Terrace House: the Japanese series that’s rejuvenating reality TV


Forget about your bog-standard Big Brother set-up. The elegant and understated Japanese TV show Terrace House has been unsettling and captivating audiences the world over who are used to OTT reality TV that’s run out of steam.

The basic principle is the same: men and women live together in a house, learn about one another, get to know each other and more. But Terrace House is refreshing. It presents more restrained discussions where politeness and simplicity reign supereme. The Japanese programme leaves participants free to continue their work or studies, go out to see friends and even quit (quietly though, no need to slam the door). Just like in a real house-share, there are no scripts, no sweeteners, no excessive make-up, cleavage or bleaching. The latest season – Tokyo 2019-2020– is now on Netflix and the images posted on the series’ Instagram account look like they’re straight off the cover of Elle Decoration: everything and everyone look cool, sleek and trendy. Even the kitchen and dishes made by the participants are sophisticated and exciting.

Guest starring the NBA player Rui Hachimura

The Wizards rookie – Rui Hachimura, the first Japanese player to be drafted by the NBA and a superstar in Japan – paid a visit to the housemates in summer 2019 in the last season of Terrace House (episodes 13 & 14).
The following seasons (five between 2012 and today) have sealed Terrace House’s status as a global phenomenon. The series was originally broadcast on Fuji Television and the last two seasons are co-produced by Netflix. This rare gem has the media and audiences under its spell…

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