20 Netflix Reality Shows We Secretly Can't Stop Watching

Martha Sorren | Mar 25, 2020 TV
20 Netflix Reality Shows We Secretly Can't Stop Watching
Image: Netflix

Lauren Speed and Cameron Hamilton in Love Is Blind (2020)
Netflix

For those who don't like to admit it, reality TV is one of those genres that's so hard to look away from. We can watch one episode and be totally hooked on finding out whether a couple stays together, or a chef makes the perfect dish, or a fashion designer sews the right garment. Fortunately, during this time of social distancing, Netflix is letting us peek in on the real lives of so many different people via all the reality shows streaming on its site.

There's a little something for everyone, and even people who don't usually like reality TV will want to check out some of these offerings. After all, shows like The Circle and Love is Blind have captivated all kinds of viewers since their release.

Netflix has been producing original content since 2013, but it's only entered the reality TV sphere in the last couple of years. According to Vulture, it's been part of a push to make Netflix the go-to for fans of all networks. And to do that, the streaming company has focused on releasing all types of reality content to see what fans gravitate to -- like perhaps a reality competition show about glass blowing. 

"We're trying to provide something for everyone," Netflix’s unscripted boss Brandon Riegg told the outlet. "And unscripted is probably the broadest content genre that’s out there, right? It’s everything from game shows to docuseries to these big competition formats. We’re working hard to get all of that covered and do the best shows in those various categories."

That's great news for us viewers, because there's already so many new reality shows on Netflix to watch, with more likely on the way. 

Here's what's available to stream right now.

  • 'The Circle'

    1
    We're basically all living The Circle now, because it's a show about a group of people isolated from one another whose only means of communication is via social media posts. The first season of the US version is streaming on Netflix now, as well as a Brazilian version that we can watch with subtitles if we just can't get enough of The Circle drama. 

    The Circle: France is coming on April 9.
  • 'Love Is Blind'

    2

    Another show about isolation, this dating series puts singles in individual pods where they can speak to others through the walls but can't see anyone. As they form connections without ever having laid eyes on their potential partner, some people even choose to get engaged. Once they've agreed to explore their romance in the real world, they finally get to meet -- and things go uphill for some and downhill quickly for others. 

    Fans of Love Is Blind -- and The Circle for that matter -- will be happy to know that Netflix picked up the series for two more seasons due to their popularity.

    Woo-hoo!

  • 'Cheer'

    3

    It's so easy to get invested in the lives of the Navarro College cheerleaders from Texas who are all so dedicated to winning a championship. Fans found themselves caring so much about the team, that many were devastated to learn that this year's Daytona Championship was canceled due to the global outbreak. At least we have the first season on Netflix to re-watch to keep our spirits up.

  • 'Styling Hollywood'

    4
    Styling Hollywood follows an A-list power couple known for their excellent taste in style and interior design. Jason Bolden and his husband, Adair Curtis, run JSN Studio, where they work together to style celebrities for the red carpet, design homes, and more. Some of their famous clients include Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union, and Ava DuVernay.
  • 'The Great British Baking Show'

    5

    Netflix brought this beloved British baking competition show to American viewers under the title The Great British Baking Show. In the UK, it's known as The Great British Bake Off, but it's the same show in both countries. We love this series because it's super relaxing to watch other people cook, and we quickly find ourselves judging the final food products as well... just from the couch.

  • 'Glow Up'

    6
    Glow Up is basically the Project Runway of makeup Netflix brought to America from across the pond. The competition series pits several aspiring makeup artists against each other with weekly challenges. At the end, the winner earns a coveted role in the beauty industry: a contract with a professional makeup artist. 

    One season of the series is now streaming on Netflix.
  • 'Queer Eye'

    7

    The Netflix reboot of the popular makeover show has been a huge hit with viewers. In each episode, the five men take on a new person to help fix up. One focuses on hair and skin, another on fashion, a third on a home renovation, a fourth on teaching the person how to cook, and the fifth on helping them learn to love themselves a little bit more. 

    Need a mood boost? 

    Check out any one of the five seasons streaming now.

  • 'Interior Design Masters'

    8
    HGTV fans, listen up: This interior design competition show is for decorating. Throughout the series Interior Design Masters, several interior designers compete in challenges to try to win a design contract and a big time commercial client -- a major hotel in London. One season of the show is streaming now, and home renovation show fans will be hooked right from the start.

