Is Hype House worth the hype?

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TikTok drama, the main thing that entertained Gen Z over quarantine, is back in a brand new way. On January 7, reality series Hype House was released on Netflix, giving viewers the inside scoop on the lives of extremely rich, controversial, and young Tiktok influencers. However, the show falls short of the mark with its convoluted plot lines and characters.

The Hype House is a collaborative group that has been producing content from their mansion since December 2019. Numerous members live in this house in Los Angeles, California, which makes it easier for them to create videos together. The original founders of the house were Thomas Petrou, Chase Hudson, and Daisy Keech. Internal conflict between members pushed Daisy out of the house in March 2020. Later, other popular creators including Charli D’Amelio, Dixie D’Amelio, and Addison Rae followed her out of the house. 

Currently, the house features Thomas Petrou, Chase Hudson, Alex Warren, Kouvr Annon, Mia Hayward, Vinnie Hacker, Nikita Dragun, Larri Merritt (also known as Larray), and a few other members. 

This series can best be described as a dumpster fire. In all honesty, the purpose for even creating it was extremely unclear. It is likely that the intent was to focus on the reality of these influencers’ lives, but after the first episode it did the exact opposite. 

The first episode had a pretty clear structure: basic introductions and crazy videos showing how “fun” living in a mansion with friends could be. The plot all went downhill afterwards. A new conflict arose every five minutes, ranging from an argument, a sad story about someone’s upbringing, an accident, etc. Along with this, it seemed like someone was always crying to the point where their sadness didn’t seem genuine. 

The show is confusing, and how can the audience really connect with a show they don’t understand? The people in the Hype House were definitely the most puzzling part. It seemed like five new characters were introduced in every episode. The producers assumed that everyone would immediately know who these people were, even though this was definitely not the case. As time went on, the Hype House lost a significant amount of popularity, especially after people such as Charli D’Amelio left. Even current member Alex Warren said he noticed a decrease in his views on both TikTok and Youtube. It would only make sense that there would be better introductions, especially when it came to the characters that were in the majority of the episodes. Overall, it was extremely difficult to remember names, even with the brief name and age pop-up when a new character walked in. Although the series tried to focus on a smaller group of people, it still became annoyingly chaotic because of how many random appearances were made. 

A large portion of the show was spent by the cast talking about the hardships of social media. The main thing they fear is getting canceled, which means losing a large amount of following and popularity due to controversy. People who get canceled also usually face a lot of backlash from social media users, which ranges from offensive comments to even death threats. It was saddening to see the amount of hate that people are capable of putting onto people they don’t even know. “One wrong move can make everything crumble,” said Nikita in the show. 

While constant harassment should definitely be frowned upon, a majority of these influencers are definitely not innocent. In one episode, Larray confronts Nikita about instances where she has blackfished. Although Nikita gave an apology, it seemed as if the issue was quickly shoved aside as the producers moved on to the next conflict. Basically, a controversy was taken advantage of to spark drama, and as soon as it wasn’t interesting anymore, it was time to move on. 

Additional controversies regarding COVID safety also emerged. TikTok influencers have often been called out for not following COVID safety guidelines, including attending parties and socializing in large groups without masks. In the second and third episodes, Larray tested positive for COVID and still attended a dinner party at Chase’s house. Larray’s managers chose to blame it on Nikita, saying that she begged him to show up because she was “too intoxicated” and needed a ride. This was revealed to be a lie, which put a strain on Nikita and Larray’s relationship. It just went to show that none of these people were honest with one another and caused problems with everyone. 

After all the conflicts, one is left to wonder why these people were given a show. Throughout the show, controversy is brushed off and forgotten in the next ten minutes. As much as they like to complain about getting canceled, these young adults clearly have nothing to fear. 

With all the bad that came with this series, there were also some positives. Some of the bonds between members seemed truly genuine, and many have really interesting backgrounds. Viewers had their eyes opened when they learned that the majority were homeless, had difficult school lives and bad parental relationships. Even the drama can be addicting. 

While the show wasn’t terrible, it wasn’t necessarily good either. The chaos and conflict was intended to make it dramatic, but really just made it difficult to watch. Despite the title, Hype House is not worth any of the hype. 

Art by Veronica Kuzma