The Most Underrated Show on Netflix Has Stolen Hours From My Life

netflix instant hotel man repeller


Did you read my piece about becoming an old crone? It’s fine if you didn’t — maybe you just come here for the fashion, maybe you don’t care for my writing, whatever your reason, I support you. BUT I worry that you may have missed out on a very key piece of news: Instant Hotel is the best show in the history of shows, and Australia deserves an Oscar!!!!!!!!! A big tip of the Crocodile Dundee hat, a Nicole Kidman smirk, and a Flex Mami twerk to you, my good country.

“What is Instant Hotel and why is this woman yellllllling about it?” Good question. I’m yelling because I don’t want you to make the same mistake I did. I scrolled past Instant Hotel on Netflix innumerable times because the name just sounds so foolish! I imagined it to be like the Amazing Race but for making beds? That sounds boring! What they should call it is Airbnb Owners Exchange Snarky One-Liners. That’s basically the entire premise of the show except that they’re all competing to stay in an Airbnb in California and it’s just resplendent. Picture this: five couples with very different temperaments run very different Airbnbs. Brought together by a hunky agent of chaos, Luke Jacobz, they visit each other’s homes and stay in them for a mere 24 hours. I know that sounds boring. But trust me on this one.

A mere two weeks ago my friend Andy texted me, “I know your resolution is to get out of the house more but if you find yourself needing a show to binge, watch Instant Hotel on Neflix.” And my life was forever changed. I’d like to pass a similar kindness along to you, so I’ve bulleted out the key take aways in order to convince you to hand over your life to this truly absurd show.

It feels like an early reality TV show.
This one is hard to explain but I’m going to try anyway. The people participating are very aware of the roles they want to play on the show (you can see “I’m not here to make friends” cycling through at least four of the contestant’s minds at all times) but there isn’t the undercurrent of wanting a fit tummy tea sponsorship that one finds on contemporary reality TV shows. Some of the shots are gorgeous but sometimes it feels like a boom mic is about to flutter into frame. It’s so quaint.

Everyone is catty to each other’s faces!
There’s no hiding — which is so refreshing! I feel like this show helped cure a bit of my second-hand embarrassment because you just go through so much of it. It also means that there aren’t HUGE blowouts, just like snark-offs and staring contests.

Juliet Ashworth is ice cold.
She’s the perfect expert judge! I love her. Say something cold and exacting to me Juliet! Bonus round: There’s a weird chemistry betwixt her and muscle-y host Luke Jacobz, who is not very good at hiding his surprise/when he finds something odd on people’s properties which is another great thing about this generally great show.

You learn so much about Australia!
This may not apply to our Australian readers (hiiiiii) but the show takes you around the country, so you get a nice tour of what’s out there besides Australia/Melbourne/the Outback. You also get a nice window into the stereotypes that people hold about certain regions. The first town is called Humpty Doo, so like, just watch this show.

If you know, you know. If you don’t, best to go find out.

If those well-researched and peer-reviewed points didn’t convince you, don’t take it from me, take it from those closest to me:

Testimony from smart people who have taken my advice to watch Instant Hotel:

“When Nora described the premise of Instant Hotel to meI fell asleep. I also don’t really watch reality TV. But I also trust Nora implicitly, so I gave the first episode a shot. About 10 minutes in, I was like, no, I’m not doing this, and tried to click back to the menu. But the button wasn’t working! I couldn’t exit the show! And so I gave up and before I knew it it was 12:30 a.m. on a Tuesday and I was texting Nora with bloodshot eyes that I just. couldn’t. stop.” – Satisfied customer, Haley Nahman

“I can’t believe I found myself rooting for the man with the mullet.” – Satisfied customer, my friend Alaina

“I was expecting GBBO level of niceness but I guess Australians are catty like us.” –Satisfied customer, my friend Alaina (again)

Instant Hotel is like watching a dysfunctional family meet each other for the first time.” –Yet another satisfied customer, my friend Molly 

“I’m not ready to say I like, liked it, but I am ready to admit I watched all of it.” – Customer, Kate Barnett 

If you have already taken in Instant Hotel (good on ya), please meet me in the comments to discuss. Oh! And Jasmin recently informed me that there’s a British version called Four in a Bed (which, tbh, sounds like a made up show Tahani would talk about on The Good Place) so expect an enthusiastic Four in a Bed review in about…..52 hours.

Illustration via Getty Images; Gif by Emily Zirimis. 

Nora Taylor

Nora Taylor

Nora Taylor is the Editor of Clever. She can frequently be found knocking things over in the greater New York City area.

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