6 Reality TV Gems (Really)

Everyone loves to hate the genre, but these shows are just plain likable

ROLLERGIRLS A&E, MONDAYS, 10 P.M. E.T.

LIKE REALITY TV, ROLLER DERBY mixes contrived personae with real conflict, theatrics with real spills. The women of the Austin, Texas, Lonestar Rollergirls league are equal parts athletes and punk-feminist performance artists (with drag-queeny noms de skate like Venis Envy and Miss Conduct); they wear Catholic-schoolgirl skirts and fishnets and deal out bruising blows. "You can be completely feminine and athletic, threatening and sexy," says a skater of the sport's appeal. Gorgeously shot and structured like a drama, each episode delves into the lives of skaters, some fighting off demons, others blowing off steam. As...

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