Netflix’s ‘Hype House’ is filled with TikTok stars who seem completely miserable

At first glance, Netflix’s new reality show Hype house– about a group of young, rich TikTok influencers living together under one roof – can simply seem like That Real world with a ring light. And in many ways, as Hype House founder Thomas Petrou notes in an early episode of the series, out on January 7, “We have ten 20-year-olds living in a $ 5 million house together and filming all the content. “It just doesn’t sound right.”

But over the course of season 1’s eight mindless episodes, it becomes more and more clear that it is does not real – because the last thing any of these bona fide social media stars want to do is film any content at all. Hype house is a program about a bunch of famous kids who hate what they do.

The bitterest of them all is Petrou, the most stressed 22-year-old with a Rolls-Royce. He calls himself the father of the house, and he is eternally weathered, exhausted, and has had it up to here with his lazy friends who do not do their part to keep Hype House afloat. As Petrou helpfully explains, the rent at Moorpark, California, mansion was made infamous in 2020 New York Times profile – paid for by the brand agreements they make on Hype House’s social media channels, and everyone in the house is expected to help by contributing viral content.

Petrou says he sees Hype House as a kind of Nickelodeon or Disney Channel – a launching pad for young stars to plunge into the mainstream, à la Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez, whom he cites as examples of successful A-lists has landed that leap. That’s the whole point of Hype House, he claims, and he wants to see his friends go far and become famous while encouraging them to “just have fun.”

The problem? None of them are having fun.

Take Vinnie Hacker, the newest member of Hype House, who admits he blew up on social media because of his barrage of “thirst traps,” which he has since parlayed into a massive fan base on livestreaming platform Twitch. At a group dinner, one of the house’s colleagues, Generic White Guys, comments on the 19-year-old beefcake and says that Hacker “hates” making content and the attention that comes with it – a claim that was later confirmed by Hacker himself, who has been frustrated by the demand for more shirtless selfies from his legions of increasingly obsessed fans because all he wants to do is be a full-time streamer on Twitch. At the same dinner, Petrou responds by pointing out: “Half a percent of the most popular social media people do not want to be social media people.”

Which raises the question: Why is this guy trying to force it? Throughout the Netflix series, Petrous despises his friends for not contributing enough to Hype House. But Petrou is a walking contradiction; he encourages members of the House to strive for the next level in their careers, and then hates when they manage to do so. A self-proclaimed hustler, he often delivers parents’ scres about the Hype House brand and their strategy, and convenes house meetings where he tries and fails to convince everyone to be a team player.

The biggest perpetrator of all this, in Petrous’ eyes, is his Hype House co-founder Chase Hudson, aka Lil Huddy, who was once part of the OG group before moving into his own mansion in Encino. The plan was for that house to be an extension of Hype House, but as Petrou repeatedly reminds us, Hudson has not stopped his termination of the deal because he never again contributes content to Hype House socials. That’s because, frankly, Hudson became too famous. The series finds the brooding, vampire-obsessed eboy in the middle of making his debut album under Interscope Records and cheeky exclamation: “My goal is to be fucking Beyoncé.” (Whether it’s a smart plan or not is up for debate; he’s probably collected over 100 million streams on Spotify, but he’s also said while rehearsing for a live show, “You actually do not have to sing. The coolest feature is just to go [holding a fake mic out to the crowd], ‘I can not hear you!’ ”Beyoncé would never.)

Hudson is not the only notable influencer who grew out of Hype House – former members include TikTok’s reigning queen, Charli D’Amelio, and her sister Dixie, who has joined a Hulu reality series about their family, and Addison Rae, who has been adopted into the Kardashian circle and has launched a half-baked music and acting career. Pretty much everyone on Hype house seems to be excited about the level of fame, including TikTok and YouTube star Larray, who appears as a regular on the Netflix show. “I’ve been doing social media for five years now. Anyone can be famous. Anyone,” he says. “A million followers on TikTok doesn’t mean shit. Can I become famous for being talented is the right question. “

I’ve been making social media for five years now. Anyone can be famous. Anyone…

Larray is one of the two saving grace Hype House, a exposure in the middle of the sea of ​​white guys with tousled hair that is impossible to distinguish from each other. A gay 23-year-old mixed race from Compton, Larray is BFFs with the other real star of the show, Nikita Dragun, a trans woman who has won millions of fans with her fierce energy and exaggerated style. The two talk often and thoughtfully throughout the series about regaining their identities through social media and the fact that they face more scrutiny than white creators, especially when it comes to their brushes of cancellation culture (Nikita has repeatedly been accused of black fishing , which Larray confronts her after feeling that he had been denied by the black community for associating with her).

Larray and Nikita are not official Hype House members and do not live in the mansion – and it does not seem a coincidence that they are two of the most successful faces in the program. This is because the house is filled with creators who actually never want to create, no matter how bored they all are. In a final attempt to motivate everyone, Petrou arranges a trip to Joshua Tree so the group can bond, also to film some damn videos. But his dreams of a content waterfall in the desert drown quickly – everyone is struggling, their campsite is reportedly haunted, and Petrou collapses crying because everyone is just eating pizza and watching Ratatouille, at least in the case of Hype House member Ryland Storms. His excuse for not making any content on the trip? “We’re still so young, and like, we’re in this life, and we’re making money that a 21-year-old, or whatever age, shouldn’t be earning.”

We are still so young, and like, we are in this life and we are making money that a 21 year old, or whatever age, should not be earning.

Storms later contributes this second shrewd observation: “I feel the reason everyone in this industry is that they were not good with authority to begin with, so therefore they did not go the school way and they wanted to be their own. . bosses. “

Part of the impetus these creators make quite clear is their desire not to be dependent on someone else’s plan. Petrou keeps trying to quarrel with them for productivity, he keeps failing, and at the end of the series, it seems like he decides that content houses might not be a good idea after all.

At least that’s what he’s telling us – until the last scene in episode eight, where he announces that some of the members of the house have moved out after deciding they do not want to live together anymore, and he is now looking for fresh meat to recruit. The hype must apparently continue. But who really wants it?

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