What Makes Reality TV Great? Charismatic cast? Exotic (or isolated) environment? Drama or high-risk soap operas? These things can play an essential role in creating the exciting series we all know and love, but sometimes the best reality shows make it easy. Twentysomethings: Austin, now streaming on Netflix, gathers eight people in their twenties at a neighbour’s house and lets the magic happen.
The pandemic is sending some of us home, or to places we never imagined;
And many need a fresh start. To shake up some young people living where they don’t like it. Netflix chose 8 Years to live in America’s Fastest-Growing City: Austin, Texas. These men and four women are ready to change, create life, love, and career in a confined space. Here’s Natalie, 26, from Miami, who never goes out alone and is ready to open up to new experiences. While “happy mushroom” Raquel, 26, also from Florida, wants to meet new people and leave her hometown. There’s also a recently divorced 26-year-old Abby from Houston, who wants to live, and Isha, 24, a Berkeley graduate who doesn’t always joke around.
On the boy’s side is Bruce, 23, from South Carolina, who is looking for love and a new career, Kiauno, 28, from Arkansas, who hopes to live a more authentic life as a gay man, now in Austin and looking for one Comedian: Michael, 23, from LA and dream model Kamari, 23, from North Carolina, who hopes to sign with the agency. The group is quick enough to snap photos, shop together, spend time at the pool, and be romantic and platonic. Abbey, bis*xual, confronts Kamari but can’t help but interfere in Bruce and Isha’s new relationship, while Raquel is dismayed to learn that Michael’s interests lie elsewhere (namely, a 51-year-old woman). It got boiling when the band went to a concert one night, and the connection continued a bit. If this is just the start, we can’t wait to see where Twentysomethings goes from here.
There are better options for a holiday hangover:
Dizzy sleepy drinking from a good old fashioned reality show. There are no severe stakes, no confusing storylines, just many hot twenties crammed into two cute houses and endless possibilities. That’s what Twentysomethings have to offer. He’s not trying to reinvent the wheel. He’s not trying to throw a crazy, twisty ball that will change the course of reality TV forever. He also doesn’t shy away from more terrifying moments, a choice that works. This team of 8 felt like people you know from home, the kids excited to start over in a new place and all the accidents and adventures that come with it.
While there’s still no villain in the series (although the self-assured Abby is certainly a contender), the characters they put together here are certainly interesting. They all come from very different backgrounds and arrive full of warmth and curiosity; It’s great to see how they all connect and get to know each other! There didn’t seem to be much judgment from the gate, only a crew of about twenty people trying to find support. Would you like to see it come through your finger? (I’m watching you, Michael.) Of course. But that’s the kind of content that many of us crave after a busy year; minimal brain power, maximum fun. Thank goodness it was all twenties: Austin wanted to give us.
As said, Twentysomethings is precisely what you’d expect from this type of reality show, full of annoying interactions, low stakes drama, and hilarious (and sometimes annoying) characters.