The best reality TV shows to watch after Love Island 2018

All good things must come to an end - so here’s what to look out for after the series finale

The 2018 Love Island contestants
(Image credit: ITV2)

For the third summer in a row, viewers have been glued to the shenanigans playing out on Love Island.

But all good things must come to an end and last night Dani Dyer and Jack Fincham - who remained “coupled up” since the first episode - were crowned the winners of Love Island 2018.

“It's been an amazing experience, I feel so lucky and grateful; it's honestly been amazing,” Dani told presenter Caroline Flack.

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“Everything's been a highlight for me... the ups and downs, you take the good with the bad in here.”

The happy couple were undoubtedly popular winners. “We have been appalled, transfixed, disgusted and delighted in equal measure by some truly low-rent television,” writes The Independent’s Tom Peck.

“But at its irreducible source has been the sight and sound of two first class human beings discovering in real time, beneath the glare of the public spotlight, that they are, probably, soulmates - and there is no higher art form out there that gives you anything quite like that.”

So where should fans go next to get their reality TV fix?

Terrace House

The Japanese show has been something of an international sleeper hit, yet it’s hard to pin down what makes it so watchable. The premise is that three boys and three girls move into an impeccably stylish house, but “relationships move at a snail’s pace, everyone is polite and there are no showboats having tantrums”, says The Guardian.

On the Adam Buxton podcast, the comedian Mae Martin recently explained how she had become enthralled by the show, describing it as “incredibly dull, but so comforting”.

For “those who hold the basic tenets of reality TV dear – that the truth is more compelling than fiction, and the interaction between people is a limitless source of entertainment and fascination, regardless of their status – Terrace House is a profound joy”, concludes The Guardian.

Terrace House is available on Netflix

Queer Eye

The reality TV show that even those who hate reality TV are destined to love, Queer Eye is the warmer, lovelier and huggier remake of the 90s series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

The new fab five - food and wine specialist Antoni Porowski, interior designer Bobby Berk, grooming consultant Jonathan Van Ness, fashion designer Tan France and culture expert Karamo Brown - provide lifestyle makeovers for people from all walks of life, with uplifting results.

At its heart it is essentially “a series about men trying to fix masculinity”, says Vulture. Queer Eye “offers style, utility, and the alluring promise that all sorts of messes — especially of the male variety — can be contained”, the website adds.

Queer Eye is available on Netflix

First Dates

Like Love Island’s “stuffier older sibling who likes to moan about the inherent moral horror of Tinder and often talks about dating the old-fashioned way”, says The Daily Telegraph, First Dates is Channel 4’s “delightfully sweet flagship romance series”.

The series has been such a success it’s now a fixture of the TV guides: its tenth series in five years finished just a few weeks ago.

Along with the spin-off First Dates Hotel, “it has also spawned versions in more than a dozen countries, trading under such don’t-mess-with-success titles as Primo appuntamento and Första dejten”, says The Guardian’s Stuart Heritage.

It also replicates Love Island’s anthropological appeal, “with viewers very unlikely not to wish to hit the pause button and babble about romantic chemistry and internal motivation while watching”, says the Telegraph.

First Dates is available on All 4

Ex on the Beach

If Love Island was stripped of all semblance of romance, this is what you’d be left with. The show features eight single men and women enjoying a summer holiday in paradise while apparently on the lookout for love. To spice things up, they are joined by their exes. Each ex is there either for revenge or to rekindle lost love.

Now in its ninth series, the MTV show has featured some stunning scenery, including beaches in Greece, Indonesia and Thailand, as well as familiar faces from Love Island, Geordie Shore and The Only Way Is Essex.

“Trash TV at its…Eh, finest”, is how Irish magazine The Daily Edge describes it.

Ex on the beach is available on MTV and Now TV on demand

Ru Paul’s Drag Race

An international sensation, this Emmy award-winning show, now in its 11th series, involves a cast of 14 talented drag queens competing for the coveted title of America's Next Drag Superstar and a cash prize of $100,000.

Despite the dazzling array of talent on show, the undoubted star is RuPaul himself, who plays the role of host, mentor and judge, as contestants are given different challenges each week.

RuPaul’s catchphrases have found themselves plastered across the internet and, as with Love Island, the contestants’ actions are poured over by the show’s fans within moments of being shown.

RuPaul's Drag Race is available on Netflix

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