6 Reality TV Gems (Really)

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


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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