After originally prioritizing film and more complex and high-impact shows, Netflix has now reached a significant success and gained respect and admiration in the industry, thanks to the 225 Emmy nominations and numerous important collaborations with some of the most influential Hollywood producers and filmmakers.
Despite its initial aversion to reality shows - that Ted Sarandos, chief content officer, dismissed as “disposable” back in 2015 - Netflix is getting more and more comfortable with the production and distribution of this popular genre.
This choice seems to be paying off, especially during the current world crisis, where audiences have been begging for easier shows to watch and found them on Netflix, leading the streaming platform to add 15.8 million subscribers, during its first quarter.
In a historical time where the majority of the world population is stuck at home with not much more to do than binge watching TV series, making bread, and learning a new TikTok dance, reality shows offer the kind of entertainment that people need right now to escape the craziness of the world, that someone ironically compared to an episode of Black Mirror.
So, if you already nailed the "Savage" dance and baked enough sourdough for your entire neighborhood, let me help you out with this list of the top five reality shows you DON’T wanna miss.
1. Love is Blind
If you haven’t watched Love is Blind yet, you must have at least wondered who Jessica is and why everyone seems to hate her so much… Because we’ve been fed nothing but these memes for weeks:
This social experiment is divided in three phases: during the first part, thirty men and women were able to talk to each other from different “pods” in a speed dating context, but never got to see each other, not until eventually a few couples got engaged and finally got to see their fiancé.
The engaged couples moved on to the honeymoon phase, where they got to spend their first days together in a paradise resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
The third phase saw the couples moving to the same apartment complex, meet their fiancé’s friends and family, and start getting back to reality.
On the day of the wedding, the couples had to make the final decision: Who will get married? And who will split up? Is love really blind?
With a total of 1.5 million viewers for the first five episodes and 1.9 million of views of the reunion episode on YouTube, Love is Blind is one of the most successful reality TV shows on Netflix, and one of the biggest trends on social media over the past few months.
As reported by The Journal, the show received 56,000 mentions and 350,000 engagements on social media during the first week of airing alone.
2. Too Hot to Handle
Too Hot to Handle debuted on April 17th in the middle of a world pandemic, which might or might not have been the only reason of its success.
A group of fourteen single men and women from Australia, UK, Canada and USA, were taken to a resort with the premise to teach them how to create stronger, deeper, genuine connections.
With an incentive prize of $100,000, these young people were forbidden from engaging in any sexual act for the duration of the entire retreat. Every rule break would cost them a loss of $3,000-$10,000.
Ranking #1 on Netflix during the week of April 20th😎 and trending on Twitter, the reality owes a massive part of its success to the social media response. Too Hot to Handle was exactly what we needed in the era of social distancing, when the principle of the show can definitely resonate with the audience. According to a recent NBC Poll, 47% of responders said that the pandemic had a negative effect on their sexual lives; so what’s better than seeing their circumstances reflected back to a group of beautiful, young people who need to learn how to create a genuine romantic connection, without indulging in sexual activities?
Here are some of the best tweets that contributed to the success of the show.
3. Selling Sunset
Taking a step away from dating reality TV we find Selling Sunset, a show about the elite real estate brokers working in Los Angeles, California.
The series follows the personal and professional life of a group of young, beautiful, glamorous, kick-ass women working at the Oppenheim Group on Sunset Strip, always competing to sell the best properties to the most exclusive L.A. clients.
Rich people, multi-million-dollar properties and the right amount of drama make the perfect mix for a successful reality show, so much that after releasing season two on May 22nd and keeping everyone’s butt glued to the couch, Selling Sunset is coming back with a brand new season on August 7th.
Once again, the biggest response to the show came from social media, with hilarious tweets and requests for new seasons from fans across the world. Well buckle up and get ready to see your wish come true!
4. The Circle USA
Imagine a world where everything happens online. You can decide who you wanna be, how you wanna look, who you wanna be friends with and maybe even who you wanna date solely based on a picture and a 3-sentences bio.
What’s that? Oh you think that’s exactly the world we live in? Well true, but now imagine a show where a group of people are isolated in their own apartments and only interact with each other through a social network. That’s the Circle, a reality show where the participants need to master their social media skills in order to be the most popular player and win $100,000🤑.
Some people will play an honest game and try to win for who they are, some other will build the perfect catfish and make sure to be exactly what everyone else expects them to be. Which strategy will work out better you ask? Well, turn on you TV and find out…
5. Dating Around
Before Love is Blind and Too Hot to Handle were on the scene, Dating Around offered the same cringeworthy moments by following six singletons on five blind dates each.
After a successful New York based first season, the show was renewed for a second season in New Orleans and made its debut on June 12th, right when watching two people going on a blind date in a crowded restaurant felt more like a sci-fi movie than a reality show.
And once again, just like last year when the first season was released, the Internet wouldn’t shut up about it.
Here's a quick list of must-watch shows that will satisfy any binge watcher that loves shows all about spilling the tea 🐸☕.