But then we saw Mark Wright's Hollywood Nights. The book on bad TV has been rewritten. It is a show so bad, we could easily believe its sole purpose was to make TOWIE's BAFTA win two years ago look like faint praise.
You could spend quite a long while attempting to describe Wright's new show. Reality TV? Scripted reality? Constructed reality? We've decided to coin a new term for this vapid, shocker of a show. Vomity TV: Reality TV that will leave you reaching for the sick bucket.
Comic Adam Buxton recently joked to Digital Spy that during his days at Channel 4 with Joe Cornish, they used to regularly pitch the idea of Adam & Joe's Amazing Time as a TV format. It would involve the pair travelling first class around the world and having the best holiday ever. Not surprisingly, C4 didn't bite and fork out the cash.
For some reason when Mark Wright told ITV2 that he wanted a show where he got to swan around LA with his best mates, hanging out with volleyball-playing girls in bikinis and living in a mansion, somebody somewhere thought, 'That sounds like a great use of our cash. We're in!'
The concept is simple. Mark Wright and his pals (Five jacket potatoes with six pacs drawn on and an excess of Brylcreem) bumble around LA, spouting off Essex cliches, perving over women and dealing in pranks.
One of the lads gets their bumhole waxed. The one who wears rubbish clothes, buys some more clothes. The fat one goes to a supermarket. Thrilling.
In episode one, Mark spooked his pals into thinking there had been a shooting in the motel room next to them. Or at least, that's what they want us to think. It's not clear who's in on the joke and who isn't. The real joke appears to be on us viewers for buying this load of baloney. The blurred lines between what's constructed, what's real and what's acted is never fully apparent. Do we care? Not really.
Watch a clip of Mark Wright's Hollywood Nights below:
Of course, we've seen this all before in Made In Chelsea, Scousewives and most famously TOWIE. But Hollywood Nights takes the liberties that those shows had with viewers and rubs them in our faces.
Awful reality TV can be funny. Louis Walsh comparing someone to a "little Lenny Henry". Bruce Forsyth chasing the members of McFly off the Strictly dancefloor. Denise Welch getting blind drunk in Big Brother. But all these moments are funny because they're not planned, they're not trying to be clever and they're not patronising.
Hollywood Nights thinks we find Mark Wright's jokes as funny as his lackey mates do. It thinks we're as stupid as the air-headed muscle-obsessed numpties he calls mates as well.
There is nothing funny about seeing a mahogany-skinned wally sniggering about a girl's bum. The bone-headed bore's mates have no warmth, no brains and no talent. It's like being locked in an Essex Wetherspoons with six half-men, half-apes, with no entertainment other than their lack of wit.
In short: Mark Wright's Hollywood Nights - we watched it, so you don't have to.
What have you made of Mark Wright's Hollywood Nights? A new reality TV low or so awful it's brilliant? Share your verdict below!