6 Reasons "Selling Sunset" Became Summer's Hottest Show

This is why Netflix's reality series is the can't-miss show of the season.

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Is it just us, or has Selling Sunset gone from an under-the-radar reality show to the biggest hit of the summer? Suddenly everyone is talking about the Netflix series, which follows high-end real estate agents in Los Angeles as they navigate competitive listings and fractured friendships. The show, which premiered in March 2019, made a bigger splash when it released a second season amid lockdown in May. And since the debut of the third season, released by Netflix on Aug. 7, the buzz about Selling Sunset has only grown.

What is it about this show that seems to have everyone talking? Whether you're an established fan or just dying to know what all the fuss is about, we're breaking down the fundamental components that have turned this series into the can't-miss show of the season. And for a look back at some of your other reality faves, check out The 30 Most Successful Reality TV Personalities of the Last 30 Years.

1
There's real-life tabloid drama playing out onscreen.

chrishell crying on selling sunset
Netflix

Selling Sunset star Chrishell Stause and her ex-husband, This Is Us actor Justin Hartley, divorced after two years of marriage in Nov. 2019, but it wasn't until Season 3 of Selling Sunset that fans got to hear Chrishell's side of the story. For the first time since the series premiered, real-life tabloid drama was playing out onscreen, which made the already addictive reality show that much more compelling. Nine months after their split, fans are obsessively dissecting the Stause-Hartley divorce—and wondering if they can ever forgive Hartley for dumping his then-wife via text message.

2
But most of the drama is deliciously low-stakes.

davina on selling sunset
Netflix

Chrishell's divorce aside, one of the real selling points of this series is how low-stakes the drama is. Sure, we enjoy the occasional table-flipping and wine-throwing of Real Housewives, but there is something soothing about the mundanity of the conflicts on Selling Sunset. The fallout from Davina Potratz criticizing the engagement ring Romain Bonnet picked out for Mary Fitzgerald has somehow lasted three seasons at this point. If you're looking for blow-up fights, this may not be the show for you, but sometimes it's nice to just enjoy white noise-level bickering. And for more fun content delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

3
It has the perfect reality TV villain.

christine quinn on selling sunset
Netflix

Even if she's not slapping any of her castmates, Christine Quinn has emerged as a top-tier reality TV villain. Unlike Davina—who mostly seems to inspire disdain from viewers—Christine falls perfectly into "love to hate her" territory. Or maybe just love her! Sure, she's not always the kindest member of the Oppenheim Group real estate brokerage firm, but "telling it like it is" is what makes reality TV work. No one keeps it real quite like Christine, or looks anywhere near as good doing it. And for more memorable reality villains, revisit The 18 Most Hated People in Reality TV History.

4
The houses are gorgeous to look at.

pool on selling sunset
Netflix

Is Davina ever going to sell the $75 million monstrosity she's trying to unload? Probably not, but it's fun watching her explore the truly bizarre abode. Some of these houses are stunning. Some are fascinatingly ugly. All of them, however, are impossible to look away from. Most of us will never be able to afford the kind of mansions that the Oppenheim Group traffics in, and that's OK. Part of the thrill of the series is in seeing how the other half lives. And finding out just how much someone is willing to pay for an infinity pool.

5
The show as a whole makes for ideal background noise.

still from selling sunset
Netflix

Between the muted drama, the drawn-out storylines, and the real estate eye candy, Selling Sunset is one of the best shows to half-watch. That's not to say it's not riveting enough to keep you fully engaged if you want to focus on it—it's more that you don't really need to. This is a reality show that pairs well with folding laundry, playing a game on your phone, or otherwise zoning out. You can just let it wash over you, and as long as you're paying a little bit of attention, you'll never really miss anything plot-wise. And for more shows to keep you at just the right level of mild distraction, check out these 13 TV Shows That Are Perfect Background Noise While Working From Home.

6
It's one of the fastest watches on Netflix.

still from selling sunset
Netflix

Does catching up on three seasons of television sound daunting to you? Well, keep in mind that Selling Sunset's seasons are only eight-episodes long—and each episode hovers around 30 minutes. That means if you really put your mind to it, you can watch the entire 24-episode series over the course of a weekend, or even just one long day. If you start to feel regret over powering through it too quickly, rest assured that it's also the perfect show to rewatch. And if you're looking for a longer viewing experience, these are The 20 TV Shows Streaming on Netflix That Have the Most Episodes.

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