20 of the most relaxing reality TV shows to watch right now

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2. Terrace House

Here’s the truth: nothing much happens in Terrace House.

That’s kind of the point, though. Where shows like The Real World and The Bachelor use the “contestants have to live together” trope to generate maximum drama, this Japanese reality show does practically the opposite. Some of the most recent seasons have even been described as “zen” for all of the everyday sameness going on in the Terrace House.

If that sounds boring, consider the many avid viewers of the show, along with its longevity. It all started in 2012, with Terrace House: Boys x Girls. Though there’s been some amount of moving the house’s location and, naturally, its inhabitants, the basic concept remains the same.

In the world of Terrace House, a certain number of women and men move into a house together. And… well, that’s pretty much it. They’re free to move about as they please, going out to work, socialize, and do whatever they wish. It’s almost the exact opposite of other house-based shows, where participants are practically trapped in their luxurious surroundings.

People can even decide to move on from the show whenever it seems right to them. They’re replaced by a new cast member of the same gender, which is about as dramatic as things get. Meanwhile, well known Japanese showbiz personalities sit around in a separate room and comment on the goings-on.

The ordinary nature of the whole affair is what makes it appealing. Think Norway’s Slow TV, but with a bunch of everyday people just living their lives within the same frame. Sure, there are cameras everywhere, but little to none of Terrace House’s drive comes from manufactured drama. It remains one of the simplest and most pleasing examples of soothing reality television out there.