YouTube/Bryan Dugan
YouTube/Bryan Dugan

6 Wacky International Reality TV Shows

YouTube/Bryan Dugan
YouTube/Bryan Dugan

America has Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and The Apprentice, but other countries have TV shows about burning wood, human Tetris, and Celine Dion gargling during a performance of "My Heart Will Go On." Obviously, the States just isn't competing on the same level. Here are six wacky reality shows from other countries that know what the people want.

1. National Firewood Night — Norway

Eight hours of wood burning in a fireplace divided a nation. Even though 20 percent of Norway tuned into the show at some point, most of them were angry because the wood was laid the wrong way. Really. In the above clip, Stephen Colbert makes light of the show, saying, "The last time that many Americans watched a hunk of wood, it was playing opposte Sandra Bullock [in The Lake House]," referring to Keanu Reeves. Four more hours on top of the eight hours of wood is spent talking about wood and chopping it down.

2. The 1900 House — United Kingdom

More than 400 families tried out for this reality show that took one family and forced them to live like it was the Victorian age. For the three months the family had to live in the London house, they had no electricity. The house was equipped with a safety room, telephone, a scullery (used for cleaning dishes and clothes), dining room, and kitchen. Yes, there was a washer, but it wasn't modern. It was a pot over a fire. The family's 9-year-old boy often complained of missing sweets and fast food.

3. Don't Laugh — Japan

The main objective is in the title: don't laugh. Ever. Contestants must keep a straight face while hilarious stunts are being performed around them. If someone cracks a smile, a group of masked men beat the guy silly with big sticks.

4. Wetten...Dass? — Germany

Germany's Wetten...dass? takes the format of late-night American talk shows and mixes it with a game show. It's been a staple since the '80s; often, celebrity guests are invited to bet on stunts performed by contestants and audience members. Here, Celine Dion took on a stunt of her own: gargling while singing her famous Titantic ballad. An American version premiered first in 1993 as an hour-long special then popped back up in 2008, but tanked quickly, canceled after just six episodes. We weren't quite ready.

5. Infinite Challenge — South Korea

Infinite Challenge was South Korea's first reality show, even if it doesn't fit into the classic reality model. The show has regular contestants who have different missions (like trying to out-push a bulldozer) each episode. This clip features the group and Paris Hilton doing ... something. It's mainly funny because she's mocking their mocks.

6. Hole in the Wall — Japan

Tetris was (and still is) obviously an obsession in America. Getting those little blocks of color to stack and fit just right was addicting. Japan moved the game to TV ... and cast people as the blocks. Wearing silver jumpsuits, something seen at Comic-Con or a Star Trek convention, the contestants would try to fit their bodies through giant holes in a wall coming toward them.

Shout! Factory
Original GLOW Wrestling Series Hits Twitch
Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory

When it premiered in June 2017, GLOW was a bit of a sleeper offering for Netflix. With the amount of original programming ordered by the streaming service, a show based on an obscure women’s pro wrestling league from the 1980s seemed destined to get lost in the shuffle.

Instead, the series was a critical and commercial success. Ahead of its second season, which drops on June 29, you'll have a chance to see the mat work of the original women who inspired it.

Shout! Factory has announced they will be live-streaming clips from the first four seasons of GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling), which first premiered in 1986, beginning at 9 p.m. ET on June 28. The stream, which will be available on and Twitch, will feature original footage framed by new interviews with personalities including Godiva, host Johnny C, and Hollywood. The show will air live from the Santino Brothers Wrestling Academy in Los Angeles.

Godiva, who was portrayed by Dawn Maestas, inspired the character Rhonda (a.k.a. Brittanica) on the Netflix series; Hollywood was the alter ego of Jeanne Basone, who inspired the character Cherry in the fictionalized version of the league. Basone later posed for Playboy and takes bookings for one-on-one wrestling matches with fans.

Shout! Factory's site also features a full-length compilation of footage, Brawlin’ Beauties: GLOW, hosted by onetime WWE interviewer “Mean” Gene Okerlund.

Universal Studios
Everything That’s Leaving Netflix in July
Universal Studios
Universal Studios

Here’s some news you won’t be cheering about: Bring It On is leaving Netflix on July 1st—as are the four of its sequels that are currently part of the company’s streaming library (FYI: there are a total of six Bring It On films altogether—yes, six). The Lethal Weapon franchise will bid farewell, too, as will a handful of classic films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s. To make way for July’s slate of new titles, here’s everything that’s leaving Netflix in July.



Along Came Polly

An Honest Liar


Before Midnight

Bring It On

Bring It On Again

Bring It On: All or Nothing

Bring It On: Fight to the Finish

Bring It On: In It to Win It


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Lethal Weapon

Lethal Weapon 2

Lethal Weapon 3

Lethal Weapon 4

Little Women

Michael Clayton

Midnight in Paris

Mixed Signals

More Than a Game


Piglet’s Big Movie

Rugrats Go Wild

Scary Movie

Scream 3

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

The Art of War

Tropic Thunder

V for Vendetta


Breakfast at Tiffany’s


Alpha & Omega: Journey to Bear Kingdom

Real Husbands of Hollywood: Seasons 1-5


Ratchet and Clank



Alice Through the Looking Glass


Wild Hogs



Lockup: State Prisons: Collection 1

Small Is Beautiful: A Tiny House Documentary





The Den


A Cinderella Story

Hurricane of Fun: The Making of Wet Hot

Swing State 


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