20 of the most relaxing reality TV shows to watch right now

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Reality TV is known for lots of drama. But does it always have to be this way? Here are 20 shows that demonstrate good TV and nice people go together

At the very beginning of reality television, there was next to no emphasis on relaxation. The beginning of the reality TV boom began with the likes of Survivor and Big Brother. In those shows, people were practically pitted against one another in emotional gladiatorial combat. Between the confession booths and free-flowing alcohol (not to mention scheming producers and hosts), it’s a wonder anyone came out with all of their limbs intact.

More recently, however, things have been changing. Viewers are becoming increasingly drawn to a kinder, gentler version of reality TV. Yes, we’re also increasingly aware that “reality” on television is a different concept than that in our own everyday lives — though at least a couple of shows on this list might prove that the everyday can still be good viewing.

Though big, dramatic, and highly engineered shows like The Bachelor remain popular, this growing trend towards the nice could be part of a larger sea change. In some of the most popular shows, the idea of angry tears and tossed objects (vases, roses, other people, or whatever else is at hand) is anathema. After all, you, gentle reader, wouldn’t dream of yelling nasty things to Bob Ross or Mary Berry, would you?

The rise of these shows is often linked to an increasing awareness of our world and all of the evil within it. There’s politics, of course, as well as the everyday cruelties that we might encounter in our own lives. While social media and internet access increases our ability to connect with the world and one another in a positive way, such a toolkit is really a collection of double-edged swords. It’s just as easy to stumble upon a truly heinous Twitter account as it is to find a life-affirming one.

So, if all of that has got you down, it’s okay to take a break. Sometimes, you just need a quiet evening vegging out in front of a screen to reset things. With that in mind, read on for some of the most relaxing reality television out there right now.