HYPE HOUSE Season 1 Exposes The Vapidity of TikTok Culture

Hype House/Instagram

HYPE HOUSE Season 1 Exposes The Vapidity of TikTok Culture

By Movieguide® Contributor

HYPE HOUSE is a non-fiction teen reality show on Netflix. The show follows a coalition of eight TikTok creators as they struggle to balance their online presence against their financial and personal troubles. The series premiered to universal ridicule in January 2022.

Netflix’s HYPE HOUSE is a vapid and ultimately tepid production. On paper, it promises a dark and authentic look into TikTok stardom. In execution, it is about eight millionaires desperately clawing for the viewers’ sympathy. It is a pointless and soul-draining exercise. The show embraces many objectionable elements such as frequent F bombs, high school level gossip, and heavy-handed left-wing messages. For a program targeted at 13+ TikTok users, avoid it like the plague.

In the first season, members of the TikTok group get creatively burnt out. After posting non-stop for two years, they explore other potential career paths. Not wanting to lose his friends (and public interest in the brand), Hype House co-founder Thomas Petrou concocts a “plan” to convince everyone to stay in the group. The episodes alternate between three to four subplots, each focusing on a member’s anxiety on “living the grind.”

In terms of positives, the show is well shot. In every episode, the camera crew follows the TikTok stars around their daily lives. On occasion, the show cuts to confessionals with the cast, where they elaborate their feelings on certain moments. The cinematography is excellent, considering most of it is shot on location or handheld. The camera operators were more courteous than the stars they filmed.

To boost its Gen Z appeal, HYPE HOUSE incorporates actual clips from the group’s TikTok page. The TikTok video integration is a unique spin on the teen reality genre, as it gives context to the group’s thought process. Many of their clips include dance challenges, dangerous stunts, and “personal” updates to the team’s well-being. They showcase the amateur and manic appeal of the Hype House, especially for viewers not familiar with the Tik Tok platform.

The core eight cast members come off as arrogant and bland. The team lives at a $5 million mansion in Los Angeles, California. They spend thousands of dollars on expensive stunts and “attention grabbing” hobbies. HYPE HOUSE goes at length about their troubled upbringings, but the stars rarely showcase any humility.

Another problem with HYPE HOUSE is its editing choices. Every episode constantly relies on aerial stock footage to fill the gaps. It uses licensed music for several montages. But these montages are spliced in without any cohesion or purpose. Then there are the “character names” at the bottom of the screen. They repeat multiple times in the same episode. The editors think the viewers have the attention span of a goldfish.

In terms of worldview, HYPE HOUSE contains a hedonistic and materialistic outlook. The cast members prioritize parties, absurd car stunts, and utilitarian friendships above everything else. They fight over who gets the profits or launching a party in a pandemic. Any drama boils down to petty high school-level name calling. The group discusses how their friendships endured despite their grind. But they only value how much clout they can achieve. The show values a morally empty worldview.

In terms of content warning, it is staggering. Cast members frequently swear on screen. The F word, while bleeped out, is uttered every other minute. The male members frequently take off their shirts. The team’s closest aide, Nikia Dragun is transgender and struts in the mansion in sexually provocative and cleavage-bound outfits. The house consumes alcohol on screen. During some “confessional” segments, the members allude to their abusive childhood pasts. No gore or blood is involved.

The show guest stars prominent LGBT creators Larri “Larray” Merritt and Nikita Dragun. Larray and Nikita discuss their fears about being “canceled” and their friendship with Hype House. Larray openly admits he is attracted to other men his age and occasionally helps the House with their pet projects. Larray emphasizes he is the only person of color member of the house, but he also mimics the team’s most obnoxious behaviors.

HYPE HOUSE is not worth the hype. It is a morally apprehensive and visibly shallow show. The cast members are self absorbed and entitled. It values a materialistic message above human decency. It fails to explore its “creator grind” dilemma, and it will consume your remaining brain cells. Movieguide® strongly warns teens and young adults to steer clear of this abomination.


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