Why Terrace House is the comfortable reality show you need

If you appreciate unwritten shows, but you’re looking for something a little less intense than shows like The bachelor or The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, Netflix offers the keys to Terrace House, a charming look at the lives of six strangers living together and navigating real life.

Like real life.

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Okay, yes, there are an unusual number of models coming in the door Terrace house, but they also work all other jobs. Some work in construction, others serve boba, and a few even still go to school. There is a chef, a fashion designer and an architecture student. Then there are a few that, like many people in the real world, do not seem to do anything at all. They are consistent, they respect each other and are related to seeing. That’s what does Terrace house a different kind of reality show in all the right ways.


Picture via Netflix

Despite the courtesy of the housemates and the minimal drama on screen, Terrace house was at the center of a controversy last year following the tragic death of a former cast member, after which the rest of the season was canceled. Whether the series returns, we’ll see. But Netflix still has four full seasons of the show on its platform, and there is plenty of material to appreciate.

One of the most enjoyable stories unfolds below Terrace house: Boys and girls in the city, the first season available on Netflix. A cast member is preparing to release a series of hats she has designed, and everyone in the house is teaming up to help with the show, from building displays to modeling hats on photos. It’s a simple group project that you can easily imagine participating in. There are lots of these feel good stories with zero shouting or crying (except a few tears of joy and gratitude).


Picture via Netflix

This is not to say that there is no dramatic suspense about love – in fact, it is a central theme that runs through the seasons. Castmates fall in love, go on dates, meet and get crushed. But what makes these relationships feel different from pretty much everything else on television is how entrenched they are. You will not find a number of drunken connections or a revolving door for sexual partners. Terrace house love to pump the brakes and let things happen gradually and that’s what makes it so compelling. This is the typical “will they / will they not” that gives good water cooler talk. On Friends it was Ross and Rachel; The office followed Jim and Pam. Terrace house have Arman part-time landscape gardener and Masako childcare students.

Due to its relaxed sensitivity and lack of urgency for Japanese culture, Terrace house contains a reasonable number of characters that talk about what they want in a relationship. The guys will discuss it with each other, the girls will do the same, and before long there will be a date on the stairs. Rarely are these excursions romantic or particularly memorable. They often feel like two friends grabbing food – and there it is a lot to eat on this show so much that it would not feel out of place to post on the Food Network.


Even when dates are going extremely well, do not expect anything overtly physical anytime soon. The theme of intimacy most often discussed behind closed doors is – prepare yourself – holding hands. Talked about, but not often seen. The same can be said about arguments among roommates. Boys and girls in the city is told over the course of 46 episodes, and cast members raise their voices in anger a full zero times. It literally never happens. The most heated exchange during the season became known as the “meat incident”, after steaks belonging to someone were eaten without his permission. He said quietly and rationally, “I’m very angry,” before getting up and calmly leaving the room. No plates thrown, no doors slammed.

Be sure of that Terrace house still know how to create excitement. The show breaks the fourth wall in a unique way and broadcasts episodes while it is still in production. It’s interesting to see cast members who see themselves in previous episodes, knowing that things they said privately can come up and lead to consequences in the house.


Episodes often end in cliffhangers, usually involving romantic entanglements or the intermittent unresolved love triangle. And fans of The Walking Dead can appreciate the one thing it has in common Terrace house: no one is safe. This is not to say that members of the House can be devoured by the dead at any time, but they leave the series when they feel it’s time to move on.

Even this mimics real life. No one is voted off or sent home at the end of a rose ceremony. Members only leave when they choose to, choose to pursue work opportunities, to focus on life away from the cameras, or simply because they feel they have achieved what they wanted in the house. And while it may be sad to see someone walk, it’s easy to find yourself on the edge of your seat when a new cast member walks in the door.


Picture via Netflix

Each episode is split up by a group of commentators who show up several times to weigh what is happening. They crack a few jokes and discuss the different stories, and it feels like watching the show with a group of friends, even if you see it for yourself.

Terrace house is as prosaic as television can be, and make no mistake – that’s a good thing. It continues to be a soothing, entertaining and heartwarming series that gives viewers an insight into the lives of ordinary people, and sometimes it’s more than enough.

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