Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 am30 3:49am

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I Saw the Future of Netflix in a Japanese Reality Show

Not long ago, I found myself staring at my laptop at 3 am with bleary eyes, knowing I should stop but unable to. I’d fallen deep down the Netflix rabbit hole, and I couldn’t climb out.

I’d landed there binging on Terrace House, a Real World-esque Japanese reality show that throws Millennials into a house together. I was hopelessly hooked. Not because I thought the show was particularly good—I thought the opposite, in fact.

The premise isn’t that imaginative: You watch six twenty-somethings try to date each other, and they flirt, fight, judge, commiserate and confide in each other. “There is no script,” the show’s description promises. And it’s so addictive seeing the drama unravel it makes you feel kind of unhealthy—like you’ve eaten way too much candy. Part of the curiosity is the peek you get into the cultural differences of courtship in Japan. (“Now that you guys have kissed, are you in a relationship?” one guy asks another roommate after the latter finally mustered the courage to make his move on a girl.) But Terrace House also pushes some, uh, plainly outdated gender stereotypes.

Terrace House, in short, is pretty terrible. I couldn’t get enough of it.

Which is why, at 3 am, instead of sleeping, I started obsessively Googling what happened after the last season available on Netflix ended. A quick search told me nine more episodes exist, and I’d be damned if I wasn’t going to track down every possible spoiler so I could be done with the show.

Turns out, I couldn’t quit Terrace House so easily. The show’s Wikipedia page is in Japanese. So are most fan sites. The actors’ social media profiles are incomprehensible. I stopped searching for video clips when I realized the futility of it—I’d watched the show with English subtitles, possibly Netflix-supplied.