In the English-speaking world, Japanese TV in 2018 was celebrated for how boring it could get. But it was anything but domestically, where viewers questioned norms and helped nudge forward programs with progressive politics.

However, no production from Japan was bigger overseas this year than “Terrace House.” The reality show, which follows several young people living together and sometimes juggling relationships with one another, managed to become an international hit on streaming service Netflix. That’s a rarity for Japanese TV creations, save for anime and viral game show clips.

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