Hype House

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Hype House
Hype House
Photo: YouTube/ Netflix

SHOW:

Hype House

WHERE TO WATCH

Netflix

OUR RATING:

3/5 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT:

Get an inside look at social media's most talked-about stars as they navigate love, fame and friendship while creating content and living together.

WHAT WE THOUGHT:

It's been only around six years since TikTok first launched, but its effect on social media and influencer fame has drastically changed the game in a very short amount of time. Teenagers became viral sensations for being themselves, and in the process, raked in money that older generations couldn't dream of when they were the same age.

One of the oddest and most interesting concepts to come out of this fame industry are content houses - collectives of young superstars with massive or growing social media followings that live in a mansion together and collaborate on content the whole day, supposedly funded through their collective brand deals and other monetisations. With so many hormones sharing a space, it's no wonder that they have attracted many a controversy or fallout - none so much as The Hype House. And now, you can watch all the messy behind-the-scenes with Netflix's newest reality jaunt. 

The house was originally the brainchild of Chase Hudson (known as Lil Huddy) and Thomas Petrou, who started it up with Daisy Keech, Alex Warren and Kouvr Annon in the Los Angeles area. But as the series starts, there's already a rift between the original founders - Chase no longer lives at the main house, and his focus on music has distanced him from Thomas and the rest of his friends. Outside of the Hype House residents, trans beauty influencer Nikita Dragun and ex-house member Larray also feature in the series as they hang out with the current members, bringing drama with them.

If you're a millennial or older and have no idea who these people are, this show is almost reminiscent of the old MTV reality days when 16 and Pregnant, My Sweet Sixteen and The Hills had us all tuning in to witness the drama of American teenagers and twenty-year-olds. Hype House is exactly that, reimagined for a Gen X audience. They would enjoy the messiness of it all, the drama and the fights, all while swooning over their favourite TikTok stars. To a teenager, it will look like any high school plucked from your favourite teenage movie. But for anyone older, Hype House is actually really, really depressing.

The series reveals how many come from broken homes and the stress some of them put themselves under in order to keep making content. The show doesn't shy away at all from this increasingly dark side of social media fame and weirdly highlights that you should also be working on other projects because of the fickleness of this kind of success.

Chase is intent on becoming a rock star, Larray is pursuing acting while Dragun is hustling with a beauty line. All of this frustrates Thomas, the only one who paradoxically sees the Hype House as a business and a family and clearly has a hard time letting go of his friends/business partners when they want to leave the nest. This breeds some unhealthy toxic behaviour in the form of manipulation and pettiness, but very little is ever addressed. This might be great for reality television, yet you come away pretty despondent for a generation where the right amount of likes could literally pull you out of poverty. While Gen X and Boomers would berate this show as a bunch of spoiled kids who do nothing and still get rich, millennials will better understand their hustle and feel a pang of sorrow for them.

On a lighter note, there are some laughs and chuckles at some of their more ridiculous antics and silly drama. However, one random standout in the show was Nikita Dragun. It's a bit jarring to see a 25-year-old hanging out so much with 18-year-olds, even though they try to frame it as her reliving her high school years as a woman. She's extremely extra in everything she does, which is all good, and in another reality show, I would have probably loved her. But among these young TikTokers who prefer sweatpants half the time, it just doesn't fit. Nikita is in her own show within a show, and hopefully, she's less involved if there's a second season. 

Overall, Hype House is not as much a fun and mindless watch as you normally want from your reality entertainment. It has a dark and sombre message about the realities of social media fame, and the emotional toll when you tie your self-worth to a flaky measurement where you could lose two million followers for one wrong tweet, and with that, your income. 

The fact that they are still children drives it home even further. If you're looking for something less depressing, instead switch over to Selling Sunset.

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24