Terrace House (テラスハウス) is a Japanese reality show that started in 2012, originally airing on Fuji Television under the name Boys × Girls Next Door for 8 seasons until 2014 and concluding with a standalone movie in 2015. The show follows a group of people living in the eponymous Terrace House in the Shōnan region as they live their lives, work towards their dreams, and make connections with one another.
What sets it apart from other reality shows which follow people living under the same roof is that the housemates (or members as they're known on the show) will leave Terrace House on their own volition either when they feel like their goals have been met or when they feel the house has nothing more to offer them. The show also has a panel of commentators composed of various Japanese celebrities and media figures who discuss what happens during the course of the episode and also provide an audio commentary track on Netflix.
In 2015, a new season of the show taking place in Tokyo titled Boys & Girls in the City premiered as a co-production of Internet streaming service Netflix and Fuji TV, running for a total of 46 episodes before concluding. It also marked the first time the series was available for international release. The next season of the show, entitled Aloha State, would shake things up by changing the location of the house from Japan to Hawaii, but still following a group of Japanese-speaking young adults. Aloha State concluded in summer of 2017 after 36 episodes.
The following series, Opening New Doors, brought the series back to Japan, taking place in Karuizawa in the Nagano district. It premiered in December of 2017 and lasted until February of 2019 for a total of 49 episodes. The finale teased the newest series, Terrace House Tokyo 2019-2020, once again bringing the setting back after two series.
Terrace House has been noted by many Internet commentators as being a refreshing take on reality TV, being relatively free of staged drama and fights that are commonly associated with similar shows and focusing more on the bonds and relationships formed by the housemates, who seem like ordinary people rather than over-the-top characters.
This series provides examples of:
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: Taylor Swift has provided the opening songs for all of the series, but internationally the show uses royalty-free music both for the opening themes and background music.
- Beach Episode: Usually there is one at least once every series, especially in Aloha State since it took place in Hawaii.
- Brutal Honesty: Natsumi from the second series is never afraid to speak her mind, something that put her at odds with some of the other members, particularly Minori and Misaki.
- Cool House: All of the Terrace Houses featured so far, which are all very stylish and modern.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Seina Shimabukuro, who debuted in the first series, is a glamorous fashion model who is known for her outgoing and fun-loving personality, especially when she drinks. She is one of the few members to reappear in later series of the show.
- Hopeless Suitor: Tecchan from the first series had a huge crush on Rie, but since she is an idol, she's forbidden from dating. The two did go on a few casual dates, but it never progressed any further. Notably, on their last date, Ricchan pushes his hand away when he tries to hold her hand and the camera lingers on his anguished face.
- Idol Singer: Rie Kitahara was one of the first housemates in Boys × Girls Next Door. She is famous for being in the J-pop group AKB48 and was forbidden to date anyone due to the infamous "love ban" that many idols have to follow. A lot of the initial interest in the series was seeing her.
- Old Flame Fizzle: Yuriko tries to rekindle her relationship with her ex, but he rebuffs her and tells her she needs to focus on medical school. She leaves the house afterwards.
- Relationship Upgrade: Most notably in Boys & Girls in the City with Minori and Uchi, who are the first couple in the Tokyo house. Misaki & Yuuki and Arman and Martha respectively become couples, as well.
- Shion and Tsubasa from Opening New Doors, a fan favorite couple who has a slow, but heartwarming, progression to their relationship.
- Sequel Goes Foreign: Aloha State takes place in Hawaii, but also shows some scenes in Japan like when Lauren took a trip there.
- Slice of Life: A notable difference from English reality shows is that the housemates continue to go to school and work while they live in the house.
- Team Dad: Hansan from Boys & Girls in the City, who was the oldest member of the house and is known for his levelheadedness and maturity, as well as imparting wisdom to his younger housemates.
- Takayuki from Opening New Doors is also one of the older housemates at 31 and often gave out life advice to the younger members.