Okay, so maybe the concept of a reality television show and the use of the word "weird" go hand in hand. Even so, some reality TV shows are a lot weirder than others.
There’s a reason why shows like Toddlers and Tiaras, Duck Dynasty, and Hoarders are so popular. In spite of ourselves, we can’t help but watch in horror, fascination, and disgust as real-life people whom we have no personal connection with whatsoever live their every day (albeit weird) lives—often a routine which is normal to them.
With Netflix changing its catalogue of television shows so often, it’s hard to keep up with all of the (quality? Interesting?)—addictive, let’s say, reality television shows that are made available for our viewing/binge-watching pleasure.
From the strange and fascinating world of Terrace House to the show about a rescue company that swears like sailors on a dangerous Canadian highway, the current selection of reality television shows on American Netflix are not only hilarious and interesting, they are also so very weird.
Clearly, though, weird is good for the most part, and surely the defining quality of makes these shows so popular. So, read on for the 15 Weirdest TV Shows On Netflix Right Now.
15 Terrace House
Quiet, strange, fascinating… What else can be said about Terrace House, the Japanese franchise reality TV series that was picked up by Netflix for a second edition, Terrace House: Boys and Girls in the City?
With three separate renditions of the shows – Boys x Girls Next Door, Boys & Girls in the City, and Aloha State – this reality television show has endless episodes for you to binge on, although Netflix currently only features Boys & Girls in the City and Aloha State.
A simple premise, this show is about absolutely nothing – the mundane, everyday lives of a group of young Japanese people. And yet, this mundaneness manifests itself in interesting ways, and one day we catch a glimpse of the pool being cleaned. This winds up being possibly one of the most profound moments of the show.
The weirdness makes this show what it is, and we love it.
14 Alaska State Troopers
What more obvious premise for a show than the fast lives and times of a group of law enforcement officers in rural Alaska?
That’s right, Alaska State Troopers provides us with this storyline, and so much more.
It’s not that we don’t admire the very brave job that these officials are doing. But have you ever watched a reality TV show and thought, how are the cameras catching this right now?
Literally, the show features house fires, car chases, and drug busts, and we somehow forget that this means there was a camera crew hanging around to capture all of these events, too.
Not to mention, law enforcement in America is a pretty contentious subject right now, and watching law enforcement officials having their gun-wielding mind-set further engrained into them is a strange experience for some viewers.
13 Curious and Unusual Deaths
On top of this show capitalizing on society’s fascination with death and all things taboo, this show is weird in that it literally focuses on strange ways that people have died.
The idea behind the show is quite cool, really. Researchers find out the world’s strangest deaths that have never been explained— and then they explain them. From rogue electricity bolts to killer microwaves, this show is not only weird because of its information on the weirdest deaths ever, but also for the creepy narration throughout the show, throwing unanswered riddles to the show’s audience.
To add to that, fun factoids are told to us throughout the duration of the show, such as “kitty litter and bananas contain enough radiation to set off many airport detectors.” Weird, isn’t it?
12 Ultimate Beastmaster
Of course, a competition show featuring celebrities isn’t exactly what you’d call ground-breaking television. Yet Ultimate Beastmaster gives us something new and something different.
Maybe it’s the fact that Sylvestor Stallone is the individual hosting the series – did he really have nothing better to do?!
Or maybe it’s the strangeness of the show’s setting: the competitions take place in a steel frame taking the form of a giant beast, and participants are suspended over a body of red-colored water, intelligently called "Beast Blood."
There’s something special and strangely addictive about watching our favorite C-list celebrities fall into a giant vat of Beast Blood, and that’s just what the wonderful world of this competition show gives us, but with a twist!
11 American Bible Challenge
Who doesn't love a good Biblical-themed television show? Obviously, this show's premise was just made to be on reality TV.
Essentially, the show features competitors who are ridiculously well-versed in any and all Biblical facts.
While a large portion of the show focuses on trivia, there are some notable bonus rounds and fun interludes to mix things up. One example of this is the game "Stick A Fork In It", involving participants catapulting a fork into the appropriate bucket that has the correct answer. Another example is the game "Kirk's Righteous Remix", where a choir (including Grammy award winning Kirk Franklin) sings out biblical lyrics and teams must remember some sort of facts about their verses.
And if that doesn't convince you, try watching only to be amused by the hilarious team names, like "Bible Belts" or "Gospel Geezers."
10 Dealer$: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
As though we need another reality television show about buying, selling, hoarding, collecting, and so on.
But Dealer$: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is brings to the table something special in this seemingly infinite world of boring buying/selling shows. What exactly makes it so different?
For once, the show is not based in the United States, and does not solely feature Americans. This time, we watch British people explore the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe, searching for the best deals at flea markets and auctions.
As strange as the concept of this kind of reality show is in America (and the popularity, for that matter), it's even weirder that the concept managed to get traction in the United Kingdom, too. Although, with a rating of just two stars on Netflix, the weirdness of a British buying/selling show clearly couldn't gain that much traction.
9 Deals In The Desert
What do you think when you think of the Kingdom of Bahrain? How many of us can honestly admit we've ever even thought much about this tiny Arab monarch?
Deals in the Desert successfully capitalizes on this rather obscure conglomeration of tiny islands, creating a strangely entertaining show about the fast lives of real estate agents in the Arab gulf.
