While other people may enjoy watching The Bachelor or Keeping Up With The Kardashians, I much prefer shows where I actually like the people I’m watching. Sounds bizarre?
Well, it is – at least in the American reality TV world.
The Japanese reality show, Terrace House, first aired in 2012 and has now become a popular franchise that’s spawned two spin-offs and a movie. The show’s premise is simple: six strangers live together in a beautiful house and get to know one another.
The amount of time they spend in the house is completely dependent on them, so they can leave whenever they want. Some cast members don’t even stay for the whole season.
The show’s “no script” concept makes it more realistic, and honestly, even a bit boring at times but that’s the entire appeal of Terrace House.
These people don’t go out clubbing every night or spend hundreds of dollars on bottle service, they don’t ride around in limos or Lamborghinis and they don’t have sex at all hours of the day.
The ages of the cast members range from 18 to early 30s, but one thing is kept constant: there are always three girls and three guys. This isn’t necessarily to make relationships happen, although it can, it simply makes for interesting interactions among the entire cast.
While the show is being filmed, the cast lead their lives as usual, going to school, work or taking naps. The only difference from their daily routine is that they’re being recorded.
This results in a lot of scenes eating dinner together, lounging in the living room or laying in bed.
The best part of the show is how well everyone handles conflict. Honestly, Americans could learn a thing or two from them. When there’s a problem, everyone sits down and talks about it – either as a group or one on one.
And, from the way they speak, it’s clear that the issues they bring forward have been discussed off-camera as well, showing these people actually do talk to one another. Things can get heated on occasion, but there are never physical altercations.
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? No cat fights or drunken brawls.
One of the best parts of the show may in fact be the commentators. Instead of using the standard reality TV “confessional” – that thing where someone talks directly to the camera to explain what they’re thinking – the show has a collection of comedians who summarize and discuss the events of the episode.
This doesn’t happen often, usually only at the beginning and the middle of the episode, but it provides a lot of humor. They’ve been working together for years, so they have a friendly rapport with one another, resulting in a lot of comedy.
Sure, the show is in Japanese and you’ll have to read subtitles most of the time, but plenty of other reality TV shows have been popular with language barriers – remember the Jersey Shore? They barely spoke English.
All I can say is that you should give Terrace House a shot and watch an episode or two. You might not be able to watch other reality shows again.