Call it the Queer Eye effect, but it seems that Netflix is majorly investing in its reality TV (or, to use the correct industry term, 'unscripted TV') output, which is brilliant news for those of us who are more invested than we should be in the exploits of the Made in Chelsea and Love Island cast members. The streaming giant has just announced that it has greenlit three new reality shows, and the one which has really caught our eye is Westside, described as La La Land meets The Hills (a convincing sales pitch if we’ve ever read one.)
According to industry bible Variety, the eight part series will follow a group of ‘ambitious and talented young musicians spanning multiple genres, coming together to create an original performance series at a Los Angeles night club.’ It’ll balance insights into the artists’ ‘complicated lives’ with music videos featuring – and this is where we really started to get interested – ‘original songs that underscore the storylines of the series.’ So far, it’s conjuring up cultural reference points from Glee to Fame to that episode of Made in Chelsea where Gabriella made a music video.
A release date for Westside is yet to be announced, and though it surely won’t land on our screens until sometime in 2019 (along with season three of The Crown… sigh), there’s already plenty to get excited about. According to producer Jenn Levy, who discussed the show with Vulture, it promises ‘a never-done before approach to a docu-soap,’ with the ‘character development and plotlines you find in some of our best scripted series’ but in a more ‘raw and authentic way’. Naturally, we’re a little confused about how the least ‘real’ of genres, the musical, can cross over into reality television, but that hasn’t yet tempered our enthusiasm.
Musical fans might also recall that Netflix has another exciting project in the works: Damien Chazelle, Oscar-winning director of La La Land, is currently working on a musical drama series for the streaming platform. Titled The Eddy, it’s set in a jazz club in the heart of Paris, and is slated to arrive later this year.
Catch up on this year's unmissable films in the gallery below...
The prospect of a gender-flipped re-boot doesn't always fill us with anticipation, but that's not the case with Ocean's 8, which has managed to cast - deep breath - Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, rapper and comedian Awkwafina and Rihanna as a gang of con artists orchestrating a jewel heist at the Met Gala (Anne Hathaway plays their target). Given the star power involved, here's hoping they pull it off…