Netflix has established itself as a home for, among other things, great original reality TV shows. This has been an especially good year for the streaming service when it comes to debuting new reality offerings.
With a diverse selection of new series ranging from competitions to slice-of-life stories, the reality TV on Netflix has never been better. Whether its spin-offs such as Love is Blind Japan or off-the-wall baking shows like Is It Cake?Netflix has cornered the reality market in 2022.
10 Pirate Gold Of Adak Island – 4.6
In the late 19th century, a pirate buried untold riches on Adak Island. Now, in the modern day, a group of treasure hunters brave the dangers of the island to find the loot. As over-the-top as this premise sounds, Pirate Gold of Adak Island is nevertheless a reality show and not a fictional adventure.
Treasure-hunting shows are nothing new, but Adak Island added another layer of danger to their heroes’ journey for gold. The island was besieged with bombs during World War II, and the live munitions pose an actual danger to the cast and crew of the show. Like many of its contemporaries, the crux of the show is that the hunters continuously search for their gold, and it could be stretched into multiple seasons.
9 Snowflake Mountain – 5.4
Boomer Comedy Abounds In Snowflake Mountain, though there is a fair amount ofschadenfreude to keep a general audience entertained as well. A group of clueless young adults are sent on a wilderness retreat where they must learn to live without the modern conveniences that they are addicted to. Despite its somewhat cringe-worthy premise, the show actually offers deep insight into its contestants and why they are the way they are. However, most viewers watched for the dramatic outbursts from the so-called snowflakes, and the show is nothing if not humorous at someone else’s expense.
8 The Ultimatum: Marry Or Move On – 5.4
As its title suggests, the Ultimatum puts a time limit on love, and took traditional reality show concepts to an exaggerated level. Couples test their boundaries by staying with potential suitors where they are given the chance to explore their options or get married to their original partner. The ultimatum concept has been done before in reality TV, but the show bearing the name added dramatic flair by introducing the idea of temptation. Though it may not necessarily be a fair, or realistic description of a healthy relationship, it certainly kept fans on the hook with its dramatic storylines.
7 Is It Cake? – 5.7
Quickly taking its place among the best baking shows of all time, Is It Cake? brought an internet trend to life in an exciting and mouthwatering series. Bakers put their skills to the test as they attempt to construct cakes that look exactly like common items in hopes of fooling the judges. Baking shows have always been about highly skilled bakers, but Is It Cake? elevated the skill level tremendously. While some may not have fooled anyone, many of the show’s signature creations fooled everyone into believing that a cake was an inedible object.
6 Life After Death With Tyler Henry – 5.9
Because of its questionable spiritual setup, Life After Death with Tyler Henry was never going to win over the entire audience. Despite that, Tyler Henry’s overwhelmingly positive personality was enough to get some viewers to keep watching. Tyler Henry is a medium to the stars, but on his show, he hits the road to give normal people the closure he normally offers to Hollywood’s elite.
Putting aside Henry’s supposed abilities for a moment, the show is filled with touching stories of real people who are going through tough times. Seeing his clients receive a small amount of closure from his service is often a moving experience, and the show shines outside of its supernatural basis.
5 Heavenly Bites: Mexico – 6.3
Netflix offers a ton of great non-cake based food shows, and Heavenly Bites: Mexico is a show to get a foodie’s heart beating faster. The series explores the vibrant, and sometimes over-the-top food culture of Mexico. From savory to sweet, the series covers every type of amazing cuisine that is available in the country, with an eye towards ingenuity. Beautiful in its visuals, and enticing in its depictions of the food, the show explores the culture of the country through the culinary experiments that play out in restaurants and kitchens everywhere.
4 How To Build A Sex Room – 6.5
Combining elements of interior design and sex-positivity together, How to Build a Sex Room is so much more than its evocative title. Couples in need of a shakeup in their relationship call on noted interior designer Melanie Rose to help design a room where their fantasies can become reality. Reality TV doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to body and sex-positivity, and How to Build a Sex Room certainly rectifies that issue. Rose is a charming host, and the show approaches its topic with class instead of just simply being a raunchy cash grab. Unlike many of its more cynical contemporary How to Build a Sex Room genuinely seems to care about its subject matter.
3 Love Is Blind: Japan – 7.1
The original Love is Blind is known for its fan-favorite cast members, and dramatic reveals, and Love is Blind: Japan hoped to recapture that success. Single people that hope to get married meet others and eventually get engaged despite never actually laying eyes on them. Taking the aesthetic component out of dating was a unique twist to the format, and fans seemed to gravitate to the show. For the Japanese iteration, very little was changed about the format, and instead fans got to see the typical dating customs of Japan filtered through the series’ strict rules. Similar to its Western counterpart, Love is Blind: Japan was just as visually stunning and fascinating to watch.
2 Queer Eye: Germany – 7.2
The original Queer Eye has been a revelation for many viewers, and Queer Eye: Germany brought a European flair to the show’s concept. Five consultants help an individual pursue a better life through fashion, diet, and lifestyle changes that allows them to be their best selves.
Uplifting and positive, Queer Eye: Germany is all about holding people up instead of putting them down. While most reality TV is cynical and harsh, Queer Eye is a bright point of hopefulness for its contestants. Though the hosts are all different, the German version of the show has the same energy as its predecessor, and it is interesting for an American audience to note the cultural differences between the two shows.
1 Love On The Spectrum US – 8.2
While most reality TV shows start in the States and are imported around the globe, Love on the Spectrum started abroad, and made its way to the States. The series follows a group of people on the autism spectrum as they attempt to navigate the challenging world of dating. Quaint and character driven, the show eschews the usual dramatics of reality TV in favor of a down-to-earth portrait of its subjects. The trials and tribulations of romance make for fascinating TV no matter who the subject is, but the personalities on the show only help to add to its charm.
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