This is my latest feature story for AOL at Inside TV and Inside Movies.
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There have been dozens, if not hundreds, of reality TV shows since the genre gathered steam at the start of this decade. There are the big and enduring ones — ‘Survivor,’ ‘Big Brother,’ etc. — but many were just hot messes (thanks, Britney Spears, Bobby Brown, Flavor Flav and various other fame-seeking tools!). Here are our picks for the 10 all-time worst, most ill-advised, absolutely, incredulously, jaw-droppingly awful forays into reality television. What are yours?
10. ‘Growing Up Gotti’ (A&E, 2004-05)
A&E’s look at the life of Victoria Gotti — daughter of late mafioso John Gotti — was a really guilty pleasure. Remember her over-the-top mansion, making Gianni Versace’s rococo estate in Miami Beach look like a minimalism orgy? Or Gotti’s sons, Carmine, John and Frank, all coiffed to the nines and putting the ‘do back in Guido? Yet families are families: Even the Gotti sons, for all their mousse-y dysfunction, showed a real love for their mother, offering a respite from the inanity of the plotlines … and those nails-on-a-blackboard Long Island accents.