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When it comes to reality TV, Netflix has a lot going for it. And I mean a lot. Dig deep enough, and you’ll come across some crazy-sounding offerings, including a show where contestants try to make gourmet meals from leftovers (Best Leftovers Ever!) and a series that’s all about “animal influencers” (Pet Stars). Those could be good. Frankly, I didn’t spend any time with them. What I do know is that the streamer offers some must-have options, which should be included in your TV viewing routine.
Here are five of the best original reality TV shows on Netflix.
Boredom often sends me to the grocery store to buy cake mix and a jar of frosting. The result of my elbow grease is a lifeless, overwhelming heap, but that doesn’t numb the experience. I mean, I’ve still made something, and it actually tastes pretty good. Nailed It gets the pleasure of amateur baking and blasts it out in an easy to devour half hour. Three non-bakers compete to recreate professional cake pops, ice cream cookies and breathtaking multi-level cakes. Some hopefuls reveal truly disastrous-looking baked goods, but the show still applauds them for their efforts. The focus is on having fun, not actually replicating an impossible-looking treat. Charismatic judges Nicole Byer and Jacques Torres offer hilarious (but ultimately beautiful) ratings of the finished treats, making it easy to crack a smile.
The Circle (2020-)
Social media can feel like a game. So why not make one literally? In The Circle, a group of social media savvy contestants tries to be crowned the “top rated” player at the end of the series. Contestants bring in energetic personalities and their own game-winning strategy – they choose to play as themselves or as ‘catfish’ as someone completely different (or something in between those two extremes). They are locked in individual rooms and have to send messages to their fellow participants through a screen. All players periodically “judging” each other, and the highest-ranking pair gets to choose who to knock out of the competition. It’s a creative concept and the show throws in a lot of twists and turns to spice things up. Do you think it would be easy to spot those who completely fake a personality online? Well, you’d be surprised.
Blown Away (2019-)
Blown Away didn’t start on Netflix. It was first broadcast on a Canadian channel called Makeful. But it’s now on the streamer, inviting you to gain an appreciation for a completely fascinating art form. Talented glassblowers take on challenges and follow a theme, whether it’s creating a household item, an original cartoon character or a piece about climate change. Less successful cast members are eliminated until a winner emerges. It’s a well-known reality competition formula, but the elaborate art taken from concept to creation is worth staying ahead of. Those who only recognize glass sculptures as finished products sitting in a gallery will be interested in the chance to look behind the scenes. Prepare to be enchanted, and maybe even inspired to get up and do something with your hands.
Dating around (2019-)
I’ve said it before, and I’ll happily say it again: Dating Around is a must-see for reality show fans. This entry in the Netflix catalog has a no-nonsense premise, which is saying something considering the wild company on the streaming platform (Too Hot to Handle, Sexy Beasts, Love Is Blind). Make no mistake, there’s still a lot to get you invested in what’s happening on screen. Singles in New York and New Orleans share an evening of drinks, dinner and conversation, leading to both excruciatingly awkward encounters and a dizzying chemistry. The scaled-back feel of the show lets the featured cast members shine. Capturing the atmosphere of nighttime city spots makes everything look amazing. If I have to keep praising this show, I will. I’m desperate for season 3.
Rhythm and Flow (2019-)
Cardi B, Chance the Rapper and Tip “TI” Harris judge this reality competition in which young hopefuls compete to become the next hip-hop superstar. We should start by mentioning those three — a big part of the show’s appeal is the time we spend with them. The format of the series resembles options such as American Idol. There are live auditions in different cities, only a few advance to compete again, etc. But the total number of episodes is reduced by about half. Unsigned rappers are judged on both their vocal ability and their stage presence as they get up and perform. Some of them are great, but the show really draws its strength from its big name judges (and guest judges – the awesome Snoop Dogg weighs in on the first episode). We know these numbers, and we hang on to every word they say. If Cardi B shares that she’s looking for “one of us,” it means something and it helps us to fully invest in the ride.
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This post The best reality TV shows on Netflix
was original published at “https://www.cnet.com/culture/entertainment/best-reality-tv-shows-on-netflix/#ftag=CAD590a51e”