The trailer for Dance Monsters — Netflix’s newest reality series, which debuts tomorrow — begins like a conventional TV competition. There’s a closeup on the face of a telegenic judge, hyping up a contestant: “You’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time, so prove it.”
Based on the title, you expect to then see maybe a sweaty, out-of-breath dancer on stage, awaiting his or her fate. “It was fun, it was energetic, it was exciting,” another judge chimes in, while still another marvels that this isn’t like anything he’s ever seen in his life before. The camera then cuts to … outlandish creatures, mugging for the camera. One of them, a female whose parts seem to be made out of candies, holds arms outstretched and asks the camera: “Bet you didn’t expect that.” Indeed.
Dance Monsters on Netflix
Welcome to another addition to the streaming giant’s growing library of bonkers, low-brow reality shows. This one, Netflix explains, is a feel-good competition in which amateur dancers disguised as CGI avatars will “bring their best moves, hoping to wow our panel of judges and win $250,000.”
Dance Monsters’ judges include Ne-Yo, Lele Pons, and Ashley Banjo, with Ashley Roberts serving as host.
In the same way Netflix is squeezing every different permutation out of the dating genre that it can (Too Hot to Handle, Love is Blind, Sexy Beasts), so, too, is it trying something new with contestants and a dancefloor. In this case, the hopefuls show off their skills backstage, where they’re rigged up to project themselves as one of the “monsters” inherent in the title onstage via an avatar.
“Dance Monsters is amazing,” one of the contestants raves, “because I’m not being judged on the way I look.”
It’s still so weird, though. At one point, a mummy avatar muses aloud to the camera, wondering if the player is really capturing the way this character looks. “A funny one-eyed alien is what it took for me to believe in myself,” another tells the camera.
Hey, this is Netflix. Different strokes for different folks.
Other new Netflix reality series
This genre, as we’ve written numerous times now, remains a super-popular one across Netflix’s global subscriber base. And other recent new titles in this category, besides Dance Monsters, include:
- Drink Masters: This is a 10-episode Netflix series that brings together 12 innovative mixologists to “infuse, stir and blend their way through a series of high-stakes cocktail challenges to win a life-changing prize and the title of The Ultimate Drink Master.”
- Dubai Bling: This show, meanwhile, transplants a kind of Kardashian-style, Bling Empire feel to one of the richest cities on the planet. “Meet the local residents for whom bling is the everyday, and who can fall out over carats as much as diamonds,” Netflix says about the show. “When 1 in 100 residents is a millionaire, they all want to reach the highest level of the ladder.”