For the past couple of decades, we've been living in the "Peak TV Age". You could trace the origins back to Twin Peaks in the early 90's, but that show's monumental influence didn't really take off until The Sopranos hit the small screen in 1999.

Since then, we've been spoiled by shows with cinematic production values and big names. Shows like True Detective, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Yellowstone, and even The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel often feel more like seasons-long movies than traditional TV shows.

However, TV is still mostly a boob tube, and there's a heap of trash over all that gold that Texans are just as guilty of indulging in as everyone else. After all, TV time is usually a much-needed break from reality, and we all know reality TV can be just as fake as scripted TV.

The folks at TakeSpruce.com did some digging in Google Analytics to determine which trash shows for self-care are most popular and where.

Texas' favorite guilty pleasure seems to be Catfish: The TV Show, a program I've heard of but never seen. The MTV show is all about online dating - particularly, relationships in which one of the people has presented an entirely fake version of themselves to get someone to pay attention to and fall in love with them (catfishing).

The show's hosts try to bring the "catfish" and the "hopeful" together so the "catfish" can explain themselves and see if the "hopeful" is still interested in the relationship.

Texans aren't the only ones riveted by Catfish. TakeSpruce.com's data dive found that people in Washington D.C., Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia are also glued to the tube when it's on.

Catfish was the most popular trash show in the entire South, followed by Love and Hip Hop, Before the 90 Days, Big Brother, Floribama Shore, Love is Blind, Siesta Key, and The Circle.

I'm sure I've heard of at least two of those shows.

When it came to overall popularity across the U.S. Catfish tied with Tiger King. Honestly, I was surprised Tiger King didn't dominate everywhere. Aside from COVID-19, it seemed to be all anyone was talking about back in spring, and I still see it meme'd on a daily basis.

The Bachelor, Dance Moms, and Keeping up with the Kardashians rounded out the Top 5.

Spruce went a little further to see which version of Real Housewives is most popular in each state. Surprise, surprise - The Real Housewives of Dallas was tops in Texas.

Personally, I've never seen the appeal of these shows. I stream programs to de-stress and get away from real life drama. I'm convinced 99% of reality TV show drama is faked for the cameras, but it still comes across as real people arguing over dumb stuff that ultimately doesn't matter. It frazzles my nerves.

UPDATE: It turns out I do watch something that would be considered trash TV! I was talking about this article with someone and I mentioned that I watch Hell's Kitchen. It's an hour of boorish people having petty arguments while Chef Ramsey yells expletives at them, and it helps me turn off my brain for a little while. Ha! It seems no one is immune.

But hey, everyone is different and I can see the appeal of turning your brain off for a couple of hours and watching a train wreck. Maybe it's cathartic for you, and that's perfectly fine. Whatever helps, I want that for you.

Do you tune into Catfish or Real Housewives of Dallas? Do you watch trash TV shows at all? If so, which is your favorite guilty pleasure? Let us know in the comments.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app