For anyone who’s been keeping track of all the myriad Netflix releases each week over the course of this year, if I asked you to prepare a list of the titles that immediately stand out to you as the most cringey, I bet I’d have a pretty good idea of what that list would largely consist of. Many of them would no doubt be Netflix reality shows, along the lines of Is It Cake? and Dating and Related.
It’s the nettlesome tradeoff that affects many of the significant content decisions inside Netflix: Make what we think passes the quality test, or make shows that people are guaranteed to watch (even if they’re garbage).
Ok, so it’s probably not worded exactly like that inside the company, but you get the idea. The Netflix of today is home to everything from strong, top-notch fare — the newly released Swedish crime drama Snabba Cash is a great example, as well as the forthcoming Marilyn Monroe movie Blonde, starring Ana de Armas — as well as low-brow tripe like every conceivable twist on the dating genre that you can dream up.
Netflix reality shows
All of Netflix’s quality fare has to live alongside — and compete for your attention against — the guilty pleasure Netflix reality shows, including titles like Too Hot to Handle, Love is Blind, and Cooking With Paris.
But, thankfully, the Netflix reality shows aren’t all about romantic entanglements.
On Wednesday, for example, the streamer debuted a Mexican iteration of a high-profile reality cooking franchise: Iron Chef Mexico.
“The legendary culinary competition that began in Japan and became a global phenomenon,” Netflix explains, “will be experienced for the first time in Spanish and with a very Mexican touch.”
Continues the streamer: “The best chefs based in Mexico will go head to head in the kitchen stadium against the resident Iron Chefs in a duel against the clock around a very peculiar secret ingredient. The series is based on Fuji Television Network’s format.”
Celebrities participating in the show include Spanish pop star Belinda, who can also be seen in the recent hit Spanish-language Netflix drama Welcome to Eden.
During this season of Iron Chef Mexico Netflix, meanwhile, competing chefs will at times try to mix Mexican and Japanese cuisine; prepare gourmet street food; battle to prepare the (literally) hottest desserts; and much more. All of which is to say, thankfully, that this is one Netflix reality show, at least, where no one will subject themselves to all manner of debasement in order to find love.