Netflix is well known for its own original series such as Orange Is The New Black, Stranger Things, and You. However, there is also a plethora of game and competition shows with the streaming giant’s name attached to them that deserve their own recognition. Whether you need a breather after that last heart-pounding episode of Mindhunter or are looking for something a little more lighthearted for your next binge, these ten shows will keep you asking for more.
1. Nailed It!
If you’ve ever seen an amazingly decadent cake that looks more like a piece of art than anything, thought “hey, I could do that”, and then wound up with something out of your nightmares that you end up hiding in the trash can because it looks nothing like the Pinterest photo, then you’ll be pleased to know you’re not the only one. In fact, there are enough people out there like you to create an entire show about it. Hosted by comedian Nicole Byer and acclaimed pastry chef Jacques Torres, Nailed It! pits three amateur bakers against each other in two rounds of recreating baking masterpieces for a chance to win $10,000. Between Byer’s wacky commentary, the questionable baking decision that the contestants make, and occasional appearances by the show’s assistant director in increasingly ridiculous costumes, Nailed It! will have you in stitches through all four seasons.
2. Blown Away
Glassblowing is an art. Glassblowers need to know the right temperature and techniques, have a steady hand, and an extreme eye for detail to make stunning pieces of art. Take all of that, and condense it into an intense competition where ten master artists compete for $60,000 worth of prizes, and you’ve got Blown Away. From creating unique pieces that tell a story about their lives to making mundane objects into pop-art masterpieces, watching this show will make you wonder just how these people do it. But not everything is so easy, especially when one misstep can both literally and figuratively shatter everything they’ve been working towards.
3. Glow Up
Within the last decade, the beauty industry has experienced a surge in popularity like no other. This is all thanks to social media platforms like Youtube and Instagram, where both aspiring and professional makeup artists (also known as MUAs) can show off their skills. Those kinds of platforms have allowed shows like Glow Up, where ten makeup artists of varying skills compete for a career-changing prize, to exist. Each episode features three parts: the professional brief where the MUAs must follow a set task outside the studio, the creative brief that allows the MUAs to really stretch the limits of their imaginations, and the Face-Off, where the two contestants on the bottom duel in a battle of finesse and skill to decide who moves on to the next week. Just like some of the looks on the show, the show itself is full of drama that will keep you hooked until the finale.
4. Floor Is Lava
Playing “the floor is lava” as a kid is an almost universal experience. Clambering up onto the nearest piece of furniture and then competing in your own bizarre version of an obstacle course brings about a kind of fun that could never be recreated- until now. Floor Is Lava seems ridiculous from just the premise, but it’s ridiculous enough that it works. In the show, three teams of three compete on a puzzle-filled, wacky obstacle course to get from one side of the room to the other. The contestants must always keep moving though, for beneath their feet is steaming ‘”lava” that rises and threatens their chance of escape. For each team member that makes it through the course without getting burned, that team wins a point. The team with the most points at the end of the show wins $10,000 and the ultimate bragging rights.
5. The Big Flower Fight
Anyone who owns a garden will tell you that it’s a lot more physical than it looks. The best way to see this for yourself is to watch a show like The Big Flower Fight. Praised as The Great British Bake-Off but with blooms instead of baked goods, The Big Flower Fight pits ten duos against each other to create larger than life sculptures made of flowers, grasses, and other natural elements. From designer fashion to fairy-tale dreams, these contestants prove that anything can be made out of flowers if your imagination is big enough. On top of that, the show also encourages contestants to choose plants that do as much for the environment as the environment does for them to use in their sculptures, providing an interesting twist on a usual competition show.
6. The Final Table
There are so many cooking competition shows out there, and quite frankly, some of them are the same concept done over one hundred times. The Final Table, however, is different. Twelve teams of two from around the globe compete for a chance to sit at the eponymous table with some of the world’s most renowned chefs. Each episode focuses on a different country and that country’s signature dish. The chefs must impress a food critic and two cultural icons from that country in their interpretation of the dish. In the second round, called The Final Plate Challenge, another cultural icon chooses an ingredient that is significantly important to their country and the chefs must make a dish that highlights the ingredient or risk elimination. The Final Table is different from most cooking shows in that it really strives to highlight cuisine from every single corner of the globe, helping viewers to expand their culinary views.
7. Next In Fashion
This entry from our Top 6 TV Shows For Every Fashion Lover list deserves another mention. Hosted by model/designer Alexa Chung and Queer Eye personality Tan France, Next In Fashion will be your new obsession if you’re a big fan of Project Runway. Similar to Project Runway, Next In Fashion brings together eighteen designers for a high-stakes design competition that will leave you on the edge of your seat. The skills and creative limits of each designer are showcased front and center, since each design challenge is broad and the materials at their disposal are unlimited. Designers really have to learn to stand out or be sent home, and only one will be crowned the next big name in fashion.
8. The Circle
What would you do if you could win $100,000? According to the contestants on The Circle, the answer to that question is befriend, flirt, and catfish your way to that cash prize, gaining social media fame (or infamy) along the way. Part soapy competition series and part social experiment, The Circle shows that ratings are everything. The contestants all live in a single apartment building, similar to shows like Big Brother, but never meet each other face-to-face. Their only communication is through the app that shares the name of the show, an app that can make or break their chances at social media stardom. Through each episode, contestants are asked to rate each other. Those with the highest ratings become “Influencers”, people with the ability to “block” one contestant out of The Circle, eliminating them. Personality is everything on this show, but lies can come as easily as truth when everything is behind a screen.
9. Awake: The Million Dollar Game
Have you ever been so tired that you can’t comprehend anything except how much you want to collapse in bed? The contestants on Awake probably feel the same, except they don’t have the option to fall directly in bed. Instead, they must compete in a series of three mental and physical challenges to test just how much they can comprehend after staying awake for 24 hours counting an insane amount of quarters. There’s a lot of intricacies to this show, but if the final contestant is able to guess the total amount of money they accrued between the quarter counting and the challenges, they have the chance to win up to $1 million dollars or lose it all.
10. Ultimate Beastmaster
If you find yourself watching shows like American Ninja Warrior and The Titan Games, then Ultimate Beastmaster should be next on your list. Featuring extreme athletes from all over the world, contestants take on The Beast, the show’s obstacle course. The Beast consists of four levels of crazy obstacles, and only one contestant can be called the Beastmaster. However, that isn’t where their journey ends. The final episode of the season pits all former Beastmasters against each other to fight for the title of Ultimate Beastmaster. You’ll find yourself in awe of just what these people can accomplish, and of what the show continues to throw at them.