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Here are our picks for the best Netflix reality shows
Netflix may be home to award-winning and critically acclaimed original scripted TV shows and movies, but the streaming service has increasingly been dropping more original reality shows to its audience. The launch of Tiger King in late March 2021, just as the coronavirus outbreak forced many people to stay at home, became a massive pop-culture phenomenon. But what other Netflix reality shows are available to watch besides Tiger King?
Read more: What’s new on Netflix
That is just what we are going to discover. The list of Netflix reality TV shows includes competition series, documentaries about toys and whether you can fall in love without seeing your partner. Let’s take a look at the best Netflix reality shows. You can sign up for the service at the link below:
Best Netflix reality shows:
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best Netflix reality shows regularly as new ones launch.
Tiger King has all the best parts of a Netflix reality show; a huge cast of crazy characters, along with a series hook that’s hard to resist. However, as it turns out, Tiger King really has more in common with Netflix’s crime documentary shows like The Devil Next Door or Making a Murderer. The look into the lives of “Joe Exotic” and the others who want to take care of wild tigers in captivity is funny at first, but it gets far more serious as we learn more about the major crimes Joe and others are accused of doing. Still, this is a show that has captivated people for a reason, and in 2022 it got a second season with even more info on this saga. that’s why it’s on our list of the best Netflix reality TV shows.
The reboot of this makeover reality series has, in many ways, surpassed the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy show from Brave. Now in its fifth season, Queer Eye follows the same formulas; five guys who are experts in topics like fashion, food, and design try to fix up people so they can be the best they can be. It’s not just guys that need fixing; this show also features women who get big makeovers as well.
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo
There’s just one season of this terrific series to watch, but it’s worth it. Marie Kondo may not speak a lot of English, but the Japanese organizer has the universal language of organization to draw upon. She helps others take charge of both their houses and their lives in this show. Her catchphrase of keeping only the items that “sparks joy” in a person continues to be used by people who want to manage their stuff.
This is not only one of the best Netflix reality shows, but it’s also one of the funniest. It’s basically the anti-baking competition show. Bakers who should never be let near flour or icing are tasked to replicate a complicated baked food item. The final results are almost never pretty, but that’s the whole point. The competitors know they are bad bakers, but they still give it all they got to complete their goal, no matter what.
This Netflix reality series takes a look at the inner workings of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Specifically, it chronicles the lives of four of its doctors for a full year (it was filmed in 2018, before the current COVID-19 outbreak). All of the doctors are seen in the series trying to take care of their patients as best as they can. It shows them having some hard decisions to make in some cases, and it also shows some of the flaws in the current US health system. However, this series is overall a very uplifting experience to watch. After the series dropped, Netflix added an extra episode, Pandemic, which shows the hospital in the middle of the current COVID-19 threat.
Get Organized with the Home Edit
While Marie Kondo may want you to ditch things you own, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin want to just help you take control of what you got. These two women started a business called The Home Edit, after first putting up their efforts on Instagram and other social media outlets. This series sees this organizing duo help out both ordinary people with their home and possessions, as well as celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon, Khloe Kardashian, and Neil Patrick Harris.
There have been reality shows in the past about realtors selling houses, but none are quite like Selling Sunset. It’s all about the women who sell high-end properties in Los Angeles for the Oppenheim Group. Now in its fourth season, the show not only lets us get inside the highly competitive world of real estate in LA, but we get a lot of personal tales from the women who are selling these houses. The show has been so successful, there’s already a spin-off, Selling Tampa, with more in the works.
In this age of social media creating their own celebrates, The Circle is the perfect reality competition show for this era. 100 people are sequester inside an apartment building, and each has their own room. They can communicate with each other via text and a special social media app. Players rate each other and the ones with the lowest ratings are removed until there is a winner. The catch is that each person is in control of their social media profile. They can choose to show and tell the truth about themselves or they can create false profiles in the app. Will they lie, or stay true as they influence their way to the top of the ratings?
Many car fans love to watch the latest million dollar supercars race on tracks, looking all new and slick. Others prefer older vehicles they can modify so they can go faster. So which is better? That’s what this competition series aims to find out. Exotic new cars like the McLaren 650S or the Lamborghini Huracán race against a modified 1967 Ford Thunderbird or even a 1927 Dodge. It’s pure car fun and one of the best Netflix reality shows.
The Toys That Made Us
Toys have made massive impressions on millions of kids over the decades. However, the stories behind the creation of toy lines like Star Trek, He-Man, Barbie and more make an even bigger impression on us as adults. This reality docuseries tells the untold stories of how popular toy lines got created, how they became a huge part of pop culture and how many of them still remain iconic and well remembered to this day.
Love is Blind
The best Netflix reality show list would not be complete without this dating series. Like The Bachelor, Love is Blind is all about finding the right person. The twist is that the contestants can hear others speak, but cannot see them in their sequestered rooms. The men have to ask the women to marry them in just 10 days, or its over for them. After 10 days, the newly engaged couples go to an exotic tropical location to really get to know each other, before their planned wedding in less than a month. Is true love blind or do we need more than just words to fall in love? This show has a lot of fun finding out, with some emotional stuff as well.
Somebody Feed Phil
Phil Rosenthal is best known as the creator of the hit TV sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. However, he’s also a major foodie. This series, which now has three seasons to watch on Netflix, chronicles his journeys around the world to sample different types of cuisine. We also get to see how different countries and cultures feel about both food and life in general. It’s an excellent travelogue type of show, with lots of humor as well.
You vs Wild
This show is on our Netflix reality series list, because you can not only watch the show, but actually interact with it. Nature lover and adventurer Bear Grylls stars in this series, where he tries to complete missions in harsh settings, like the European wilderness, the Swiss Alps, and more. At certain crucial times while watching an episode, it will stop and give you a choice. Should Bear go or do one thing, or do something else? This show is perfect for families, as it will encourage kids to learn about nature, while also having fun picking which outcomes will appear on the episodes. You can also watch a more recent film, Animals on the Loose: A You vs Wild Movie, on Netflix.
The Great British Baking Show
It’s a show like no other. Regular bakers from across the UK try to convince a group of judges that their pastries and sweets are the best. It’s been a part of British TV for over a decade, and you can watch several seasons of the show, plus special holiday episodes, on Netflix. It’s always fun to see what these bakers can create, and its sometimes even more fun to watch when some of them fail.
Here are a few more reality shows you should check out on the service.
- Love is Blind – Can two people fall in love just by talking to each other, and not see each other? That’s the premise of this highly popular dating competition series.
- Surviving Death – People who have had near-death experiences are put in the spotlight in this series that tries to answer the question, “What really happens when we die?”
- Coach Snoop – Rapper Snoop Dog creates a youth football league to keep kids off the streets.
- Marriage or Mortgage – Upcoming brides and grooms are tempted to pick from either a huge wedding or a dream home in this series.
- Cheer – This is the Emmy award winning series that goes behind the scenes of one of the best college cheerleading teams in the US.
That’s a look at the best reality series on Netflix. We’ll update this post with new ones once they hit the streaming service.