Blown Away

A scene in Blown Away.
A scene in Blown Away.
Screengrab: YouTube/Netflix

SHOW:

Blown Away

WHERE TO WATCH:

Netflix

OUR RATING:

4/5

WHAT IT'S ABOUT:

Ten glassblowing artists turn up the heat in extreme challenges for the chance to win $60 000 (R881 071) in prizes and the title of "best in glass."

WHAT WE THOUGHT:

I've always found the art of glassblowing intriguing, but I had no idea what I would be getting myself into when I discovered this show on Netflix.

Now in its second season, Blown Away sees ten glassblowers battle it out with weekly themed challenges all in the hopes of winning $60 000 in prizes and the title of champion.

In case you don't know, glassblowing is the art of shaping molten glass with the aid of a blowpipe. But it goes far beyond just blowing a bubble – contestants amaze with incredible creations ranging from comical figurines to crockery and even full glass installations. Trust me, you'll never look at a piece of glass the same way again when you're through.

In recent years Netflix has taken on a slew of reality competition shows – from food, to makeup, to flowers, we've seen it all. Some of them are filled with nail-biting drama that will keep your finger close to the "next episode" button as you speed through, while others leave much to be desired. I'm happy to report that this one is the former.

While I'm positive the glassblowing community (which I have come to find is indeed a thing) was over the moon to see this unique artform garner some attention. I assure you that even those with little to no knowledge of the art will be captivated by the level of skill displayed by contestants.

If anything, you will at least get to learn fun terminology like "glory hole" and "flamework". The show does a great job of ensuring viewers are always in the loop, explaining terms as they go along.

Each week a guest judge joins the resident judge along with the show's host, former Big Brother USA contestant and science YouTuber, Nick Uhas.

I have found that many of Netflix's reality competitions are filled with unnecessary, over-the-top theatrics, which serves no purpose other than to distract, in my opinion. Thankfully, that was kept to the minimum with Blown Away. I guess watching people work with molten glass provides enough drama on its own.

Whatever the reasoning, I got to focus all of my attention on the work of the talented competitors, finding my favourites as the show moved along, holding my breath every time a piece of glass shattered on the floor, and creeping to the edge of my seat when it was time for eliminations.

With each episode being just over 20 minutes long in the first season, and just under 30 minutes in the second, it's the perfect show to binge over the weekend.

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