Love of Ray J 2” is a great show to catch up on during break because of the ridiculous contestants with a normal leading man. The combination is perfect for an addicting reality show hit.

Vh1 also struck gold this season with another reality sequel, “Tough Love 2.” This show can best be described as a combination between “The Bachelorette” and “Dr. Phil” and airs on Sunday nights at 9 p.m.

World-renowned matchmaker Steven Ward and his mother Joanne take nine women and, with hopes of helping them find the loves of their lives, train them how to succeed in the dating world and with relationships in general.

The contestants are thrown into various situations in which they are graded on their ability to win the interest of their possible male counterparts. After challenges, matchmaker Steve not only shows real feedback from the men, but gives the women something that any single woman would die for – an insider’s look on what guys really think.

Though it is a reality show, the girls are genuine, and their efforts are sincere, so you can’t help falling in love with the contestants and rooting for them.

On the opposite end of the reality-show spectrum is the highly controversial and hot-topic show “Jersey Shore.”

This MTV original series consists of eight American-Italian self-proclaimed “guidos” and “guidettes” living and working together on the Jersey Shore. A show with a similar premise to that of the “The Real World,” the early episodes are filled with fist-pumping, clubbing, massive amounts of hair gel and of course, inner-house relationships.

The most stunning part of the show is not the insane amount of tattoos, hookups and shots, but the fact that people live this way.

This show is also a good one to follow because of its recent controversy – many Italian-Americans and New Jersey inhabitants are up in arms over their stereotypical portrayal on the show. However, these stereotypical “guidos” make this hot mess of a reality show so hard to ignore and have viewers begging for more.

The newly premiered show airs on Thursdays at 10 p.m.

So there you have it: three nights of grade-A trashy television all ready for your enjoyment during your holiday break. Though you may not be able to escape those crazy relatives, at least you have three new favorite shows to help you recover.