BRINGING YOU THE BEST IN ROMANCE FICTION
I know a lot of people feel like reality shows are shallow and usually I agree. I tend to watch the ones where people are making things. If they are doing something productive like Project Runway or Skin Wars, I love to watch and think about how I would design the same thing. The type I don’t generally like are the ones where they just sit in the house and do nothing productive. I also hate it when all they do is go out to clubs and get drunk and in fights and such.
The exception is the Japanese reality show Terrace House, from Netflix. This show is similar to what most consider the first reality show, The Real World, produced by MTV beginning in 1992. Six people are picked to live in a house and have their lives taped. They are given a nice house in Tokyo and a car to share. Originally the Netflix show was called Boys and Girls in the City and was based on a similar Japanese television series that ran for eight seasons beginning in 2012.
The biggest difference in Terrace House versus The Real World and other shows like it, is that the residents of Terrace House still continue to live their lives while living in the house. They keep their jobs, or if they have come to Tokyo to live, they gain employment then. The other differences is that they don’t seem keen on going out and getting into scuffles at bars or looking for one night stands. Are they interested in hooking up? Sure, but it seems to come from a different, low key place. If they like one another, they try to go out on dates and talk. It is assumed that people will try to find love when they come to Terrace House, but the residents also seem realistic in that they may not find someone they like, and that is okay too. Another difference is that residents come and go as they may, so one episode two might decide to leave and the next there will be two new roommates to get used to. Depending on if the residents are shy or out going, these transitions can be easy or difficult.
Probably the best part of Terrace House is the commentary before, after, and during each episode. Six people sitting in a living room watch the show and then comment on what has happened or the lack of action by the people in the house. I especially enjoy the comments of Yoshimi Tokui and Ryota Yamasato, two Japanese comedians. They make the show much more interesting than the melodrama at the house usually plays out.
What might not be your cup of tea? It’s subtitled, so it requires complete concentration to enjoy. Terrace House is also a reality show, so it plays out like a soap opera, but a very slow soap opera. Once you get involved in these young Japanese kids’ lives, you will become interested in what happens next, but it is in no way action-packed.
Season 2 of Terrace House has just come live on Netflix, and I am mid-season, loving every minute of it. If you like real life relationship drama and can stand sub-titles, give it a shot.