Life of Ryan, Meet the Barkers and More MTV Reality Shows You Almost Forgot About

After skateboarding made its debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, we couldn't help but wish Ryan Sheckler was competing—and that we had more of MTV’s Life of Ryan to watch.

By Mike Vulpo Jul 31, 2021 3:00 AMTags
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Sure, the music on MTV is missed, but what about the reality shows?

Although the cable network remains home to more than a few beloved series including Teen Mom, The Hills and Siesta Key, some pop culture fans can't help but remember programs they grow up on in the early 2000s.

This week, as skateboarding made its debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, we couldn't help but wish Ryan Sheckler was competing—and making headlines for nabbing gold. But as it turns out, since his MTV reality show Life of Ryan turned off its cameras in 2008, the professional skateboarder has kept a low profile, only recently stepping back in the spotlight to discuss how the series interfered in his relationships.

"That's already a very intimate piece of your life that you don't want people to know about or see," he said on In Depth With Graham Bensinger in May. "So, we break up once and then cameras are on, we break up again, cut. Now, the mood's really awkward. And then, you know, they come over to me and they're like, 'Hey, that wasn't enough. We need to do it again.'"

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The X Games gold medalist continued, "And so that's where the show became acting and it became like this thing where it was like, 'This is not what we signed up for and this is not what it started out as.'"

While the series ended after three seasons, both fans and Ryan still have many positive memories from the show. "It served its purpose," he explained. "I learned the lessons I was supposed to learn from doing it."

And the confessions got us thinking of a few other MTV reality shows we loved watching, but almost forgot about. Take a trip down memory lane in our gallery below.

Life of Ryan

Can't we all just skateboard in peace? In the MTV series, Ryan Sheckler tried to balance the demands of his growing celebrity and skateboard career under the management of his mother. Another plot twist came when his parents decided to divorce.

Newport Harbor

While Kristin Cavallari, Lauren Conrad and the cast of Laguna Beach will always hold a special place in MTV viewers' hearts, respect has to be given to the high school students featured in Newport Harbor. Cameras moved up the coast to the town of Newport Beach where Clay Adler, Chrissy Schwartz and other affluent kids shared their lives with America. 

The Ashlee Simpson Show

After the success of Newlyweds with Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, Ashlee Simpson decided to dive into reality TV and document her journey into the music industry with her debut album, Autobiography. On a Monday in 2004, we were waiting. Tuesday, we were fading. And by Wednesday, we just wanted a new episode. 

Pimp My Ride

For six seasons, a resourceful team of experts introduced viewers to the world of car customizing by transforming ugly vehicles into impressive new rides. Occasionally, if the participant's car was deemed unfixable, the crew gave the person a new car—tricked out, of course.

Meet the Barkers

Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and his then-wife, former Miss USA Shanna Moakler, decided to open up their over-the-top lives for MTV between 2005 and 2006. While the couple ultimately divorced, fans got to know a completely different side of a rock star and beauty queen. 

‘Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen and Dave

Before saying "I do," Baywatch alum Carmen Electra and rock star Dave Navarro gave viewers a glimpse into their wedding planning in the MTV series. From an epic bachelor and bachelorette party to a fairytale wedding, it was hard not to fall in love with these two. 

My Super Sweet 16

Hilary Duff's "Sweet Sixteen" became the theme song for this must-see reality show that included lavish gifts, surprise performances and must-see meltdowns. For these special birthdays, everyone was invited to the party thanks to MTV.

Paris Hilton’s My New BFF

After filming The Simple Life with Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton had some fun with MTV when she went on a search for her new BFF. International spin-offs followed proving more than a few viewers found the show "hot." 

Legally Blonde: The Musical—the Search for Elle Woods

After Legally Blonde became a fan-favorite thanks to Reese Witherspoon's unforgettable performance of Elle Woods, ten women from across the country decided to bend and snap and compete to become Elle in the Broadway production of Legally Blonde: The Musical.

Lindsay Lohan's Beach Club

In 2019, cameras rolled as the singer and actress returned to the spotlight and launched the Lohan Beach House in Mykonos, Greece. Despite plenty of cast drama and an iconic dance move, the show only lasted for one season. 

This story was originally published on Thursday, May 6, 2020 at 5:41 p.m. PT.