The 25 Best Reality TV Stars of 2012

15. The entire cast of Swamp People (History)

Good reality TV is generally reliant upon a few key things: Outrageous cast member personalities, perpetually flowing booze, and sharp nails. Take any of those tried and true factors out of the equation, and the show will flop. It’s simple, really.

Except in the case of Swamp People. The show’s concept of following a group of Louisiana residents who make a living hunting alligators doesn’t seem like it’d be a great fodder for reality-driven entertainment, especially with shows like The Real Housewives of New Jersey putting out episodes with table flipping and Jersey Shore being, well, Jersey Shore. But, somehow, Swamp People works.

There’s a certain realness to the series and its cast members that's refreshing and endearing in a sea of reality shows that, though entertaining, seem very obviously orchestrated by producers. These people live simply and haven’t let fame get to their heads. They enjoy their lives and their jobs, and that’s it. There’s no cattiness, there’s no drunken fights with people complaining about all the “drama,” and the only real action we see most of the time has to do with alligator hunting.

To every rule there’s an exception, and when it comes to reality television, Swamp People is definitely it.

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