Netflix has been a staple for many types of genres since its inception. Genres such as dramas, horrors, and comedies have thrived on the streaming platform, gaining huge amounts of attention from the public and critics alike. However, until recently reality television has almost exclusively been left to cable television. Nevertheless, Netflix finally dipped into this genre with shows such as Queer Eye and Nailed It! Reality television attracts a certain audience, but can easily can a big following quickly if the show is interesting.
Nailed It! mixes the reality shows where a cash prize is awarded to the winning contestant with a cooking reality show. There are also elements of comedy, family, and drama/stress. Cooking shows are very popular. Certain networks on TV are even exclusively dedicated to food. So, for this type of show to be effective, it has to be done extremely well in a creative way.
Between the two shows mentioned, without ever watching either, I only had heard of Queer Eye, so I was interested to see what the hype was about. The concept of mixing a bunch of people together without somewhat different backgrounds and views is entertaining. The location of Atlanta is also an interesting choice, given the makeup of demographics with the combination of rural and urban. This show falls under the category of lifestyle television. With that said, there are other elements included especially topics of LGBTQ. The idea of a ‘test subject’ is entertaining, it keeps the show new and fresh, adding and subtracting a new character each time.
Both of these shows feel familiar with other shows but yet have a unique twist which makes them entertaining. Nailed It! is obviously a cooking show- but instead of watching professional chefs cook up masterpieces, this show captures bad home cooks looking to improve. Of course, there are shows about bad restaurants already on cable, but it is rare to find one about ordinary people who have to cook at home. This is very relatable for the mass public. Almost everyone has to cook, or learn how to cook and many people struggle in the kitchen. For an audience viewer who relates to this, they watch it for that very reason, or for a better cook, they could even tune in for amusement. It lends a positive message towards personal success, challenging the cast to be the best chefs possible (and winning money).
As mentioned, with so many existing reality programs on cable, Netflix has to be unique. In the article, “How Netflix and Amazon Are Driving a Global Reality TV Renaissance,” Hollywood Reporter (April 9, 2018), by Scott Roxborough, this topic is discussed as he says, ” In typical self-promotional fashion, Netflix has claimed its move into nonscripted will revolutionize the genre. So Queer Eye isn’t just a retread of a hit format from the early 2000s, it’s a woke celebration of LGBTQ rights (although that definition fits the original just as well).” This show clearly brings new qualities to the world of reality TV that are unprecedented especially in the LGBTQ movement. New, relatable shows such as these two, will be key for attracting new audiences.