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The best reality TV series on Netflix (January 2022)

Floor is Lava and The Circle on Netflix
Floor is Lava and The Circle on Netflix. Pic credit: Netflix

When talking about Netflix, reality television is not always what people think of.

However, over the years, Netflix has thrown in their lot with the reality TV genre, both in unscripted dramas and competition series.

Not only that, but some of the most iconic reality TV shows in history have seasons streaming on Netflix.

Here is a look at the best reality shows on Netflix as of this month.

Updated in January 2022: Every month series come and go from Netflix, and that can make it hard to keep up with the best offerings as far as current original series.

However, more new series arrive all the time and we will add new great ones as they come to this list.

Sexy Beasts

Sexy Beasts on Netflix
Sexy Beasts on Netflix. Pic credit: Netflix

In 2014, the BBC created the reality TV show Sexy Beasts, which was a reality dating show where people were transformed into mythical creatures with prosthetics and makeup.

In 2021, Netflix rebooted the franchise with its own version, with comedian Rob Delaney offering a voice-over for the show.

This offered dating hopefuls a chance to try to find a connection without knowing what the other person really looks like under the makeup.

Baewatch: Parental Guidance

Baewatch on Netflix
Baewatch on Netflix. Pic credit: Netflix

Baewatch: Parental Guidance is a very different reality show because it takes control out of the hands of the couples.

In this show, new couples take romantic getaways without knowing that their parents are not only watching everything they do, but controlling what happens on the getaways.

For fans who cringe when watching what people do on these reality dating shows, imagine how the parents feel watching what happens.

Are You The One?

Are You the One from MTV
Are You the One from MTV. Pic credit: MTV

Are You The One? premiered on MTV in 2014 and has played out for eight seasons, with producers pairing up couples secretly and then having all the contestants live together.

The goal is to figure out which couples were considered the best fits. Those who matched up with the right people, in the end, win a share of $1 million.

Netflix only has two of the seasons of the reality series, as they have the first two seasons for a total of 19 episodes.

Ultimate Beastmaster

Ultimate Beastmaster
Ultimate Beastmaster. Pic credit: Netflix

Netflix decided to go after the fans of the hardcore sports endurance reality TV shows in 2017 and their version was Ultimate Beastmaster.

Similar to Ninja Warrior, Ultimate Beastmaster was an obstacle course reality competition show where people competed for prizes.

The show tried to add entertainment value, which featured hosts that were actors, comedians, and athletes, all from international countries. The countries had hosts and commentators from those locations for that version of the series.

There were three seasons with 29 episodes on Netflix.

Floor is Lava

Contestant from Floor is Lava.
A contestant from Floor is Lava. Pic credit: Adam Rose/Netflix

Netflix’s show Floor is Lava is every single viewer’s childhood dreams come true. Everyone has played a version of this game, trying to keep their bodies and feet off the floor.

The interesting thing about this game is there is no real “floor” just liquid lava contestants could fall into at any point.

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The new Netflix show ups the stakes on this classic game, whoever can make it out of the room without falling into the lava wins $10,000. This show would be an absolute blast to watch for a family night.

The Circle

The Cast of The Circile on Netflix
The Cast of The Circile on Netflix. Pic credit: Netflix

The Circle is a Netflix original series based on the British reality TV series of the same name, premiering in 2020.

The reality TV series is a game show based around the world of social media. The theme from the show is that, using social media, anyone can be anyone they want in The Circle.

The formula here is to keep all the competitors separate in their own apartments. The only way they can communicate with other contestants is through a social media app that translates what they say into text for others to read.

No one meets the actual people on the other side and has to rate each other. The top two vote getters become the “influencers,” and they get to eliminate someone.

The winner of Season 1 won $100,000.

There were two seasons and 25 episodes of The Circle on Netflix. Season 3 of The Circle arrived on September 8, 2021.

Too Hot to Handle

The cast of Netflix's Too Hot to Handle
The cast of Netflix’s Too Hot to Handle. Pic credit: Netflix

Too Hot to Handle premiered its first season on Netflix in 2020.

The contestants on the show have to go four weeks with no sexual contact at all to win the series. If the contestants made it to the end of the four weeks, they won $100,000.

The first season ended with 10 of the 14 contestants making it to the end and splitting $75,000.

Netflix renewed the series for two additional seasons.

There are now three seasons of Too Hot to Handle on Netflix, plus spinoffs from Brazil and a new Latino version.

Love is Blind

Love is Blind
Love is Blind. Pic credit: Netflix

Love is Blind is a dating reality TV show, and unlike many shows on Netflix, this was a three-week event series, with 10 total episodes.

This was a speed dating series, where 30 men and women set out at the start, trying to find love. The twist is that the dates take place in pods where the two can’t see each other.

The men then choose which women they want to propose to and only then do the couples meet face to face. They then take a vacation trip to Mexico with the other participants.

They then move in together after this, meet each other’s families, and then head into their wedding, where they decide if they will say “I do” or not.

There is one season and 11 episodes of Love is Blind on Netflix. The show received a two season renewal.

Survivor

The challengers on Survivor Season 20
The challengers on Survivor Season 20. Pic credit: CBS

Survivor is one of the longest-running reality TV series in history. There have been 40 seasons, and it is still running to this day.

Netflix carries two seasons of Survivor for fans to relive. Those two seasons used to be Season 20 and Season 28.

However, Netflix added two new seasons and replaced those. The new seasons on Netflix are now Seasons 16 and 37.

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Survivor Season 16 is Survivor: Micronesia — Fans vs. Favorites.

Survivor Season 37 is Survivor: David vs. Goliath.

