Guest Post: Alternate Reality: 5 Reality TV Shows That Fooled Us

The Pick-Up Artist

Speaking of convenient love stories, The Pick-Up Artist pulled at the heart strings of every awkward 20-something afraid to approach that girl at the bar. Mad-hatted romance expert Mystery (yes, that's what he really calls himself) taught a group of guys with poor self-esteem the tricks of the trade and the confidence to approach and talk to women in public. It made for a completely cheesy and fantastic show, except for the fact that it turned out the winner of the series was an actor and the runner-up was a model.

Crossing Over With John Edward

It's one thing to fool the viewers with a false reality TV show, it's another to trick your own audience. In his prime, John Edward was a psychic phenomena with his ability to communicate with the deceased friends and family members of his audience. But what once appeared to be a Supernatural gift just turned out to be what's called cold reading, the practice of barking out generalizations in the hope that someone believes it applies to them. Oh, and in classic South Park fashion, they dedicated an episode to him as well. Poor John Edward.

The Jerry Springer Show

It seems so obvious now, but back in its peak, we all bought into the trashy violence The Jerry Springer Show had to offer. But the Chicago police weren't so convinced. They forced the show to either come out and admit the fights were staged or to beef up security to keep guests from throwing punches. Jerry Springer, in all his integrity, kept the shows authenticity and put a limit on the knuckle sandwiches.