  • 'Terrace House'

    9

    This reality show groups strangers together into one house. There's no script and no set challenges or tasks for them to complete. They just go about their lives, and it's some of the most relaxing television ever. Several iterations of the series are streaming on Netflix, including Terrace House: Tokyo, Terrace House: Aloha State, Terrace House: Opening New Doors, and more.

  • 'Tidying Up With Marie Kondo'

    10

    Marie Kondo made quite an impression on viewers with her reality show about tidying our houses according to what sparks the most joy. Her unique method includes touching every single item in our houses to see if it makes us feel joyful or not. If it doesn't, we should get rid of it. After the show came out, thrift stores saw a huge increase in donations, based simply on people following the Marie Kondo method presented in the series. 

    Whenever we need cleaning motivation, we can just turn an episode on.

  • 'Dating Around'

    11

    Dating Around hit Netflix last year and was sort of a trial run for the streaming site's future in dating shows. The season followed six single people on five blind dates with the only goal being to for someone to find a person s/he liked enough to go on a second date with. A second season called It's a Date is coming soon and will likely follow the couples on their continued relationship journey.

  • 'Yummy Mummies'

    12

    This Australian reality show follows four expectant mothers who have super luxurious lifestyles. Naturally, they all want their babies to live the life of luxury as well with things -- like money bouquets, horse-drawn carriages, and baby showers -- that seem to have cost millions. How will parenthood treat them when it's time to give birth? 

    Tune in to find out.

  • 'Back with the Ex'

    13

    Another Australian series brought to Netflix for American viewers is Back with the Ex. It follows four couples who have broken up ... but who may be prepared to give it one more chance. Will love be rekindled or old arguments come to a head? The drama potential with this plot line is almost too much. It's basically impossible to stop watching what happens once we click play.

  • 'Rhythm + Flow'

    14

    Last year, Netflix entered the musical competition show arena with Rhythm + Flow. Over 10 episodes, viewers got to see aspiring musicians rap their hearts out in an attempt to become the next hip-hop star. (The series is judged by Cardi B, Chance the Rapper, and T.I.) The first season was a total hit with viewers and critics alike, so here's hoping a season two is on the way.

  • 'Blown Away'

    15

    Here's a reality show premise that's not often heard of. Blown Away is a competition series for glass blowers. Each week, contestants participate in challenges that test their glass molding skills, and one person leaves at the end of each episode until the winner is left standing. For people looking for a deviation from the dating/music/fashion/home renovation reality TV world, this is it.

  • 'Baby Ballroom'

    16

    Netflix brought this gem over from the UK, and we're so glad the streaming site did. Kids ballroom dancing may sound cute (and it is), but it's also a cutthroat world worthy of the best kind of reality TV drama. Two seasons of Baby Ballroom are streaming now on Netflix, and viewers will find themselves immediately drawn into this very specific but intense world of competitive ballroom dancing for children. 

  • 'The Final Table'

    17
    Netflix does cooking competition shows, too. In The Final Table, teams of professional chefs create impeccable dishes to try to impress some of the finest culinary masters in the world. The show places an emphasis on creating food from around the world, so watching it is sort of like getting to go on a multi-country vacation. In the last episode, the teams break apart to let each chef stand on their own for a final signature dish competition.
  • 'Nailed It!'

    18

    There's a place on TV for professional chef competition shows, but it's also a lot of fun to watch complete amateurs in the kitchen. That's the premise of Nailed It!, which gives everyday bakers really hard dessert challenges to recreate. It's basically an impossible task, and it's so funny to watch how spectacularly everyone fails. But it's all in good fun, and everyone involved has a great time.

  • 'Stay Here'

    19

    Genevieve Gorder from Trading Spaces has her own Netflix show now where she helps short-term rental owners make their places really stand out against the competition. Everyone watching will want to stay in these unique locations on their next vacation, and maybe we can even pick up a tip or two for our own homes next time we want to change things up.

  • 'Next in Fashion'

    20

    Queer Eye's Tan France hosts this show along with Alexa Chung. Project Runway fans will love it, as it's also a fashion competition show where design challenges progress each week until a winner is crowned. The contestants have come from all around the world and with all different fashion backgrounds for a chance at the ultimate $250,000 prize and the ability to create a collection with Net-a-Porter.

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