"Terrace House," the long-running Japanese reality show that puts six strangers in a house together “without a script”, was pulled off the air and taken off Netflix last year, following the suicide of 2020 house member Hana Kimura.
Kimura’s death exposed the darker side of the show, with housemates claiming producers set scenes up for drama, encouraging the cast to let loose without providing adequate support for stars like Kimura, who became the target of cyber bullying and death threats after she was shown arguing with a fellow housemate in one episode.
It’s been less than nine months since "Terrace House" was canceled on May 27, and now it appears the production team behind the show is back, and they’re attempting to repair the show’s damaged reputation with some feel-good storylines starring a few popular faces from the series.
▼ Two of those familiar faces belong to Seina and Noah, who just announced their marriage last week.
The first hint of "Terrace House’s" soft return was seen on 29 January, when Reina Triendl, one of the show’s former presenters, popped up on YouTube with a new channel called “TriendlunRun." The new channel, a joint one shared by Reina and her younger sister Luna, kicked off with this message from Reina on the “about” page:
“Nice to meet you, this is Triendl! I decided to start YouTube!
I hope to bring you a new side that I can’t usually show you.
This time, the Triendl family will appear! I took footage of last year’s Christmas party! I tried to shoot videos several times, thinking ‘I want to do YouTube!’ but I wasn’t good at shooting so I asked the staff I’ve been indebted to for a long time to help me!
Maybe some people will feel they recognise the mood of the videos somehow..?
I’m thinking of filming lots of different videos in the future, so please look forward to it.”
Reina’s cryptic mention of the “staff” helping her to film videos and the mood of the clips being familiar to viewers is a roundabout way of explaining why the new videos look like a new season of "Terrace House." The fly-on-the-wall long shots of the two sisters, along with the music, editing and stylistic choices of all the videos is distinctly Terrace House, and that’s because they were produced by the same team behind the show. Oh, and their videos are all shot in Karuizawa, the location for "Terrace House: Opening New Doors," which aired from 2017-2019, making the setting familiar to viewers as well.
▼ Watching 29-year-old Reina and her 27-year-old sister Luna is like watching a new season of "Terrace House."
Even their bathtime video, with its long establishing shots and focus on conversation centrred around goals, aspirations, and perfect partners, has all the hallmarks of the show.
Shortly after the Triendl sisters’ debut on YouTube, two of "Terrace House’s" former stars, Seina Shimabukuro and Noah Ishikawa, announced their marriage on their joint YouTube account, Senanoah House. While the loved-up couple’s YouTube account was set up at the end of August last year, their videos since then have been shot like regular vlogs, with an unknown third person behind the camera or the couple themselves handling the filming.
Their videos lacked any real signs of a professional production team behind the scenes, but that all changed this week, when the “proposal video” appeared on their YouTube channel. After half a year of everyday vlog content, the new video is like watching an episode of "Terrace House," only this time the housemates are Noah and Seina, and he just proposed to her at the old Karuizawa house they lived in while starring in the 2017-2019 series.
▼ Take a look at the two crying tears of joy as she says yes and he slides a diamond-encrusted tiger ring on her finger.
There’s no hiding the "Terrace House" similarities here. This time, there are even moments when the time is listed on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, in the same style and font used on the show. And when the show ends, the familiar click of a shutting door can be heard–the exact same sound used at the end of "Terrace House" episodes.
▼ The next video after the proposal shows the two registering their intention to marry at the Karuizawa City Office.
In the video above, Seina and Noah discuss how many children they’d like to have, with Seina saying it would be good for their child to have at least one sibling. She then goes on to say she’d like to visit Austria, where Noah was born and raised, before adding that it would be nice if they could have a vacation home in Karuizawa as a place for them to holiday with their children.
The videos are coming fast, hours apart, and are already racking up huge views, trending in the top videos on Japanese YouTube. And it looks like more episodes of Senanoah House are on their way, as a third installment was uploaded this week, this time showing the couple crying over moving messages of congratulations from former Terrace House housemates.
▼ The episode ends with Seina drinking wine in bed and Noah dropping his towel before getting into bed with her.
The new videos appear to be testing the ground with viewers to judge whether there might be a possibility for a "Terrace House" return. However, with the death of a former housemate on their hands, a return to the show in its original format may well be out of the question.
Still, fans of the show appear to be responding well to the new videos, and there are many more former housemates with YouTube channels yet to be created, so who knows where this new "Terrace House" venture will lead? If the ending to Seina and Noah’s last video is anything to go by, there might even be a "Terrace House" baby coming soon.
Sources: YouTube/トリンドるんるん【トリンドル玲奈・トリンドル瑠奈】, YouTube/せなのあHOUSE, Net Lab
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