Escaping into reality: Netflix original lifestyle reality shows

Netflix has so many different reality shows that show all sorts of individuals and lifestyles.

Netflix has so many different reality shows that show all sorts of individuals and lifestyles.

Julie Nagel

Guilty pleasures…Most of us have them. With the stress of school, work and other life issues, sometimes we find ourselves needing an escape. What better way to take a break from our own reality than escaping into reality television?

These past few years, global media giant Netflix has been captivating audiences with its wide range of original award-winning reality shows.

Covering all different genres of reality television, Netflix has a different type of show to fit almost everyone’s reality TV cravings. 

In this part of a four-part series dedicated to Netflix’s original reality shows, we will be taking a look into some of the many original lifestyle reality series that Netflix has to offer.

Relationship Shows

“Love is Blind”

Since this experimental dating show premiered at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has amassed a huge following. According to Variety, the show gained more than 1.5 million views for the first five episodes following the show’s debut. Bringing a new meaning to the term “blind dating,” this show focuses on finding love with a huge obstacle in the way- specifically, a wall. Couples meet, date and get engaged before ever laying eyes on each other. After finally meeting in person, the couples must then embrace the hardships of dating in the real world before getting married just a few short weeks later. The first season’s success led to a three-part reunion special, which was released earlier this year, a second season coming soon and “Love is Blind: Brazil,” which was released Oct. 6th.

“Love on the Spectrum”

This show dives into the dating lives of young adults on the autism spectrum. With the help of relationship coaches and workshops, both singles and couples learn how to better navigate the challenges of dating and relationships. According to the Netflix website, “Finding love can be hard for anyone. For young adults on the autism spectrum, exploring the unpredictable world of dating is even more complicated.” 

“Indian Matchmaking”

Giving us a glimpse into the world of arranged marriages, we follow professional matchmaker Sima Taparia, as she works with clients to help them find suitable matches. The show, greenlit for a second season, has garnered controversy from critics. “The series has also sparked a debate about arranged marriage and is drawing criticism for its portrayal of the practice – as well as for seeming to endorse gender stereotypes, colorism and classism,” said author Sushmita Pathak in her NPR article.

Feel-Good Shows

“Headspace: Unwind Your Mind”

This interactive special on Netflix is designed to help people unwind by asking viewers a series of questions to help develop a “healthy mindfulness routine,” according to the special. The episode, which lasts around 15 minutes, encourages its audience to focus on three main points: relaxation, meditation and deeper sleep.

“Queer Eye”

The nine-time Emmy-winning reboot of the hit 2003 show “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” has captivated audiences since its release on Netflix in 2018. The show follows five members of the LGBTQIA+ community, dubbed as the “Fab Five,” as they help makeover individuals who were nominated by their friends and family. Focusing on everything from eating habits to grooming, each of the five members has a specialty focus to help improve their client’s life.

Makeup and Style Shows

“Next in Fashion”

Speaking of “Queer Eye,” the show’s fashion expert, Tan France, along with Alexa Chung, host this fashion design competition show. The show starts with 18 up-and-coming designers competing for a $250,000 prize and the chance to become the next big name in fashion. The show was canceled after one season, but you can still catch all the action on the streaming service. “This is a one-season show, we don’t know what will happen in the future,” said France in a Variety article about the cancellation.

“Glow Up”

This show focuses on British makeup artists competing with each other in extravagant and detail-oriented makeup challenges. At the end of each episode, the bottom two performers of the day must face off in a technical skill challenge for the chance to avoid elimination.

“Styling Hollywood”

Taking an in-depth look into the inner workings of JSN Studio, viewers are introduced to celebrity stylist Jason Bolden and interior designer Adair Curtis. With an array of clients including Serena Williams, Yara Shahidi, Taraji P. Henson, Sabrina Carpenter and Gabrielle Union, we see the team of husbands tackle everything from red carpet wardrobe and photoshoot styling to designing living spaces for their high-profile Los Angeles clients.

Luxury Lifestyles

“Yummy Mummies”

Australian mothers navigate through the trials and tribulations of pregnancy and motherhood while still maintaining their fabulous lifestyles in this series. “The show started because I had close girlfriends who happened to be pregnant at the same time, so the producer said, ‘Ok, let’s put some cameras in.’ It was very observational,” said Lorinska Merrington, one of the show’s stars and mothers, in an interview with TV Week Magazine. There have been talks of the show getting a potential third season, but for now, the first two seasons are available on Netflix.

“Bling Empire”

After seeing the movie “Crazy Rich Asians,” Jeff Jenkins (Keeping Up With the Kardashians, The Simple Life) was inspired to create a reality series centered around the lifestyles of Los Angeles’s wealthy Asian and Asian American population. “I think every producer in entertainment watched the movie and thought, ‘Wow, that would be an amazing reality show,'” Jenkins said in an interview with “Rolling Stone.” Plans for season two have been announced, though the release date remains a mystery.