Terrace House: Tokyo 2019-2020

Couple watching a TV show. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
Couple watching a TV show. (PHOTO: Getty Images)


Three men and three women living together in a house in Tokyo are looking for love and personal enrichment.


The riveting interplay between the young adults who live together in this Japanese reality show had a tremendous impact on my views of our own culture. It’s been a source of both introspection and inspiration.

Terrace House is a beautiful depiction of the differences in cultural nuances we’re so used to seeing on our own screens. Where we normally live for over-the-top dramas and arguments, this series showcases the delicate balance of politeness and courtesy we so rarely see in South Africa.

Calling this show special, is an understatement.

The original cast kick-start the show and highlight the intricate and subtle flow of Japanese culture where many battle with the tradition of sticking to a profession or developing multiple career paths plus finding the one.

It portrays the internal struggles we all face in our own lives, with a sense of sensitivity and relatability far removed from what’s dished up in other shows in the reality trope.

Plus, the introduction of a panel of presenters who discuss the characters’ interactions contributes fresh perspectives on how we may have interpreted certain situations. Presenters Reina Triendl, Yoshimi Tokui, Azusa Babazono, Ryoto Yamasato and Shono Hayama give deeper insight into the housemates’ interactions that are very often humorous and savage.

The housemates trickle in and out of Terrace House in a revolving door fashion, with some leaving because they haven’t found a love interest or because they’ve reached some personal zenith they never knew they could reach.

It’s invigorating to watch such wholesome television that bridges cultural divides and exposes the splendour of the Japanese culture and lifestyle.

A top mention is the soundtrack – it boasts a variety of recognisable and catchy tunes that inject vibrancy and colour, which is something that’s rarely done in reality shows.

This series is a far cry from the Kardashians and thank goodness for that, because it would have been unbearable to sit through another episode of mindless arguments and menial drama.


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