Banged Up Abroad
Banged Up Abroad is also known as Locked Up Abroad and Jailed Abroad. The program debuted in 2006 on British Channel 5 and was eventually picked up by the National Geographic Channel. The storyline for each episode remains the same- a naïve, hapless and broke individual agrees to smuggle drugs for a nefarious character. Eventually, they are caught (some sooner rather than later) and spend time incarcerated in what has commonly been referred to as "hell on earth", otherwise known as a third world prison. Jails in Mexico, The Philippines and Columbia, South America are just some of the countries previously featured on the program.
Rarely do the stories have happy endings- most return to their home country as a shadow of their former selves. Some have told their story from the correctional facility. One former inmate contracted HIV during their incarceration. Sometimes, the show highlights people who have been kidnapped while abroad. Normally, the death of a friend or a colleague occurs just before the rescue or escape. As of July 2011, the show started its 8th season and shows no signs of slowing. Between incarcerations and kidnappings, Banged Up Abroad is definitely one of the reality shows not to be featured on.
In May 2011, Cops became the longest running program on the Fox network after the cancellation of America's Most Wanted. For 23 seasons, viewers have watched those who are "innocent until proven guilty in a court of law", attempt to run from the law. The reggae group Inner Circle made "Bad Boys" probably considered one of the most memorable opening theme songs in the world. Who can forget special episodes like Mardi Gras and Sin City? Even international criminals in Hong Kong and the former Soviet Union have been featured on the program.
It does not take a genius to understand why Cops is listed among the reality shows not to be featured on. Unless you work for the featured police precinct, your reputation will be negatively impacted. Unlike Camden County in My Name Is Earl, your peers will (should?) have questions after watching you hide under kiddie pools and leap fences with a camera man in tow. Expect employers to be hesitant about hiring a person featured in The Best of Cops to represent their business. Many people make fun of Cops, and just as many have watched the show at one point or another. Unless you plan on becoming a career criminal, stay away from this one.
Joey Greco has the hardest working guardian angel known to man. He helps people confront their significant others after they have been cheated on. Mr. Greco came back even after being stabbed by a particularly aggrieved party. The show has battled past claims of staging fights, but creator Bobby Goldstein states no confrontations have ever been scripted. Being cheated on is bad enough, putting the story on display for the whole world is just sad. Cheaters not only makes the cheating parties look bad, it makes the betrayed party look stupid. Handle your business in public, otherwise you become a mark for the next jerk AND risk having your most embarrassing moments immortalized on YouTube. Not cool.
On a serious note, the concept of I Survived is great. The series debuted in 2008 on the Biography Channel. People discuss how they lived through extraordinary circumstances. Past episodes have featured bear attacks, being kidnapped with two young children and being locked in a car trunk and set on fire. The show helps people understand how strong the will to live can truly be. What makes the show great is also why you should never want to be featured. Its great to have survived a bear attack....but would you want to have the experience in the first place? Exactly. This makes I Survived one of the reality shows not to be featured on.