Netflix has a string of popular reality shows under its belt from Love is Blind to Too Hot to Handle, but not all of its reality offerings revolve around single people meeting under some contrived circumstances. Case in point, Blown Away, which has just returned for its third season.
Blown Away is a reality competition show in which glassblowers compete against each other to make the most impressive glass creations possible. The show’s third season just debuted on Netflix last week (Friday, July 22) and it’s already jumped straight into the streamer’s most-watched list.
The show currently ranks at No.7 ahead of fellow reality show Married at First Sight and popular superhero show The Umbrella Academy — not bad for a show about the niche profession of glassblowing.
What is Blown Away about?
Styled after popular reality shows like Project Runway and Top Chef, Blown Away brings together talented glassblowing artists and tasks them with creating glass art based on a specific theme. Once their masterworks are complete they are judged by an expert, and one artist is sent home at the end of every episode.
The wrinkle comes from the fact that contestant must create their glass art not only to match a theme but under serious time constraints. The time pressure is less than ideal because when you’re working with heated glass you generally need a great deal of patience and precision.
The heat is another factor that adds to the dramatic tension. The show's custom-built studio, or hot shop as it's called by glassblowers, gets seriously warm as contestants work with temperatures that reach up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
What do critics say about Blown Away?
The first season of Blown Away was well received by critics scoring 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Although, the show’s audience score is rather disappointing at just 30% suggesting that some viewers find the show to be nothing but a load of hot air.
Marc Silver of The Washington Post was very enthusiastic about the show, saying “there's no bloat, no padding. That's why I was, to borrow one of the many, many glass-related puns from host Nick Uhas, blown away by Blown Away.”
The high level of skill showcased by the competing glass workers has also been regularly praised. The Sydney Morning Herald’s Brad Newsome declared “There's nothing like a reality competition show in which the contestants are genuine grown-ups who have extraordinary skills.”
Should you stream Blown Away?
If you’re looking for a reality show that doesn’t revolve around attractive singletons dating with some form of outlandish twist, then Blown Away could be exactly what you’ve been searching for.
Its core premise is a little bit repetitive, but the artistry on display is genuinely impressive, and it’s always a treat to see what remarkable creations the contestants will have made by the end of the allotted time. Overall, Blown Away is an easy watch that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Plus, each episode is only 30 minutes long so you might find yourself binging its three 10-episode seasons surprisingly fast.
While the show's surprisingly low audience score might be a little off-putting, the fact it's just launched its third season and is already in the Netflix top 10 should tell you that it's obviously got a dedicated viewership. So, we'd say it's definitely worth giving Blown Away a try if the premise interests you.
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Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.