20 underrated reality show gems you should be watching

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Vanderpump Rules

The premise: Thirty-somethings work in a restaurant owned by Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alumna, Lisa Vanderpump. They drink a lot, party themselves ragged, and sleep with each other indiscriminately and then lie about it until they are caught. It’s like a workplace reality show mixed with a sexual saga mixed with a cautionary tale about holding too tightly to the lifestyle that no longer becomes you.

Why you’ll love it: Unlike other reality stars, the cast of VPR doesn’t try to hide the fact that they are dumpster humans, failing at adulthood. In fact, they use that as commerce to get more storylines. They are unapologetically awful to each other and themselves, and routinely do things that work directly against their own self-interests.

They aren’t afraid to fall down or get black-out drunk on camera, and they don’t shy away from presenting the worst versions of themselves on camera. Whether it’s one character continuously cheating on his wife while blitzed out of his mind or another character sucking on a baby bottle before she goes to bed, they traffic in salacious, humiliating behavior. It’s part of the culture of the show.

It’s also a neat little behind-the-scenes story of restaurant life. Although it’s widely accepted that the main cast barely works at SUR for money these days, when it first started, they were actual bartenders, servers, and hostesses. It’s not too far from reality. If you’ve ever worked in a service position, you’ll recognize the politics that arise over scheduling, getting “cut” first (meaning clocking out before anyone else) and “side work” (the mundane tasks you must do before you leave).

How to watch: All five seasons are available on Hulu, and new episodes are airing on Bravo now.