YouTube’s Reality House offers a nice escape

The full cast of Reality House season two

Instagram @kianandjc

The full cast of Reality House season two

Harper Zondlak, Staff Writer

The YouTube community has gradually become more and more like a conglomeration of cable networks. From Shane Dawson’s docuseries format to Phillip Defranco’s news reports, YouTube is constantly evolving. What could be a better addition to the site’s dynamic feed than a reality game show!

YouTube creators Kian and JC released the first season of Reality House last June. In the past, Kian and JC have released challenge videos with a cash reward, but never before have they done a challenge series to this caliber. The show consisted of 13 popular Youtubers isolated in a California Mansion, competing in challenges to win $25k. Reality House’s release was revolutionary to the Youtube community; while longer, show-like videos have become more popular in recent years, no channel has ever released a reality game show series as popular as Kian and JC’s, averaging 1.68 million views per episode.

Kian and JC released the first episode of Reality House season two on Jan.10. The finale premiered on Feb.10. Does the new season compare to the revoluntionary first?

Last year’s cast had a lot of great characters, but no one ever seemed to bump heads. Within the first episode of season two, there are alliances forming, enemies rising, and tensions brewing. We see strong personalities from Taylor Blake and Tab  Lawlui right off the bat.

Instagram @kianandjc
The full cast of Reality House season two

This season, the houseguests spent multiple days at the Reality House without phones, TV, or Wi-Fi. The isolation from the outside world causes the houseguests to interact with each other face-to-face; that is really the only thing they can do in their down time. The added social aspect is where the drama stems from. 

In season one, the only “alliances” –if one could even call them that– were the group of boys and the group of girls. In season two, the girls compete against themselves and the guys compete against themselves. This causes a lot of new alliances that include boys and girls, mostly groups of three, that vote and compete for each other.

The arguments, the practical jokes, and the catty comments make the show more entertaining. The alliances gives the audience an option: What group are they going to root for? The houseguests’ true personalities are known from watching how they interact. Kian and JC made the right decision spacing out the challenges and creating more down time.

Another change from season one is the format of the game. In season two, girls competed against girls and guys competed against guys.

Is separating the genders from competing okay? Why weren’t they allowed to compete together? Everyone should be on an even playing field on a game show. Take Taylor, a serious competitor. She killed it in most of the challenges against the girls, but would she have performed so well if she was competing against the guys?

While separating the guys and the girls in challenges may not be fair, Kian and JC’s logic makes sense. In season one, the girls made a massive alliance and targeted all of the guys until the ratio was tilted in their favor. Making the girls in season two compete against each other solves this problem.

It’s hard to ignore some problems with season two. Contestant Andrea Russet’s decision to leave half-way through the season ultimately messed up the format and the social dynamic. Kian and JC’s mistake in the trivia challenge, which resulted in Harrison Webb’s elimination, was unprofessional and unacceptable for a production this big. The challenges weren’t heavily monitored. However,  bringing in four season one veterans to compete for their spot in the house against four season two houseguests was perhaps the most rewarding “K&J Twist” of the season. This twist brought fear, nostalgia, and chaos; the dynamic of the house shifted gears.

The Reality House was revamped with new and improved social dynamics, challenges, and twists, all of which made the show more entertaining. The second season, with 16.8 million total views, is deserving of 3.5 stars . Season one of The Reality House will be remembered for pushing the barrier of the YouTube community and opening up doors for creators Kian and JC. Season two of The Reality House will be remembered for being the first great season.