Perhaps weird isn't even the right word for what this show is— novel might be more of an appropriate descriptor— because how many from the west have really travelled to the Middle East? Certainly not a lot.
Deals in the Desert gives us a glimpse into the lives of the (very) rich who live in the area, and of the interesting landscape that plays as a backdrop for them.
8 Cold Water Cowboys
What could possibly be more riveting than a group of East Coast Canadians setting out on epic fishing trips for months at a time from a community in northern Newfoundland?!
We're sure you can think of a lot things, although that doesn't explain why so many are addicted to the totally fascinating world of Cold Water Cowboys.
Because, after all, who doesn't love listening to a group of ocean-style cowboys talking amongst themselves.? These boats go out for months at a time, and your regular Joe rarely gets an inside glimpse of what happens on these fishing boats.
Cold Water Cowboys gives us some insight on this, on the crazy adventures and the interesting male-dominated vibes, as well as the very weird moments that happen when a group of men are stuck in a confined space for long periods of time.
7 Dirt Every Day
The title of this show already gives us hints that it might not be for the faintest of hearts. And, sure enough, the eccentric Fred Williams takes us on adventures we never would have imagined going on before.
Williams's cars are hyped up and jacked, although some are much nicer than others. But for him, he'll take them out, rain or shine, and try to drive over any and all surfaces.
From driving over rocks to driving through sinking mud in the jungle, we struggle to grasp why someone would possibly put themselves through such trauma. Despite this lack of meaning to why Dirt Every Day actually exists, we watch all the same, because it is weirdly addictive, and we have to admire Williams's passion.
6 Filthy Riches
From eel hunting to a full-blown search for ginseng, Filthy Riches gives us insight into the lives of a group of people who are extremely dedicated to the outdoors— and who make money off of it!
The show features eel fisherman Ray Turner, ginseng hunters Billy Taylor, Caleb Taylor, and Levi Monroe, bloodworm diggers Jim Campbell and Andy Johns, burl hunters Greg Dahl and Albert DeSilva, and mushroom hunters Chris Matherly and Levena Holmes.
Turns out, some American states have some extremely valuable goods that most wouldn't expect to be so valuable— eels, for instance, are not necessarily the most obvious choice of valuable good. This group of individuals has managed to find a niche market, and we as viewers are privy to the strange practices associated with acquiring these goods.
5 Highway Thru Hell
For anyone from the inland, mountainous area of the province of British Columbia in Canada, the Coquihalla Highway is well-known for its often treacherous conditions, especially in the winter. But for the rest of the world, it's likely never come to the forefront of people's minds.
Of course, reality TV being what it is, someone thought it would be a good idea to feature this highway in a television show, and there we have Highway Thru Hell.
Despite the obscurity of the show's premise and location, it was somehow wildly popular, with five seasons and still running. Perhaps this was for the, let's say— interesting— conversations between the road crew team, or maybe it was for the insane accidents that are so terrible yet so appealing to watch.
4 Real Life Wife Swap
The title says it all, doesn't it? Nothing is more fascinating to society than taboo sexual practices, and here we've got a reality show that focuses on just that.
In Real Life Wife Swap's case, we get to watch how seemingly average suburban couples live their true lives: by swinging, or as the title suggests, "swapping wives."
Is it weird? Certainly, to most. However, the individuals featured on the show really do make a case for their choice in lifestyle, and we love to watch them interact and just be themselves. It's so strange, yet so addictive. And, as they continuously remind their viewers— just because it's strange or different (or probably very problematic for some couples), does not mean that it's wrong or illegal!
3 Canada’s Worst Driver
Given that Britain's Worst Driver already exists, of course Canada had to make a remake. With the great roads and highways of the second-largest country in the world, of course there are going to be some seriously terrible drivers in Canada.
Most don't know that there's actually something called the Driver Rehabilitation Centre, and yet, there it is. The idea of the show is that eight of the worst drivers from all over Canada come to this rehab center, and they compete in tasks and challenges to ensure they do not receive the notorious title of Canada's Worst Driver.
Sometimes, the show will get serious and drivers will actually have their licenses revoked. Either way, whether the show is funny or serious, it's always strangely fascinating. Who would have thought Canadian drivers could bring us so much joy?!
2 Skin Wars
Who knew that there was a whole world out there of professional body painters? Turns out there is, and because of it, there must, of course, also be a reality TV show that features the practice.
Skin Wars is a competition reality show that attempts to find the best body painter in the industry by presenting challenges to the professional body painters.
Because it is such a niche skill or talent to have, the show really makes for good television. But we can't help but wonder— did the body painters one day just wake up and say, "hey, I want to be a body painter!" The peculiar choice of career is what baffles us most, despite being able to appreciate the incredible talent of the individuals competing.
1 Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends
A classic reality TV show from the early 2000s, we have somehow been graced with a rewatch of Louis Theroux's explorations into the unknown world of humans, who can be found in all corners of the world.
Examples of some of his strange experiences include living with "The Family" - which are a group of hardline Christians - or building a home with a group of survivalists preparing for a dystopian catastrophe, or taking part in a demolition derby, or visiting a Bangkok marriage agency where young Thai women will be set up with older men from Western countries.
Given that the show has "weird" in its title, we really shouldn't be surprised about the insane adventures that Theroux goes on. We just hope that Netflix keeps this one streaming for a while.
Did we miss a weird reality television show that is currently streaming on Netflix? Let us know in the comments!