There’s something definitively American about the idea of reality TV, but Britain is mounting some strong competition nevertheless. From remarkably relaxing competition shows to the pervasive issue of tanning addiction, British reality TV has charms that appeal far beyond the island's shores. Fortunately for all of us, there are some great options available on Netflix (especially if you’re into shows about home design).
Here are the 10 best British reality shows to watch on Netflix right now.
1. Interior Design Masters
Like I said, the British home design game is strong at the moment, so this list begins with several stellar options (skip ahead if you hate amazing houses). Interior Design Masters is a competition series that pits aspiring designers against each other to win a contract with a major London hotel. Every week, the contestants transform a residential or commercial space, and the results are major eye candy.
2. The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes
Rather than transforming a lackluster space, the hosts of The World's Most Extraordinary Homes show viewers around—you got it—some of the world’s most extraordinary homes. Whether that means a stunning mountainside retreat or a fully automated residence, prepare to be inspired and/or jealous.
3. Grand Designs
Things can get a little tense on Grand Designs. Relationships are seriously tested over strange and ambitious home design projects. But the series, hosted by Kevin McCloud, has been running in Britain since 1999, so you know it’s got to be good. Seasons 10 and 15 are available on Netflix.
4. Win the Wilderness
Craving an escape from it all? Win the Wilderness will either cement your resolve to leave life as you know it behind, or else renew your appreciation for civilized society. Honestly, the official Netflix synopsis says it all: “Six couples compete to prove they’ve got the survival skills to win the deed to an extraordinary home deep in the vast, rugged wilderness of Alaska.”
5. The Big Flower Fight
The Big Flower Fight is a brand-new 2020 Netflix original reality competition series. It looks like it's about to do for floral design what Project Runway, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and The Great British Baking Show did for fashion, drag, and baking, respectively.
6. 100% Hotter
This show is not going to tell you that it's OK to be yourself. But if you just need to turn off your brain and see what some “fashion disasters” look like when their fake tan gets washed off, 100% Hotter has got your back.
7. Repair Shop
Did you ever watch Antiques Roadshow on PBS? Repair Shop is like that, but without all the excitement—and that’s a good thing! Expert restorers bring treasured family heirlooms back to life in a cozy workshop fit for Santa’s elves.
8. Kitten Rescuers
It’s called Kitten Rescuers. Either you are frantically opening another browser so you can start watching this immediately, or you scrolled right past this description. In any case, the show is hosted by comedian Jo Brand, who guides viewers through various cat rescue operations by vets and animal welfare officers.
9. Million Pound Menu
Aspiring restauranteurs try to convince potential investors to fund their projects, from a vegan junk food spot to a shrimp burger haven. Seems like it would be deliciously cutthroat, but really everyone is rather polite.
10. The Great British Baking Show
Last but certainly not least, The Great British Baking Show is probably what you think of when someone says “British reality TV” (well, that or Love Island, but I’m not sure how much those audiences overlap). Set in the idyllic English countryside, the classic amateur baking competition will bring you serenity through visually delectable treats and excellent sportsmanship.