Whether you’re a full-on television binge-watcher or the occasional dabbler, here are some Netflix guilty pleasures we can’t get enough of watching. Of course, there are many streaming subscription services that have plenty on offer to love, but here’s our quick list. So, grab your favourite snacks and a cocktail or two and happy viewing!
#1 Emily in Paris (2020-present)
Everyone is talking about Emily in Paris! If you haven’t seen the talk, you might have been living under a rock (which is totally possible the way we all feel in this semi-post-pandemic world).
Produced by Darren Star who is known for Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990–2000), Melrose Place (1992–1999), Sex and the City (1998–2004), and other famous shows, Emily in Paris stars Lily Collins (daughter of legend Phil Collins) as Chicago-based marketing executive Emily Cooper who is sent to Paris to work at the newly acquired French luxury brand marketing company, Savoir, to provide an American perspective. Emily is navigating the culture shock, trying to find love, fit in at work, and make friends. The show has a short run time (around 30 minutes and 10 episodes per season) and is on its second season right now, which was released in December. Although it’s faced backlash, it’s a light-hearted, fun, and airy watch and it provides a bit of escapism.
#2 Bridgerton (2020-present)
Nothing has caused quite such a stir like Bridgerton. Another show that’s on its popular second season, the plot follows a fun re-telling of Regency-era English where eight siblings in the powerful Bridgerton family each find love in turn. Each season (or novel in Julia Quinn’s original stories) follows a new Bridgerton sibling in his or her journey to find love with plenty of gossip and drama to match. With Lady Whistledown as their Regency-era Gossip Girl, this creme-de-la-creme of English society better watch out!
Season one follows the love story of Daphne Bridgeton, eldest daughter of the late Viscount Bridgerton, and Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings. Season two follows Anthony, Viscount Bridgerton, the head of the family and his search for love. The episodes are around an hour and there are eight episodes per season.
The first season was a bit of an unexpected hit with everyone deep in the pandemic, looking for entertainment, it reached a whopping 82 million households and became the most-watched Netflix series at the time (with Squid Games now surpassing it).
#3 Sex Education (2019-present)
A show that has received much critical acclaim over its three seasons, with an ensemble cast, Sex Education follows the lives of students, staff, and parents of a fictional high school, Moordale Secondary School. Socially awkward Otis (Asa Butterfield) provides quality guidance to his peers on topics of sexual education, gleaned from living with his sex therapist mother (played by Gillian Anderson). It’s a show that is well-written, funny, heartfelt, and quirky – even if the subject matter might not be one you’d usually go for.
The show has twenty-four episodes (eight per season) and runs around an hour per episode.
#4 Love is Blind (2020-present)
Love is Blind is a reality dating show hosted by former 90s 98 Degrees boy band member, Nick Lachey (who used to be famously married to Jessica Simpson and starred in their ensuing reality TV show) and his wife Vanessa Lachey, former early-2000s TRL host and Entertainment Tonight host. The premise of the show is that people meet in “pods,” date, and get engaged all without seeing each other in person. Then, after their engagement, they get to meet before they get married. Sounds like a fantastic way to meet your future partner, right? Maybe not! But the show is one of those must-watch throwaway entertainment shows. The first season aired in 2020 but was filmed in 2018 and has 14 episodes and the second season aired this year in 2022 with 11 episodes. It’s a fun, mindless television sort of show that you may or may not want to admit to watching!
#5 Selling Sunset (2019-present)
If you loved Laguna Beach circa 2004, then you might love Selling Sunset, both produced by Adam DiVello – if nothing else to see how the other half live! Selling Sunset is an American reality TV show revolving around the personal and professional lives of the real estate agents of a brokerage firm in LA, the Oppenheim Group.
Now four seasons in (but renewed for a fifth), the show was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program. It’s full of glamour, drama, amazing properties, and even better outfits.
#6 Is it Cake? (2022-present)
In 2020, a TikTok and internet meme circulated where people posted videos of items that looked like real objects – for example, an aubergine, a kettle, a toaster, a hand, and so forth – but were really cake. In the videos, a knife would be shown cutting through objects that made you question your reality and wonder why anyone would bother turning said cake into lifelike objects. Maybe it was all a stunt to create this reality game show or maybe the game show came out of the meme! Who knows?
This show premiered this March and runs for eight episodes of around forty minutes each. It’s a cooking competition of sorts where contestants bake cakes to replicate common objects to trick celebrity judges. The winner of each episode receives five thousand dollars with a chance to win more money if they correctly identify which pile of cash (made to look like cake, of course) is real and which is cake. So, if you want a show where handbags, sewing machines, bowling balls, and bags of cash are made to look like cake, this show is for you.
#7 Too Hot to Handle (2020-present)
Season one of Too Hot to Handle was a huge hit back in 2020 and now the show has two more seasons, filmed back to back and released last June. The premise of this American-British reality dating game show is that ten adults, known for flirting and flings, are put together in an exotic location for a month where they are not allowed any sexual contact or even self-gratification. Each season has nine to ten episodes and runs for around half an hour.
The show is hosted by a virtual assistant called Lana, basically like an Alexa who sees all. The grand prize is $100,000 split between them if they can keep their hands to themselves and not break the rules within the time frame.
It may be another show that you won’t discuss with your nana (or even your potential future mother-in-law) but is a guilty pleasure on a Friday with a takeaway kind of show.
#8 Get Organized with The Home Edit (2020-present)
A guilty pleasure you can watch with the whole family, The Home Edit took over our screens in 2020. Hosted by super organisers, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, this show is another Marie Condo type organisation show but this time it features celebrities and colour coding books (for anyone who graduated in English literature this is a big no-no but it sure does look pretty!).
The second season just dropped and features Drew Barrymore, Chris Pratt, Lauren Conrad, Kevin Hart, and others with eight episodes total. But if you need to catch up on the eight episodes of season one, you can see Reese Witherspoon, Rachel Zoe, Khloe Kardashian, Eva Longoria, Neil Patrick Harris, and other celebs get organised and colour coordinated. It’s like an organisation and style programme in one (think Dream Home Makeover but for closets and garages).
Which of these Netflix shows is your guilty pleasure or are there any of your faves we missed out? Let us know on our social media which shows you love to love (or hate to love).
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