Top 12 Reality Shows on Netflix to Watch Right Now
As temperatures begin to climb, so too does our collective desire for reality TV—easy-to-watch shows that span various topics, from romance to cooking to fashion. Netflix has released a tremendous amount of reality series of late, so we’ve waded through and picked the 12 most entertaining for you.
A few dozen strangers are placed into pods, where they can interact 24/7 with potential matches and fall in love without ever seeing each other, all with the goal of getting engaged. Then these newly engaged couples meet face to face for the first time and are released into the real world to see if their relationship can survive. Like “Married at First Sight” on steroids.
Ten attractive serial daters are transported to a lush island paradise and given the chance to win $100,000 by forming a genuine connection with another contestant. The catch is that they can’t engage in physical contact of any kind—not even kissing—or the prize money decreases. The point is to teach the contestants to form emotional connections above all else, but not all of them learn this lesson. Fans of shows like “The Bachelor,” and “Survivor” will enjoy this hybrid dating and competition series. Parental Discretion Advised
For viewers looking for a slightly different speed and who don’t mind reading subtitles, this Japanese series is a welcome break from the constant theatrics of American and British dating shows. Six strangers live in a house in Tokyo, trying to figure out if any of their housemates might be a good match. Come for the gorgeous Tokyo views and small-stakes conflict, stay for the witty commentary from the presenters who are watching along with you.
The very funny duo of comedian Nicole Byer and pastry chef Jacques Torres host this competition series where amateur bakers attempt to create master bakes and, inevitably, fail miserably. Some people come closer than you might think, but all take their failures in stride, with plenty of humor sprinkled throughout. The combination of Byer’s hilarious quips and Torres’ earnest attempts to both be helpful and not completely wreck the contestant’s confidence may well help you in the kitchen as well.
The opposite of “Nailed It,” this series features 12 teams of two chefs at the top of their game. Each team makes the episode’s chosen dishes from a specific country, with a chef from that country judging each team’s final efforts. As fans of Food Network programs such as “Chopped” and “Iron Chef” will tell you, just don’t watch on an empty stomach.
GBBO combines the earnestness of “Nailed It'”s amateur bakers with the competence of The Final Table’s chefs. A dozen British home bakers compete over the course of a season for the title of best amateur baker in the UK. The bakers always support and encourage each other, and hosts Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig use their humor to balance constructive criticism from judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith. (NOTE: The GBBO is titled “The Great British Baking Show” in the US. It all has to do with Pillsbury…)
HGTV lovers, you’re in for a treat with this show. Ten interior designers compete for a contract to design a London hotel’s bar. Like GBBO, these contestants are amateurs looking to turn their passion into a career. This show delivers visual pleasures as contestants transform spaces from drab to fab and provides inspiration around ways you can transform your own space.
The Aussies know how to cater to travelers, and these four teams (two designers each) are no exception. They travel the continent, renovating gorgeous houses into even more gorgeous hotels and having the results judged by design superstar Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. This show is part renovation, part travel dream.
Alexa Chung and Queer Eye’s Tan France are looking for fashion’s Next Big Thing, and the 18 contestants in this competition are looking to serve that up and make a name for themselves by creating stop-in-your-tracks red carpet looks and fierce runway shows. The designers also hail from several different countries, bringing a variety of cultures and styles to the forefront. France in particular is on his A game here, putting all his years of fashion expertise to cutting use.
Makeup artistry is exploding as a profession, so it’s only natural that it would spur the creation of a new reality subgenre. Ten talented amateurs compete over eight episodes for a contract assisting top professional artists, showing the transformative power of makeup and its value as an art form. Anyone who delighted in Syfy’s “Face Off” will enjoy this one.
Imagine taking “Big Brother” and moving it entirely online. That’s “The Circle,” which moves players into an apartment building and forbids them from leaving their apartments. Their only contact with the other players is through the show’s social media app, meaning they can construct whatever identity they want to in order to get the other players to like them and rate them highly enough to become “Influencers” who can then block other players and eliminate them.
If you’ve been thinking shows like “American Idol” and “The Voice” don’t quite give rappers a fair shot, this show’s got you covered. Chance the Rapper, Cardi B, and T.I. begin the search for the next great rap superstar. As with all music competition series, the volume of talent is almost overwhelming, but for this series in particular, the stories of many contestants will have you rooting for just about everyone.
If reality TV is your genre of choice, there is no shortage of content on Netflix to entertain you, allowing you to live vicariously through designers, chefs, and dating show stars, all from the comfort of home. Parental Discretion Advised
Program availability may have changed and is subject to change.