“Hype House” review: plenty of entertaining drama to go around

Netflix cashes in on the TikTok generation, with some mixed results

Maya Martin, Arts & Culture Editor

Whether it be drama between Chase “Lil Huddy” Hudson and Thomas Petrou, spending thousands of dollars on parties and Youtube videos, or catfights between Nikita Dragun and Larray Merritt, “Hype House” certainly has plenty of over-the-top drama for a Netflix TV series.

The show revolves around the members of the “Hype House” as seen on TikTok. The house, in short, is a group of young adults with millions of followers on social media platforms and a ton of money to live out their childhood fantasies. The house made it big on TikTok by recruiting upcoming stars, posting group content, making thirst traps, and popularizing their “drama.”

Like any other Netflix reality show, the drama between the members and the host is very cheesy and over the top. The show highlights social media influencer and makeup line creator, Nikita Dragun, as the queen bee who seems to always have a hissy fit with her best friend, Larray Merritt. The two are supposedly very close, however, during the show they have multiple arguments about a COVID-19 outbreak and even Nikita “black-fishing” as Merritt states on social media. The drama gets pretty intense, but at some points seems very staged and overdramatized for some extra intensity in the show.

Another issue brought up in the show is the ability for the “Hype House” to remain a place for the members to create content and live in for free. Because of brand deals and sponsorships, the group is able to pay off the house’s rent without taking money out of their own pockets. However, a big issue is most of the members fail to post content on the “Hype House” Tiktok page, so the house is at risk of being shut down. The main frontman who deals with the business aspect of the house is Thomas Petrou. He started the house along with Chase Hudson and a few other creators, however, Hudson makes a clear branching off from the house and lives far away, focusing on his budding singing career instead. This becomes another issue in the show to keep viewers on their toes. Personally, I believe the argument was a bit childish and lack of communication was really the problem between the two members. Whether or not the “Hype House” remains and if Hudson is still involved remains a cliffhanger until the very last episode.

Throughout the show, there are catfights between the nine members, but no matter the fight, they all seem to be collectively friends no matter what. The eight episodes all seem to follow a constant pattern of a big argument, make up and then throw some kind of party or event, and put it in a Youtube video. The members, especially Alex Warren, seem to be living out their childhood dreams because most of them did not have a great family situation growing up. While watching the show, that was something I kept in the back of my mind because the whole thing seemed as if it were every kid’s dream. It is just huge pool parties, giant mansions, cool vacations, big parties and making crazy videos — while being paid for all of it.

Although very childish, I did appreciate that the show seemed to touch upon important subjects in toxic media culture and just the world in general. With Dragun as the queen bee of the show, she shared throughout the series her struggles of being a transgender woman and entrepreneur and how the members of the house helped her believe in herself. Merritt also talked about the struggles of being perceived as “white-washed” because of the friends he was surrounded with and how he feels a constant pressure to remain a perfect role model in social media for so many young black followers. The members also touch upon the fact of how harmful cancel culture can be and how easily one rumor can ruin someone’s entire career. These topics, although most times overshadowed by petty drama, were important to include, and I am happy they were brought to light in some form.

Honestly, I don’t know why I decided to watch this show. I have always disliked idolizing social media stars and have never followed or associated myself with liking the Hype House or any of its members. However, this show was interesting to watch. I don’t recommend it to anyone who has not previously followed along with the “Hype House” content, but it was interesting for me to watch the show and try to gain an understanding of why so many young people follow and worship these TikTok stars. Whether it be because they enjoy juicy drama or love seeing the over-the-top parties and fun times, I can see why younger kids enjoy the content. The show is not bad, it is just what you would expect it to be, a light-hearted reality show with crazy social media stars with a ton of money and followers.