7 Feel-Good Reality Shows to Stream On Netflix
Is there anything that Netflix doesn't do? Short of live sport (and we reckon they probably have a plan in place for getting into that racket) the streaming platform really does have all of your viewing desires covered, with films and shows from all genres.
Want genre-bending sci-fi? Try The Umbrella Academy. Want side-splitting comedy? Add Schitt's Creek to your list. Feeling like losing yourself in a gripping documentary? Tiger King, baby. What about a fast-paced comedy-drama with impeccable fashion? The Politician, of course. Or, when you feel like something nostalgic and comforting, The Baby-Sitter's Club is the series for you.
Netflix is now also a treasure trove of reality TV and has quietly been amassing some of the best real-life (and "real" life) programming around these days. Whether it's dating, or cooking, or real estate, or game shows, Netflix has a mindlessly fun reality series for every different taste and mood. Here are just some of our favourites to add to your List.
Ever wanted to peek behind the stunningly staged, high-end, value-adding curtain of luxury LA real estate? Selling Sunset will give it to you. This reality series is designed to give you a fly-on-the-wall experience of what it's like to work in the world of California property. The realtors at The Oppenheim Group, the agency at the heart of Selling Sunset, are smart, savvy and no stranger to bringing the drama when bagging the next million dollar commission. Think Love It Or List It with all the blood, sweat and tears of The Hills or a Real Housewives. With three seasons currently on Netflix, it's perfect for a weekend binge watch.
On this game show, contestants try to make their way through a tricky obstacle course, all in service of winning a $10,000 prize. Here's the catch: the floor underneath said obstacle course, as the title suggests, is lava. This surprisingly addictive series does quite literally exactly what it says on the tin, providing a gimmicky incentive (the floor! is lava!) for teams as they compete against each other to make it to the finish line. (And just FYI, the floor isn't actual lava, it's just a lot of red and orange goop simulating the real stuff. You won't die a horrible death if you fall, but you will be eliminated from the show. Because the floor... is lava!
Comedian and podcaster extraordinaire Nicole Byer hosts this Emmy-nominated Netflix Original, with unskilled bakers competing to recreate professionally cake masterpieces as best they can—with hilariously terrible results. (The title is tongue in cheek, they never actually nail it.) Renowned (and delightfully French) pastry chef Jacque Torres co-hosts this series that is pure fun for all ages.
What if Queer Eye met Say Yes To The Dress? That's the idea behind Say I Do, a reality show that follows couples who have overcome great adversity in their lives as they journey to the altar. They do so with the professional expertise of Say I Do's Fab Three: designer Thai Nguyen, chef Gabriele Bertaccini and interior designer Jeremiah Brent, all on hand to help these couples design their dream wedding in just seven days. As you might expect, emotions run high in this series, which is all about creating magical moments and unforgettable nuptials for the couples who deserve them the most. BYO Kleenex.
Sima Taparia is blunt, canny and exclusive – she's not called Mumbai's top matchmaker for no reason. Her skills that are on display in this Netflix dating show, a reality series that explores the world of arranged marriages. Set in a world of luxury and wealth, families pay Taparia large sums to help them secure a life partner for their daughter and, ultimately, a lavish wedding. Some critics claim the show upholds certain conservative and discriminatory views, but others argue that it reclaims and redefines the stereotypes around arranged marriage, as Vanity Fair put it, “demystifying the process and revealing how much romance and heartache is baked into [it]”.
Like Indian Matchmaking, Love On The Spectrum is a dating show. In it, seven single people who also have autism look for love and connection, sharing how having autism affects their experiences in the dating world. It's a nuanced series that celebrates each of its unique participants and reminds us of the power of love—something that many so-called "dating" shows seem to forget. (We love you, Bachelor In Paradise, but we're looking at you here.)
When we said Netflix had a reality show for every single taste, we meant it. Presenting: The Big Flower Fight, a series in which floral designers, sculptors and gardeners compete to create the biggest, most beautiful, most extravagant floral creation. Seriously. Imagine the energy of Next In Fashion and The Great British Bake Off, but with flowers. It makes for an incredibly soothing watch, especially in the age of coronavirus lockdown.