Selling Sunset

The cast of Selling Sunset
The cast of Selling Sunset. Pic credit: Netflix

Selling Sunset is one of Netflix’s top-rated reality TV shows, premiering in 2019 and running for three seasons so far.

The reality series focuses on a high-end real estate form known as Oppenheim Group in Los Angeles. The show then follows the agents as they go about business and deal with their families.

The best way to describe the show is the Kardashians mixed with Real Housewives, with glitzy women selling houses to the wealthy in California.

There are four seasons of Selling Sunset on Netflix. Netflix has renewed Selling Sunset for a fifth season.

Bling Empire

Bling Empire
Bling Empire. Pic credit: Netflix

Bling Empire is another Netflix original reality series, this one debuting in 2021.

Much like Selling Sunset, this is also about wealthy socialites in Los Angeles. The selling point here is that the series calls itself a real-life version of the movie Crazy Rich Asians.

Unlike many reality TV shows, Bling Empire looked beyond the superficial and showed Asian people discovering their identities while living in America.

There is one season and eight episodes of Bling Empire on Netflix. A second season is coming soon as well.

Back With the Ex

Back With the Ex
Back With the Ex. Pic credit: Netflix

Back with the Ex is an Australian reality TV series that Netflix distributes everywhere outside of that country.

It hit Netflix in 2019 and followed four former couples who decided whether they should get back together again or finally realize their relationship is officially over for good.

Unlike many dating shows with people getting to know each other, Back with the Ex is a show that has two people trying to remember why they fell in love before and whether there is still a flame.

There is one season and seven episodes of Back With the Ex on Netflix.

America’s Next Top Model

America's Next Top Model Season 19
Designs from America’s Next Top Model Season 19. Pic credit: The CW

America’s Next Top Model premiered in 2003 and had 24 seasons, the final airing in 2018.

Out of the 24 seasons, Netflix has two of them available for streaming.

Season 19 originally aired in 2012 and saw 13 women from college hoping to use the opportunity to start their own career. Season 20 was the first to include male contestants with the ultimate destination as Bali.

Netflix has since removed both of those seasons and replace them with Seasons 21 and 22, for 32 episodes.

Teen Mom 2

Teen Mom 2
The Teen Mom 2 cast. Pic credit: MTV

Teen Mom 2 premiered in 2011 and featured some of the most famous names in Teen Mom history.

While there have been 10 seasons and 189 episodes since its premiere, Netflix offers fans a chance to see where it all began. The first two seasons of Teen Mom 2 were available to stream, but they have since been removed and replaced with the third and fourth seasons.

The stars here are Jenelle Evans, Chelsea DeBoer, Kailyn Lowry, and Leah Messer in their first years of motherhood.

There are two seasons and 32 episodes of Teen Mom 2 on Netflix.

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Queer Eye

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Pic credit: Netflix

Originally Queer Eye for the Straight Guy aired in 2003 on Bravo and ran for five seasons as a show where the Fab 5 gave straight men makeovers.

In 21018, Netflix brought it back as simply Queer Eye and it has run for five seasons, with a sixth on the way. This has a new Fab 5, but the situation is the same.

Netflix also created a spinoff that took the show to Japan.

Six seasons of Queer Eye are available to stream on Netflix. There is also one season of Queer Eye: We’re in Japan on Netflix.

Ink Master

The judges on Ink Master
The judges on Ink Master. Pic credit: Paramount

Ink Master premiered on Spike TV in 2012 and continued on there when Spike TV became Paramount Television.

The show saw Jane’s Addiction frontman Dave Navarro and tattoo experts Chris Nunez and Oliver Peck hosting a competition that brought in the best tattoo artists in America to compete for the title of Ink Master.

Only the first two seasons of Ink Master are available on Netflix. The winner of the first season received features in Ink Magazine.

There are two seasons and 21 episodes of Ink Master on Netflix.

Nailed It

Nailed It
The judges on Nailed It. Pic credit: Netflix

Nailed It is a Netflix exclusive original series with 46 episodes and several spin-off series following it in different countries.

This is a bake-off series where three amateur bakers compete each week to replicate complicated cakes and deserts to win $10,000.

The series was a critical darling, picking up three Primetime Emmy Awards.

There are 13 seasons of Nailed It reality shows on Netflix. This includes five seasons of Nailed It, five seasons of Nailed It: Mexico, two seasons of Nailed It: Holiday, and one season each of Nailed It: Spain, Nailed It: France, and Nailed It: Germany.

A brand-new sixth season arrived of the original series on September 15, 2021.

Hoarders

Hoarders Season 11
Hoarders Season 11. Pic credit: A&E

Hoarders is the classic A&E series about individuals mostly suffering from compulsive hoarding disorder. In most cases, it is a family member or loved one calling the show to help someone.

There were 11 seasons with 128 episodes, and a 12th season kicking off in 2021.

On Netflix, there is one season. This is the 11th season, which originally aired in 2020. This season saw hoarders who were facing jail time, financial ruin and loss of property because of their condition.

Only the eight-episode 11th season of Hoarders is available to stream on Netflix.

The Challenge

The Challenge The Duel
The Challenge: The Duel. Pic credit: MTV

The Challenge is the MTV competition show that features contestants from several other reality shows including Road Rules and Real World.

There have been 36 seasons of The Challenge, each with specialized themes, but Netflix only streams two of the seasons.

Season 12 is Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Fresh Meat.

Season 25 is The Challenge: Free Agents.

Two seasons of The Challenge is available on Netflix, including Fresh Meat (19 episodes) and Free Agents (13 episodes).

Shawn S. Lealos has been a freelance writer for 25 years, starting...read more

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