Even though Netflix arrived in Japan just last year, Netflix had already started creating their own original programming series that streams exclusively through their website. You’ve probably heard of some of Netflix’s popular series before, such as Orange is the new Black, House of Cards, Jessica Jones, or The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt which have garnered a huge following, and have even won awards. Well, now it’s Japan’s turn for some original programming!
Terrace House is a reality show in which viewers follow the lives of six young, interesting Japanese people who all move into a house together and are all complete strangers! What also makes it so interesting to watch is that they are all single, and looking for love. Inside the house are three guys and three girls – the perfect selection for budding romance to occur.
Now, if you’ve seen the British or American TV Show: “Big Brother”, you might be familiar with this kind of show. But, actually, Terrace House is quite different. They aren’t locked inside the house without outside communication like they are on Big Brother. Instead, they are all free to come and go as they please, and all six of them do so regularly for work, school, day trips, and yes, even dates. In fact, the company has even provided them with cars, so they can get around easily, and drive wherever they want to! Also, there are no challenges set, or any interference by the producers, so we really get to see the actual daily lives of these 20-somethings living in Tokyo.
One of the highlights of the show actually takes place outside of the house! Every week, a very entertaining panel of TV hosts discuss what is happening in the show, as they (and we) watch it. Their comments are very honest, and more often than not, pretty hilarious. They will have you gasping and laughing throughout the whole series! The panel is made up of TV hosts, who have worked on various different TV shows, as well as commercials and so on. All but one that is. Amongst the panel is a young teenage boy, who always offers up a sweet, fresh, and trusting opinion on the house events.
In its first iteration, Terrace House was produced and shown by Fuji TV, and the first season actually lasted for a whopping eight seasons! It followed the same general set up of the new show, but had six different residents, and was set in a different house in a different part of Japan. If you can speak and understand Japanese well, you may just enjoy checking it out. You can find it on Netflix, but, only in Japanese. The big difference between the old show and the new Netflix show is that Netflix has English subtitles. So, don’t worry if you can’t speak Japanese, you can still follow the story and enjoy the show.
The show was originally planned for 18 weeks of episodes, this time, around, but due to its popularity, they have extended the run. The series is full of drama, romance, and comedy. Also, its a really great tool for anyone studying Japanese, as you can really practice your listening skills!